• By April W Bowman
  • Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Join 4-H Now to Gain Knowledge and Learn Life Skills

The following was submitted by Ben Cook, Forsyth County 4-H Member, Gold Achievement Award Winner, and Forsyth County 4-H Council Secretary, 2022.

Joining 4-H has been one of the best experiences for me! My mom got my two brothers and me involved in 4-H nine years ago. We have been members of four clubs over the years. Our first club, Carolina Inspirational Artists, was a music inspired club. I was only five years old and a Cloverbud at the time. We practiced playing instruments and singing to entertain residents of local rest homes. It was a lot of fun. We joined a community service focused club that same year, the Trailblazers. When I turned thirteen, I moved up to the Trailblazers Teen club. Both Trailblazers clubs are focused on what we can do for others and teaching us what the hands and heart of 4-H truly mean. Some of my favorite community service projects have been making blankets for Project Linus, packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child (OCC), and hosting socials where we shared food and games with the residents of Kerner Ridge Assited Living. These clubs have helped me to gain confidence in myself and a desire to continue to help others. My family joined a few other families from our club several years ago to begin studying for the North Carolina Forestry Contest. After meeting several times, we decided to create a club with a focus on science. The Natural Environmental Science Team (NEST) club became one of my favorite things to do in 4-H. In NEST, we learn about forestry, wildlife, and their habitats. I’ve spent time with local rangers and being outside. That has been a great experience. Ranger Jesse from Pilot Mountain spent a lot of time teaching us about forestry, animals, and things such as controlled burns. NEST has been very educational and fun! Just a couple weeks ago, we competed in the North Carolina Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program (WHEP) Contest. Our senior team placed first and gets to move on to the National WHEP contest which will be held in Kentucky during July. We are excited to represent Forsyth county at the National Competition, and we are grateful to Mrs. Carla for working with us for so many years to help us get to this point!

Outside of my clubs, I have participated in project record books, presentations, photo contests, talent shows, county council, and so much more! 4-H offers a variety of opportunities in and out of club. In 4-H, you can learn STEM, forestry, animal science, agriculture, the value of helping others, and many other topics. In the end, you should find what you are interested in and consider joining or even starting a club to pursue those interests. 4-H would be a great experience for you and your friends!

Youth can enroll in 4-H Online here. Choose Forsyth 4-H Member-at-Large as your club name until you find a new club home!

For more information, email, April Bowman, Extension Agent, Livestock, Forages, and 4-H Youth Development at awbowman@ncsu.edu or call 336-703-2855 or Dr. Monique Pearce-Brady, Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development at dmpearc3@ncsu.edu or call 336-703-2856.

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