Oct. 2-8 is National 4-H Week

October 5, 2005

Oct. 2-8 is National 4-H Week. This is the week to celebrate an excellent program that has offered experiential learning activities for youth for more than one hundred years.

The 4-H Program helps youth to develop leadership, citizenship and life skills through a wide range of clubs, workshops, youth exchanges, camps, and other special activities.

Here in Hood River County, the Oregon State University Extension Service 4-H Program is a well-established program that seeks to provide educational and healthy activities for youth in grades K-12.

The opportunities that Hood River County 4-H offers to youth are numerous, from traditional animal, sewing and cooking clubs to clubs in new areas such as Gardening, Art and Mexican Folkloric Dance.

We currently have more than fifty clubs, with approximately 500 youth and adults involved throughout the year. It is important to note that because 4-H offers such a wide range of youth programs, the best way to find out about everything that is available is to contact Billie Stevens at the Extension office.

In addition to established clubs, there is always the opportunity for 4-H to help create new clubs and programs based on the specific interests of area youth. One recent example is the new 4-H Art Club that formed earlier this year.

A young mother of four contacted the Extension office to ask about an art club, but we didn’t have one at the time. With her interest in getting an art club started, we were able to locate other interested youth and adults.

The Art Club has now had a successful summer, with all of the participants displaying their artwork at the County Fair. Furthermore, the group has been awarded a grant to pursue their art skills while also assisting with anti-tobacco education in the community.

Another wonderful program new to Hood River County 4-H is the after-school program starting this fall. “Nutrition Fun” is a series of three fun classes emphasizing healthy eating and physical activity. The Junior Master Gardener Program, a fun hands-on gardening project, begins Oct. 24. Both programs are offered to all third through fifth graders and take place after school once a week at Mid Valley, May Street and Westside elementary schools.

There are numerous ways in which adults can volunteer with the Hood River County 4-H Program. We rely greatly on the wonderful adults who volunteer to share their knowledge and experience as club leaders. Parents and other adults can also assist groups as club co-leaders or volunteer at special events and workshops.


Want to learn more?

For more about the Hood River County 4-H Program, please contact Billie Stevens or Sonja Huebner at the Extension Office, phone: (541) 386-3343 or visit the 4-H Web site: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/hoodriver/

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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