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What is 4-H?

4-H is the non-formal educational youth development program of the University of Florida IFAS (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) and Florida Extension. 4-H is the nation’s LARGEST youth development program and the only one that is university based.

The purpose of 4-H is to help youth become productive members of society. By developing life skills, youth learn practical solutions to problems they will face throughout their life. 4-H membership is open to boys and girls ages 5-18 without regard to sex, disability, race, nationality, or ethnicity.

4-H offers flexible programming to meet youth needs by emphasizing skill building processes and effective outcomes through activities that promote positive values, social responsibility, and lifelong learning. Young people involved in 4-H have the opportunity to:

  • Develop as an individual
  • Learn life skills related to projects
  • Make new friends
  • Work with adult volunteers
  • Develop pride as they learn by doing
  • Develop leadership skills, including the ability to speak before a group
  • Explore projects that may lead to future careers

Learn more about 4-H through a 4-H Orientation course or by reading through the outline of the course here.

What is Escambia County 4-H?

Escambia County 4-H offers many ways for youth and volunteers to be involved. Whether you are interested in a long term commitment to 4-H or want to explore a particular project area, there is something for everyone.

Life long learning and consistent mentorship are tenants of 4-H, as such one of our primary ways to become involved is through our community clubs. Community clubs provide a consistent form of developing community with other 4-H’ers as well as caring adults while youth focus on project areas and work together to develop leadership and build mastery in skills. Here are the clubs we have in Escambia County and a little bit about them as you make your decision how you fit into 4-H:

What is Escambia County
4-H?
What is it? What projects do they do? When does it meet? How much does it cost? Who can participate? How do I get involved? Contact Information
Community Clubs All clubs are required to participate in community service projects. No cost for membership. Participation in projects and other activities vary. 4-H accepts all youth age 5-18 without regard to race, color, gender, sexual orientation, handicap, or national origin. However, community clubs may have enrollment restrictions as not all projects or program activities are deemed appropriate for all age ranges due to either developmental appropriateness, safety, or other considerations. For membership and volunteer opportunities, contact the club leader or your 4-H agent. Special notes listed below.
Technology Wizards This school club is based at Woodham Middle School and receives grant funding toward the pursuit of engaging youth in technology based projects. Science and Technology Varies Youth who attend Woodham Middle School. Carl Shouppe, cshouppe@escambia.k12.fl.us
Barrineau Park Our oldest 4-H club and the oldest in the nation. This club focuses on a variety of projects and is particularly interested in leadership, community service, and livestockdemonstrations, among many others. Various, will pursue any project a youth is interested in. Third Sunday of month 2pm St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in Barrineau Park (3015 St Elizabeth St, Molino, FL). Youth age 8-18 Tena Gindl, tgindl@att.net
Cool Clovers 4-H Club This club is a homeschool youth focused group. This club focuses on a different project each 4-H year. This year, their focus was robotics Second Thursday of each month from 1-3pm at the Langley Bell 4-H Center or Charity Chapel, 5820 Montgomery Avenue, Pensacola Homeschooled youth age 8-18 This club is currently at its maximum capacity for members. Christine Rodgers,  mikechristine333@yahoo.com
Dixon School OTA 4-H Club This school club engages with youth at Dixon Elementary school during the school day. Varies, particular focus on leadership and public speaking Varies Youth age 5-13 who attend Dixon Elementary School Stephanie Stephens,  stpstephens1@bellsouth.net
Escambia County 4-H Shooters and Archers This shooting and archery project focused club works with youth primarily in the Molino area but is open to all. They pursue various projects throughout the year, including life skills and community service. Shooting sports and other various projects Varies Youth age 8-18, Youth age 8-18 for archery and air rifle projects, 11-18 for shotgun projects Charles and Tina Pendleton, capendleton72@gmail.com
Escambia County Horse Club This club focuses on various projects including equine science, leadership, public speaking, photography, and community service. Various Twice a month, time and location varies, typically Sundays 2-4pm; May meet at horse barn the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month for equine studies. Youth age 8-18 Sharon Tanner,  kellydt64@yahoo.com
Escambia County Leadership 4-H Club This leadership driven club focuses on teen leadership development and pursues various community and leadership projects. Leadership and Civic Service 2nd Tuesday of each month at 6pm at the Langley Bell 4-H Center. Youth age 14-18 Pam Allen, pha@ufl.edu
Lost Bay 4-H Club Various Youth age 8-18 Sonia Bush, fivebush@cox.net
Lucky Clovers This club focuses on the showmanship and competition of small livestock animals which youth raise themselves. Livestock, small animals Pine Forest Methodist Church, date and time dependent on show schedule. Youth age 8-18 Shellie Gruenwald, seahorse32526@gmail.com
Molino Livestock Club This club focuses on livestock showmanship and competitions. Livestock There is no cost for membership, however livestock competitions, maintenance, and grooming vary in their cost. Youth age 8-18 Jack Livingston, livfarms@frontiernet.net,
Nature Nerds This club for homeschooled youth focuses on a variety of projects, particularly those related to outdoor sportsmanship and recreation. Nature and Outdoors, various Homeschooled youth age 8-18 Joanne Megginson, megginsonpn@att.net
Northview 4-H Club This club focuses on outdoor sportsmanship, specifically archery and shotgun sports. Shooting sports Youth age 8-18 for archery and air rifle projects, 11-18 for shotgun projects Tina Pendleton,  tinalovesscents@gmail.com
 

