Wherever youth are, 4-H is there
Supporting, adapting, and growing
4-H educators have adapted existing youth development programs and developed innovative, new experiences to meet the unique needs of youth and families today. 4-H club members have engaged in local opportunities and connected with statewide opportunities in a variety of formats.
4-H educators have designed and distributed more than 4,300 learning kits so youth can engage in exploration away from screens. Kit topics included arts, science, gardening and animals and were created for learners of all ages. 57% of learning kits went to 4-H members and 43% as outreach.
Katie Ecklund in South St. Louis County distributes weekly learning kits to keep in touch with youth in her 4-H afterschool clubs. In partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of the Northland, these kits include fun activities and self-addressed envelopes so youth can send letters to Katie and her team.
Let's Grow a Pepper kits, created by Joe Rand, are building gardening skills in St. Cloud area youth through a partnership with Promise Neighborhood.
Educators from northwest Minnesota are using learning kits to introduce new youth to animal science and nature. 4-H is helping youth discover new things and grow skills along the way.
4-H camps are a major part of the summer. This year brought new challenges and our educators, along with youth counselors and interns, rose to the occasion. 12 camps across Minnesota were adapted to virtual and at-home environments, ensuring 628 youth could still connect with each other, explore new topics and create plans for their future.
The 4-H Central Region Camp hosted 180 in a multi-day virtual inquiry into a variety of science topics. Daily challenges ranged from solar cooking to aerospace to water conservation, encouraging youth to expand their thinking and have fun right where they are.
“I learned to have open mind set. Even if things are different, it can still be fun.” - 4-H youth camper
Youth from across Minnesota shared their knowledge and stretched their skills in 4-H Stock Talks, a new offering this summer. Youth selected an animal science topic of their choice and created a short video presentation designed to help others learn something new.
The 81 participants spanned from a six year old with her puppy and granddad to a 17 year old offering a step-by-step guide for raising broiler chickens. Judging offered critical feedback to all youth and awards were given for the top rated submission.
4-H youth are now diligently preparing their animals, including livestock, dogs, horses and llamas, for local showcases in July and August. Statewide showcase opportunities for many 4-H animal species are also in the works!
Nutrition and food
402 youth have been busy cooking with 4-H this summer. They have learned about nutrition and food science through more than 25 virtual learning sessions. Youth explored how to make pizza from plants in their garden, bake bread, and even create edible sculptures.
Tasty Tuesday is a week online gathering hosted by 4-H educators in the southwest. Their goal is to inspire youth to be chefs for themselves, their families and others. 4-H Supper Club in Southeast Minnesota has helped youth create a meal for their families to enjoy. North St. Louis educator Nicole Kudrle created a weekly Healthy Sprouts program for youth to learn how to grow food, make nutritious snacks, and explore food-related careers.
”4-H taught me about gardening. I enjoyed learning how to make my own compost and have started a compost column science experiment.” - New 4-H youth member
Reviewed in 2020