Life as we know it is different for the time being, but that doesn’t mean that 4-H members are slowing down. If there’s one thing that we know about 4-H members, it is that they are hardworking youth who are eager to learn. In recent months, 4-H members have participated in livestock shows, county fairs, modified “virtual” 4-H camps, and in numerous virtual learning opportunities. Youth have achievement new heights of leadership in their club, county, and state. And we have seen the resilience of these youth, and their parents, to ensure that 4-H projects are completed, animals fed, and lessons learned.

4-H provides unique opportunities during this time. Last spring, when many schools were out, I am confident that many 4-H youth enjoyed the responsibility and distraction of caring for animals and working on fair projects. It may be safe to say that parents may have enjoyed it even more! 4-H projects, animals, and activities provided a sense of normalcy for many youth during this time.

This year, 4-H may look a little different, but youth are still working on learning in a hands-on

environment. Let me start by stating that our preferred method is still face-to-face learning led by an adult volunteer. However, for the first time ever, 4-H youth will have access to an online project learning portal via Canvas so that learning can continue wherever youth may be. This means that project learning can continue throughout the year in whatever project area members are interested in –regardless of the ability of volunteers to host project meetings. 4-H members – stay tuned for more information on this exciting development.

4-H is also working to provide opportunities that are new and unique. An example of this is 4-H “Camp-in-a-Box”. This project will provide youth in Livingston County the opportunity to participate in activities, games, crafts, and even snacks centered around an “Explore Nature” theme, geared for youth ages 5-10. This project is an example of a youth adult partnership, led by Sharon Van Dusen, Youth Program Associate, and a team of Livingston County youth. 4-H members and non 4-H members are able to participate, and will receive all materials, an instruction manual, and even a re-usable box. The cost for 4-H members is $5; $10 for non-members. We hope participants will post photos on our Livingston County 4-H Facebook page of completed projects! Contact the Extension Office By Sept. 7 at 660-646-0811 if interested in participating.

The new 4-H year is just around the corner. Enrollment in 4honline.com begins October 1 st for the 2020-21 4-H year. If you have questions on how to get started or find a club, contact your local MU Extension office, or email murphyse@missouri.edu.