 

Olive Heights 4-H Club

 

 

This club is particularly interested in leadership and life skills as well as performance arts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Youth age 8-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chinesa Sunday, markita@ufl.edu

Perdido Bay Equestrians This club focuses primarily on horses, their care, and the skills of riding and showmanship. Members attend horse shows and summer horse camp. Horse Twice a month, Sunday afternoons. There is no cost for membership, however horse competitions, clinics, and camps vary in their cost. Youth age 8 -17 This club is currently at its maximum capacity for members. Kelley Thompson, k.thompson@bellsouth.net
Spectrum Junior 4-H Club Spectrum Junior has varied project focuses for youth age 8-13, but particularly focus on leadership and community service. Various First Saturday or Sunday after the first Monday of each month, 2:30-3:30pm at 2330 Teate Avenue Youth age 8 – 13 This club would like to expand both its volunteers and membership. Tamika Wyrick, supermommika@yahoo.com
Spectrum Senior Spectrum is named such because it covers a wide spectrum of projects offered in 4-H. Members are involved in varied forms of leadership and other life skills projects. This club is very active in annual 4-H activities such as camp, Executive Board, and Legislature various First Saturday or Sunday after the first Monday of each month at 2330 Teate Avenue Youth age 14-18 Angela Eligio,  eeligio@cox.net
Military Clubs Florida 4-H welcomes this partnership to support 4-H clubs and activities for military youth with the Navy. Florida 4-H now offers military youth at the Florida Naval Station the opportunity to be involved in 4-H clubs, camps, afterschool projects and programs. 4-H also has representation on both military bases in Pensacola: at Corry and NAS. Currently, these clubs are available to those youth that attend the Corry or NAS child development centers Youth age 5-18
Corry Navy Base Cloverbuds Youth age 5-7 at Corry Child Development Center various Michelle Ware, mrw4kids@gmail.com
Corry Navy Junior 4-H Club Youth age 8-10 Corry Child Development Center various
Pensacola Navy Cloverbuds Youth age 5-7 at NAS Child Development Center various Cindy Burns, 261-7127
Pensacola Navy Intermediates Youth age 11-13 at NAS Child Development Center various
Pensacola Navy Juniors Youth age 8-10 at NAS Child Development Center various
4-H Afterschool
St. John’s Super Leaders 4-H Club Youth of St. John’s the Evangelist Catholic School can participate in an afterschool 4-H club that focuses on a variety of leadership and life skills projects. various St. John’s the Evangelist Catholic School 325 South Navy Blvd. Youth age 8 – 18 who attend St. John’s Academy Caroline Bush, guidance@sjsw.ptdiocese.org

Your youth can also be involved through their local school through In School Curriculum. We currently offer the following:

Ag in the Classroom Florida Agriculture in the Classroom, Inc. (FAITC) is a non-profit organization that develops and trains teachers and agriculture industry volunteers in its agricultural curricula and materials, which they in turn use to educate students about the importance of agriculture. An important part of this is Agricultural Literacy Day in which Extension Agents enter the classroom to read a book about agriculture and educate youth about the value of agriculture. In school education projects varies No cost Any school can participate Any school can be involved in Ag in the Classroom. Contact an agent and set up times for the agent to lead your class with agricultural curricula or set up a training so you can lead projects in your class or school.
Tropicana Public Speaking Program The Tropicana Public Speaking contest is a state event that invites 4th-6th graders to write and present a 2-3 minute speech on the topic of their choice. An educational program aimed at teaching young people the techniques of effective public speaking. The week long program is designed to give elementary age students experience in the preparation and delivery of a speech.  It is taught by classroom teachers and culminates in a county level competition. Public Speaking February- May in classrooms around the county 4th-6th graders Any school can participate  Let your agent know you are interested in having your school participate and we will supply you with the material to get you started and let you know when the county level competition is scheduled.

