By Julene Reese
Utah State University Extension 4-H youth from across the state celebrate National 4-H Week from Oct. 3 to 9 with a variety of positive youth activities and opportunities.
This year’s theme, Find Your Spark!, was created by the National 4-H Council to rally support for 4-H programs across the country and identify solutions to eliminate the opportunity gap that affects 55 million youth across America.
The 4-H program is the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization. With activities focused on STEM, agriculture, civic engagement, healthy living and more, 4-H members learn by doing and tackle the issues that matter most in their communities.
“If there is anything we as adults have learned from working with our amazing 4-Hers, it’s that youth input is essential to finding solutions to our community issues,” said Megan Hendrickson, state 4-H program coordinator. “When given the right tools from their leaders, these kids truly make a difference. We are excited to celebrate our 4-H program and our youth this week.”
Hendrickson said one way to celebrate is by supporting the Fall Paper Clover Campaign. Tractor Supply Co. partners with 4-H to help send youth to 4-H camps and other leadership programs. Visit a Tractor Supply Co. store near you by Oct. 17 and donate $1 at checkout or round up your purchase. Since 2010, the biannual campaign has raised more than $14 million to support 4-H youth.
The 4-H STEM Challenge, an event held every year during National 4-H week, provides a chance for 4-H youth to learn something new, whether it’s with parents, clubs, after-school programs or classrooms. This year’s challenge, Galactic Quest, explores the history of humans in space, the technology and resources needed for missions, and the obstacles humans encounter in orbit. Activities explore important STEM topics ranging from physics and engineering to computer science and space agriculture.
The 4-H program is dedicated to providing activities for Utah youth, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. USU Extension 4-H leaders have hosted virtual camps, virtual scavenger hunts and even virtual horse program contests to allow 4-H youth to continue developing their skills. They have also hosted hybrid events and in-person events as the pandemic has allowed.
To learn more about USU Extension 4-H opportunities in your area, visit Utah4h.org.