Morgan County 4-H program is growing
Some 95 Morgan County youth are in the 4-H program, with 65 of them older members. 4-H program assistant Cindy Smalley said they had 30 younger Cloverbud members this year, which is an increase. Cloverbud members are age five through eight.
There are five 4-H clubs—the Settlers (Berkeley Springs), the Mountaineers (Paw Paw), the Explorers (Greenwood), the Tuscarorians (Great Cacapon) and the Mighty Iroquois. (Pleasant View and Sleepy Creek).
The Settlers Cloverbuds were exploring science activities and rocketry, the Iroquois Cloverbuds nutrition and the Tuscarorian Cloverbuds soda bottle rocket projects. The whole Mountaineer Club was doing cooking, Smalley said.
Other Cloverbud projects included dog, cats, pets, birds, bugs, bicycles and horses. Cloverbud projects are non-competitive and done just for fun. Older 4-H member projects are judged and graded.
4-H member projects included recycling, bicycling, animals (pigs, chickens, horses and cats), hiking, woodworking, money fundamentals and self-determined projects.
Some 37 older 4-H members enjoyed a week of camp with their age group. Camp included sports, recreational classes, arts and crafts, swimming, science activities, writing songs and creating skits and stunts.
Crafts included making friendship bracelets, leather stamping and tie-dying. New camp activities this year were Yoga and sign language.
Around half of the Cloverbuds went to an afternoon day camp. Children played water games, sang and made huge bubbles they could stand in, Smalley said. The theme was Australia. Kids made boomerangs and didgeridoos.
National 4-H supports Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities, Smalley said. The past few years she has done national science experiments in the schools.
This year Smalley did a wind power experiment using dowels and cardboard boxes with students. They created the blades and used a meter to measure the power generated, she said. Smalley also did an experiment on carbon dioxide and water pollution.
The Morgan County Fair is always a good place for people to see the kids’ 4-H projects, Smalley said. The annual cake auction on Saturday afternoon is their big 4-H fundraiser.
4-H will have baby chicks at the fair. They’ll sponsor the watermelon-eating contest and provide children’s games at the Farm Olympics. They are hoping to offer the 4-H shooting sports—archery and air rifle.
Smalley went to Charleston with middle school and high school members who served as House and Senate pages in the State Legislature.
Kids also had a free rollerskating trip and swimming party. Some 75 4-H members and parents visited the Steven Fudvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum.
There are no dues for 4-H, any uniforms and project books are provided free through West Virginia University grants. For more information about 4-H, call the Morgan County Extension Office at 304-258-8400.