Youth who do not wish to be involved in a community club can also experience the educational benefits of 4-H and the community we have through individual study:

Individual Study  Independent 4-H members participate in planned learning outside of a club setting.  Their work is self-directed with guidance and support of parents and mentors.  Self-study, home study, mentoring or shadowing with an “expert,” and whole families learning together are examples of 4-H independent membership. Six hours of independent study or participation in project related workshops or special interest programs must be documented. Various, all projects are available for independent study Independent study, mentoring or workshop attendance must be independently scheduled, however, coordination assistance can be provided by a 4-H agent No membership cost. Additional costs vary according to project. Youth 8-18 Contact a 4-H agent to find out about how to register as an independent 4-H’er and to acquire project curricula and other materials.

Our youth are also involved a wide array of competitions and educational trips that enhance their ability to demonstrate skills they have learned and to build on mastery of those skills through special interest programs designed to address specific interests or skills youth would like to develop. Here are a few of the ones we are currently involved with:

Special Interest Programs
County and District Events Each year, 4-H youth compete at the county and district level to demonstrate skills they have acquired throughout the year. These demonstrations are important in reflecting an important tenant of 4-H, mastery. All 4-H projects from the year are admissible. Annually. County events usually occurs in March, District events in April or May No cost Youth age 8-18, Cloverbud aged youth do not compete. Club participation is required to compete in county and district events.
4-H County Council County Council is the voice of 4-H’ers in the county. It includes elected representatives from the 4-H Clubs and groups in the county. Leadership and Civic Service Monthly during the club year No cost Club members elected to County Council
4-H District Council District Council is made up of representation from County Councils in a given district. Escambia County is part of District 1 which includes Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties Leadership and Civic Service Biannually No cost County Council members elected to District Council
Special Interest Workshops Throughout the year, including the summer, the county 4-H office will coordinate special interest workshops that relate to particular 4-H projects. These will engage experts in particular fields with youth and/or to provide advanced educational training in an area or to supplement project curricula. various Varies Varies These workshops may or may not be open to the public. Participation in 4-H will lend itself to a more engaged understanding of a project and support the ideal of long term learning. Stay updated at our 4-H Calendar at escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/4h/ to stay abreast of current workshop offerings. Youth and volunteers can participate in these workshops.
GCA&NRYO Livestock Competition The Gulf Coast Agricultural and Natural Resources Youth Organization exists as an outlet for youth in Escambia county to participate in livestock shows throughout the year. These competitions are organized as a partnership between GCA&NRYO and 4-H Escambia County Livestock Competition Annually, usually April No cost to compete. Competition is open to the public. Volunteers are always welcome at these events as well as members to demonstrate their showmanship. Stay updated at our website or ask a 4-H agent about how you can get involved in showmanship and livestock demonstrations.
Livestock Shows 4-H offers a livestock competition yearly for its members. Youth who have worked on a livestock project throughout the year have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills. Livestock Competition Annually, usually March No cost to compete. 4-H members who have pursued a livestock related project. Volunteers are always welcome at these events as well as members to demonstrate their showmanship. Stay updated at our website or ask a 4-H agent about how you can get involved in showmanship and livestock demonstrations.
Pensacola Interstate Fair Each year, 4-H youth demonstrate the projects they have worked on that apply to fair guidelines, many of these are family and consumer science projects. Projects will be on display throughout the fair period and be judged by fair officials toward a scholarship competition. Various, primarily family and consumer science projects. Annually, October Varies 4-H members who have a project that meets fair guidelines may participate. Ask your 4-H agent about volunteering at the fair or what type of projects are admissible.
Consumer Judging Youth can learn the process of judging and become judges themselves as they work with their peers on projects including livestock. Various Varies Varies 4-H’ers who pursue judging projects and learn the elements of judging by participating in a related project themselves. Livestock judging is the primary outlet in Escambia County currently for youth wishing to participate in consumer judging. We welcome volunteers who have skill in this area and would like to pursue this as a special interest workshop or club.
