“I promise my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to wider service, and my health to a better life, for my club, my community, my country and my world.”
These are the words spoken by 6.5 million 4-H members across the country, making it the largest youth development organization in America.
But aren’t 4-H kids just those crazy kids who show off their pets at their county fairs once a year? Some of us do, but 4-H delivers more than what’s featured at our county fairs. There are over 200 different hands-on projects available for a 4-Her, ranging from animal science to STEM to healthy living and more. Clubs meet once a month to review events, club expenses, other business, and there is an activity for each meeting.
I have spent my last eight years expanding the Montgomery County 4-H program to continue my journey of always learning more. I have participated in the Rabbit Club, Beekeeping Club, Senior Exchange Club, Cooking Club, a few short courses, and I am starting my first year at the Livestock Club this year. Previously at the Rabbit Club, I held various positions as committee chair, treasurer, and this year I’m vice-chair.
In addition to my various leadership roles, I have had the opportunity to travel to Wisconsin and California, attend the Pennsylvania 4-H State Leadership Conference, Capital Days and more. Again.
From monthly meetings to nationwide trips, I’ve met my best friends who are just as passionate about hands-on learning as I am. I thought I had a pretty complete idea of what 4-H is and what a 4-H kid is since I’ve been an active member for some time. But after this week of chatting with a few of my 4-Her colleagues, I’m still amazed at how many different perspectives can come from one organization.
Tayler Garges, a freshman at Penn State and a member of 4-H, said, “4-H is an organization that helps teach and inspire young people to be great leaders in their communities. It helps them get involved and learn important life skills that they can take with them into the future. “
Throughout her many years in 4-H, she has been involved with the Livestock Club, Livestock Judging Clubs, the Potato Judging Club, the Development Board, and the journalist and historian for the 4-H State Council of Pennsylvania 2021.
Giuseppe Schiano Di Cola, member of the Creamery Crafters Sewing Club and member of the development committee, said: “4-H is important because it helps everyone with something specific and helps the kids have fun. “
Goal setting and Giuseppe’s hard work put him in the top 12 at the 4-H State Fashion Show in 2021.
Emma Leister, member of the Creamery Crafters Sewing Club and President of the Livestock Club, said: “4-H taught me a lot. I would never be as confident leading or talking to people as I am now without 4-H. Through 4-H, I learned patience, persistence, and good time management, to name a few.
Although these statements are from different people, we are all part of one family who strive to make the best the best.
Miranda Wezner is a senior from the Perkiomen Valley School District in Montgomery County, involved in 4-H for eight years. She has been in 4-H clubs for the rabbit, cooking, beekeeping, senior exchange and breeding. She interned at the Berks Agricultural Resource Network.