During Crawford County 4-H Week - now through Friday - local youth are joining more than six million 4-H members across the nation in a fall membership drive.
Last year, more than 175 county young people were involved in 4-H community clubs where, assisted by adult volunteer leaders, they learned about careers, leadership and citizenship. Another 75 young people were involved in SPIN clubs, special interest clubs that focus on one topic.
Illinois 4-H members prepare for their futures by studying careers related to their 4-H projects.
"4-H offers such a wide variety of projects to choose from." April Knoblett, University of Illinois 4-H program coordinator for Crawford County, explained. "There are more than 100 project areas ranging from rocketry, computer game design, animal science, nutrition and more.
"Along with working on projects, 4-H give youth an opportunity to learn new skills, develop leadership and public speaking as well as meeting new friends," she added.
To join one of the county's seven community clubs, members must have turned 8 years old before Sept. 1. The 4-H Cloverbud program is also available to ages 5 to 8. Cloverbuds have one club in Oblong, and are starting a new Cloverbud group in conjunction with the Zion Country Kids club.
Crawford County also has a few SPIN clubs. Shooting, Sports Archery and Air Rifle, as well as the Jr. Master Gardeners clubs, explore one topic area. Oblong Junior High also offers a Robotics SPIN club as an elective course through the 4-H program. These clubs are also open to members 8 years and older.
For more information about 4-H, contact Knoblett at the University of Illinois Extension Crawford County Office at 546-1549, visit http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cce/ or contact one of the following 4-H Leaders.
Deadline for re-enrollment of past members is Dec. 15, while new members have until Feb. 15 to get enrolled.
Robinson-area 4-H clubs:
Trailblazers, Lauren Gullett, 562-0640, and Jodi Draper 562-0103
Zion Country Kids, Josh and Danielle Adams, 618-557-3025
Robinson Twisters, Jennifer Snyder, 618-421-5494, Jeron Harris, 544-8621
Flat Rock area:
Flat Rock Rockets, Rayanne McGovern, 562-1504
Oblong 4-H Clovers Jessica Ault 618-843-0201 and Sarah Poehler 618-553-8117
Oblong 4-H Cloverbuds (5-7 Year Olds), Jennifer Smith 618-559-7961
Oblong Clover Stars, Shanna Alexander, 562-2327 and Kaitlyn Knollenberg 618-553-4488
Prairie Pals, Laura Collier, 586-2928 and Niki Staley 618-553-0975
Special interest clubs:
Shooting Sports: Archery: Robert and Sarah Rayhel. Contact the U of I Extension Office for information, 546-1549
Jr. Master Gardeners- Jaqui Hollensbe 239-220-1438