Have you been thinking of enrolling your child in an extracurricular activity but don’t know which to choose? Well, 4-H may be the perfect solution for your family. 4-H has so many different programs to pick from and is sure to satisfy your kid’s needs. From raising animals to photography to baking, the options are endless.
To provide useful information to new 4-H parents, we asked parents/ guardians of a 4-H student to tell us a little about their experience. Myra Simmons was one of many mothers to take this opportunity to spread the word about this great organization. Below are her thoughts on being a part of the 4-H family.
Tell us a little bit about you and your family.
Our little family unit consists of myself, Myra, the mother, and Cara, my 13-year-old daughter. We are from La Grange, a small rural Texas town.
How long has your child been involved with 4-H?
Cara has been involved in 4-H for 3 years.
How did you hear about 4-H, and why did you decide to enroll your child in this organization?
We have had many friends and family involved in 4-H and knew we wanted to get involved and join the 4-H family.
What 4-H projects does your child participate in?
Cara is involved with showing Rabbits, Baking Cakes, Food and Nutrition, Photography, Record Books, Summer Program and hopes to do more leadership roles in the future.
Has your child participated in and/ or won any contests? If so, what contests were they?
Cara won a Duds to Dazzle summer program challenge, and even though she has not placed high with her rabbits, she learns something critical each year.
What is the time commitment per month?
Depending on the time of year, the time commitment for 4-H can vary. If you are showing animals for certain Major Shows, then time commitments are different; otherwise, meetings are held once a month, and sometimes there are additional meetings for Food and Nutrition events, etc.
What type of monetary commitment does it require for your child’s projects?
The monetary commitment for Cara to be involved in 4-H is very minimal. Again it depends on all the types of programs you are involved with. Showing animals come with varying dollar amounts. For instance, rabbits cost $60+ each, and you need 4, then food, care products, and entry fees can add up to about $500 or less. Baking cakes come with a small entry fee, and the cost of supplies and ingredients is approximately $20.
What goals do you have for your child during her 4-H career?
My goals are for my daughter to learn something new each year, teach either a new member or member in need something new, and truly understand the 4-H Pledge and its relation to all areas of life.
My HEAD to clearer thinking,
My HEART to greater loyalty,
My HANDS to larger service, and
My HEALTH to better living,
For my club, my community, my country, and my world.
What role do you play in 4-H as an adult leader?
I volunteer as much as I can. We have some really great 4-H leaders and a large group of 4-H members. We all provide a helping hand, snacks, support, and canned goods whenever we can.
What is your favorite memory from your child’s time with 4-H?
There have been several favorite memories but one, in particular, was when she entered the Duds to Dazzle contest which was a video of her creation of 2 scarves that were provided. It took us 20+ tries to get a good video that detailed her creation which involved a new kitten. Needless to say, we laughed, we got upset, we wanted to give up, but we kept doing the video because it was the only way to enter the contest due to COVID. It took a few days to hear the results, and when she found out she won, she was so excited and expressed to me that hard work, determination, and not giving up really pays off! That was a great lesson learned!
What advice do you have for new 4-H parents?
My advice for new 4-H parents would be, it may seem overwhelming in the beginning, but you just have to ask questions to the leaders and 4-H members. Don’t think you have to do every program or event. It’s nice for your child to try different programs and see what they want to continue doing and become good stewards of the community.
Myra Simmons and her daughter, Cara, are just two examples of people who have benefited from 4-H. It is an excellent organization for children and teenagers alike.
If you are interested in learning more about other families’ experiences with 4-H, subscribe to our blog!