BOONE COUNTY — Boone County 4-H is proud to join with youth all across the country in celebrating “National 4-H Week,” Oct. 4-10.
4-H is a youth development organization operated by the West Virginia University Extension Service open to all boys and girls ages 9 to 21.
A wide variety of programs are offered through 4-H, mainly focusing on citizenship, healthy living, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).
National 4-H Week kicks off the 2015-16 club year, which will run from October through September.
Boone County currently has 4-H clubs in Van, Madison Elementary, Brookview Elementary, Madison Middle, and Scott High School, and is always looking to form new clubs.
In 1915, the first 4-H camp in the nation was held at Camp Good Luck in Randolph County, West Virginia, so this summer, Boone County joined programs across the state in celebrating 100 years of 4-H camping.
In July, 117 youth attended Boone County 4-H Camp, held at Camp Sheppard near Spencer in Roane County.
In addition to our county camp, 66 elementary-aged youth attended one of our two new STEM day camps at WaterWays Park in Julian and John Slack Park in Racine.
Boone County 4-H was also well-represented on the state level, with 5 members attending Older Members Conference and 23 attending Alpha 2 State 4-H Camp, both of which were held at Jackson’s Mill, the state 4-H camp in Lewis County. In all, 2015 was a great year for 4-H camping in Boone County.
Outside of traditional programming like clubs and camp, 4-H offers some new and innovative programs in the county. Boone County 4-H has partnered with Boone County Schools to start several robotics programs. Currently, more than 150 students at Madison Middle, Sherman Junior High, Sherman Elementary, and Whitesville Elementary are part of FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics teams.
These teams will compete at the Boone County 4-H Robotics Tournament on Oct. 24 at the Madison Civic Center for a chance to advance to the regional and state competitions.
Last year, a team from Madison Middle won first place at the regional competition in Charleston, and two teams from MMS advanced to the state competition in Fairmont.
Boone County is currently the only county in the state with enough FLL teams to hold its own competition before the regional.
In addition, Boone County 4-H has helped form and sponsor two robotics teams at Sherman High School that will be competing at the VEX Robotics Regional Tournament in Charleston in January.
The WVU Extension Service also offers 4-H health programming to youth throughout Boone County. Each elementary school in the county participates in the Family Nutrition Program on a three-year rotation, with students learning how to make health food choices. Other health programs offered to schools in the county include “Germ City,” a handwashing program designed to help children prevent the spread of illness and disease.
During National 4-H Week, Boone County 4-H is pleased to celebrate all the youth who participated in its camps, clubs and programs over the last year, thank Boone County Schools, the Boone County Commission, and all the community sponsors that make the programs possible, and look forward to another year filled with fun and innovative educational programs.
For more information about programs or to join a 4-H club in Boone County, please call the WVU Extension office at 304-369-5869 or contact by email at Philip.See@mail.wvu.edu.
Fred Pace is an editor for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-369-1165, ext. 1661, in Madison; at 304-752-6950, ext. 1729 in Logan; by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or @fcpace62 on Twitter.