Area A Horse Show Each year 4-H clubs across the state hold countless local and county horse shows. In the spring, each of the six Areas has a qualification show to determine who will be able to participate at the State show. Only the top percentage from each Area qualify to go to State (percent may change annually; in 2015 its 62%). Moving up through the levels of 4-H Horse Shows is a very competitive process and requires good sportsmanship and a thorough knowledge of all the rules by everyone involved. Horse Competition Annually, usually April Varies 4-H youth who have pursued a horse project throughout the year. Horse projects are intensive. We are always looking for skilled volunteers to assist with these clubs and projects. Find a horse club and contact their leader for more information. http://animal.ifas.ufl.edu/youth/horse/shows.shtml
4-H Day at the Capitol 4-H Day at the Capitol is an educational event that provides youth an opportunity to tour different parts of Tallahassee and the Capitol.  Youth will have an opportunity to visit with their Legislators and watch them in action on the floor of the Senate and House Leadership and Civic Service Annually, usually April Varies 4-H youth 14-18 Become a 4-H member to participate in this event or volunteer by contacting your local 4-H agent. http://florida4h.org/programsandevents_/capitolday/
4-H Camps
Day Camps 4-H Day Camps provide theme centered educational days during the summer that engage youth with science, technology, life skills projects and more. These camps are intended to be an entry point in to the life long learning of a 4-H program. Various Throughout the summer Typically $5 per day Open to the public. Varies according to project area in regards to age of participants and the number of participants allowed. Register with the 4-H office as a youth or sign up as a volunteer. All are welcome, first come first served.
Camp Timpoochee Each year we spend a week at Camp Timpoochee, located in Niceville, FL, offers outdoor adventures and engaged learning in a classical camp setting with trained camp staff and supervisory counselors, all on the beautiful Choctawhatchee Bay. Various Summer, varied weeks, June 8-12 in 2015 The camp fee ($240) includes transportation, four days and five nights, all meals, camp t-shirt, daily snacks, There is no requirement to be a 4-H’er to attend. Youth age 8 – 13 are welcome as campers. Youth age 14 – 17 can apply to be counselors or counselors in training. Youth can register at the 4-H office http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/4h/4-h-summer-camp/
Intermediate State This weekend provides insight into what other 4-H members do in their community from around the state. Intermediate youth will also learn about opportunities that will be available to them as Senior 4-H members such as 4-H Legislature, 4-H University, and State Council. Various Annually, usually May, May 29-31 in 2015 in Tallahassee $75 4-H’ers 11-13 Register online or with the 4-H office to attend as a youth. http://florida4h.org/programsandevents_/intermediate-state/
4-H Legislature Senior 4-H’ers come together to develop their skills debating, analyzing legislation, and speaking publicly all while making new friends and having a whole lot of fun. At this civic education event, youth write bills, then act as lobbyists, Representatives, or Senators to pass the bills through committee and then present, and debate, them on the Capitol House or Senate Floor. They have the opportunity to debate issues and experience the legislative process hands-on while having a great time with their friends! Leadership and Civic Service Annually during the summer, June 15-19 in 2015 in Tallahassee $230 Senior 4-H’ers ages 13 to 18 as of September 1 of the current 4-H year. Contact your 4-H agent to attend as a youth. http://florida4h.org/programsandevents_/leg/
4-H University 4-H University gives youth an opportunity to discover the University of Florida campus, explore career possibilities with a variety of fun, engaging workshops, interact with faculty, volunteers, and teens throughout the state, help others and the neighboring communities through various service opportunities, and meet new friends and they compete among other 4-H’ers in project areas and gain experiences that help to prepare them for college life. Various Annually during the summer July 27-31 in 2015 $230 Youth age 14-18
Executive Council Meetings Elected youth leaders from District Council meet to represent 4-H among other agencies and committees, serve as a sounding board for 4-H membership, assist with planning and implementation of 4-H programs, and make recommendations for state programming. Leadership and Civic Service Three times a year in preparation for 4-H Legislature Varies 4-H Elected Youth
National 4-H Congress Florida 4-H University competition allows youth to advance to the national level where they can compete against youth across the country as well as learn about the projects that are being pursued nationwide. This is a great opportunity to expand on the tenet of belonging to a community that is central to the mission of 4-H Various Annually in the fall, November 27- Dec. 1 in 2015 Varies 4-H Youth age 14-18 http://national4-hcongress.com/

If you don’t see something here that interests you, give us a call, there is a place for everyone in 4-H. If you are interested in volunteering, we always love to have caring adults work with our youth and help to pass along their experience and skills. Check out our information on volunteering here to find out how to get involved.

Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/4h/what-is-4-h/