National 4-H Week
As National 4-H Week begins October 1, 2017, it is a great time to reflect on the value of 4-H. In the early 1900’s a movement began in the US to teach boys agricultural knowledge and skills. These original groups were called corn clubs. Soon after came the tomato clubs which were similar groups for girls. It was not too long that these two groups merge to form 4-H. The first corn club was founded in North Carolina in 1909 in Hertford County. 4-H in North Carolina has grown to reach more than 247,000 youth in 2016 with 2,378 4-H clubs.
In Caldwell County, the first 4-H club was founded in 1925. For the past 92 years 4-H has offered many opportunities to youth all focused on positive youth development. Though the foundation of 4-H was rooted in agriculture, the organization has expanded to include many more programs all while not forgetting the agricultural roots. Youth have been able to participate in raising animals, sewing projects, art projects, public speaking, environmental education activities, shooting sports, and much more. Through the history of Caldwell County 4-H, youth have been able to travel to district, state, and even national conferences, camps, and competitions. Generations in our county have been and continue to be positively impacted by 4-H through clubs, school programs, and summer activities.
There are currently six 4-H clubs in Caldwell County. The six clubs are Saddle Club, Science Club, Envirothon Club, Happy Valley Club, Cooking Club, and Archery Club. The number of clubs will soon grow to seven with an after-school club beginning at Baton Elementary. All of our clubs provide great opportunities for youth to learn and serve in their community. For example, our 4-H Archery has been busy preparing for then competing at the district and state 4-H shooting sports competitions.
The club is led by trained and certified 4-H volunteer leaders.
The youth are taught safety and marksmanship. The shooting disciplines include archery, muzzle loading, pistol, rifle, shotgun, and hunting. Each discipline is taught by a 4-H state certified instructor. The club in Caldwell County started out only competing in the archery discipline, and now the club members are gradually expanding their skills to compete in other disciplines. We had eleven youth compete at the West District 4-H Shooting Sports Competition in August. Eight youth qualified for the state tournament which was held this past Saturday at Millstone 4-H Camp. Those who competed at the state tournament have a chance to qualify for the North Carolina 4-H Shooting Sports Team that will travel to Nebraska next year to compete in the National 4-H Shooting Sports Competition. The Archery Club had two representatives Carter Beane and Noah Burkhimer compete at the National 4-H Shooting Sports Competition this past summer. These 4-H participants have been able to showcase their knowledge and skill in these competitions, but more importantly, they are developing responsibility, integrity, teamwork, and good sportsmanship.
Caldwell County 4-H would like to thank all who provide support through volunteering, funding, or numerous other ways. To learn more about the 4-H Archery Club or any of the other opportunities Caldwell County 4-H has to offer, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-757-1257.