— If you think 4-H might be an organization you are interested in joining, now is the time.
An open house for 4-H is scheduled for this Saturday. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Extension Office located at 648 Park Street in Honesdale.
"Our goal is to get more members and to get more volunteer leaders," said Jessica Scull, Cooperative Extension Agent in charge of 4-H in Wayne County.
At the event, Scull said there will be various tables set up to display the multitude of projects which are offered in 4-H.
One area will be set up for the non-livestock projects, which range from cooking to rocketry. There will be current 4-H members on hand to show their displays and answer questions anyone might have about the 4-H program.
There will be another area reserved for the livestock portion of 4-H. Experts in the various fields will be on hand to talk to anyone interested.
Scull said they will be there to "answer as many questions as they can."
Those questions include how long it takes to do a project as well as how much it costs.
Scull also said there will also be a few of the adult leaders on hand for the event to discuss that aspect of 4-H.
The program is split into two categories.
The Clover Bud program is for those who are ages 5-8 while the regular members are ages 8-18.
Anyone is invited to attend Saturday's open house.
Why to join
So why should someone join 4-H? That questions was posed to five 4-H members who were in attendance at Ag Days this week at Honesdale High School.
Here's what they had to say:
• Deb Sullivan is a member of the Explorers 4-H Club and is in her sixth year.
"4-H is for everyone," said Sullivan. "And there are a lot of good opportunities to participate in community service."
Sullivan also said 4-H is "fun. You get to meet other people you normally wouldn't meet."
Sullivan likes it because you can meet people who are outside of the daily school setting.
• Will Jonas is a member of the Pleasant Mount Go Getters 4-H Club and is in his ninth year of service.
Jonas calls 4-H "fun school," and said it is a "different kind of community" that involves the "whole family."
Jonas said he has "learned a lot" from being in 4-H.
He focuses on raising animals, namely steers, dairy cows and pigs.
Page 2 of 3 - That, he said, involves a lot of work which "never stops."
However, Jonas says it is worth the effort.
"It teaches responsibility," said Jonas.
In summary, Jonas said, "There is something for everyone."
• Dominique Jonas is a member of the Pleasant Mount Go Getters 4-H Club and has been for seven years.
"You get to meet new people," said Jonas.
She has been involved in raising dairy animals and says that opens up even more avenues.
"It is a different experience," she said.
In doing dairy, the youth get to travel to district and state competitions.
She called 4-H a "really great opportunity."
And though she focuses on animals, she says there are many different areas of study which people can do as projects. One of her relatives does photography and scrap booking, she said.
She repeated the words of Will Jonas.
"There is something for everyone," she said.
• Emily Jonas is a member of the Cold Spring 4-H Club of Rileyville and has been in the organization for nine years.
"It's the different people I've met," said Jonas of her experiences in 4-H. "You meet a lot of people and we are close together."
She, too, is involved in dairy and likes the fact they get to travel.
Her face lit up when asked about going to the Pennsylvania Farm Show each year, which is basically the state fair of Pennsylvania.
"There are so many different things," she said, adding she tries to sample as much of the delicious food as possible.
Asked why someone should join, she said, "It's a great experience and definitely something you should do."
• Karli Minew is a member of the Giddy Up & Tally Ho 4-H Club of Lake Ariel. A rookie compared to the rest of the group, she has been in 4-H for two years.
"I like the experience to work with different animals," said Minew.
Minew said she has learned how to work with the larger animals and that it is a "give and take relationship."
But Minew said 4-H goes far beyond simply doing projects.
"You learn leadership skills," she said.
As someone who also works with horses, Minew said you also learn about financial matters and balancing accounts.
Overall, she is very happy to be in 4-H and plans to continue in the organization.
"It has been a really good experience," said Minew. "You learn life skills. You learn a lot."
Page 3 of 3 - She also pointed to the "different people skills" which are taught as well as doing community service, which is another part of the 4-H program.
Anyone interested in 4-H can contact Scull at 253-5970, ext. 4110 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.