Douglas County members celebrate National 4-H week |

Douglas County members celebrate National 4-H week

by Melissa Blosser
Special to The R-C
4-H Beyond Gardening members Ava Ramsey-Kruse, Leah Schemenauer, Karlyn Ponsness, Ashley Ponsness, Jesslyn Pendery, Leah Ramsey-Kruse and and Jenna Fraser plant flowers at the Danberg Ranch as a community service.
Special to The R-C |

Although many of you have seen them in their white shirts and green ties at regional summer fairs and events, 4-H Projects are active year round. For many involved in 4-H the organization provides a set of values to be carried out through the duration of one’s life. National 4-H week was Oct. 6-12, and our local 4-H projects were actively celebrating .

“4-H is important to Douglas County,” said Matt McKinney, Douglas County 4-H Council President. “Whether it is learning how to use science and technology to create a working solar oven, building worm bins to recycle food scraps, raising an animal for a fair, or learning how to measure ingredients to make an apple pie from scratch, there is something for everyone.”

The 4 H’s stand for Head, Heart, Health and Hands and according to the National 4-H website 4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization. More than 6 million 4-H youth in urban neighborhoods, suburban school yards and rural farming communities stand out among their peers.

“In 4-H you will learn skills that will help you for the duration of your life, “said Shannon Montana, 4-H Youth Development Coordinator. “You will learn how to speak in public, how to write a resume, and how to interview and importantly you will meet new friends that like to do the same things you enjoy.”

Most people in 4-H will agree involvement in 4-H just brings people closer together. Many family conversations are about 4-H. What is next on the calendar? What ideas can the family help with fundraising? What events can be thought of for the club to do? What is a great dish for the potluck? 4-H has a permanent spot on the family calendar.

4-H allows many to have opportunities to travel and access to programs they might otherwise not be able to utilize and many of our local youth have participated in traveling and additional programs offered by 4-H. Members in Douglas County have attended Capital Days in Carson City a state leadership conference, Nevada State Leaders Forum in Las Vegas where youth plan and lead educational workshops for other youth and adults, and Discover Your Future at University of Nevada, Reno where youth can attend mock college classes in fields that are of interest.

4-H is an international program and this year Douglas County will have a member traveling to Samoa for The American Youth Leadership Program with Samoa, which offers youth the opportunity to explore the vast historical and cultural traditions of Samoa. The AYLP with Samoa is designed to advance mutual understanding between the people of the United States and Samoa, prepare youth leaders to become responsible citizens, spark an interest in learning about foreign cultures, and develop a cadre of Americans with cultural understanding who are able to compete effectively in the global economy.

“My daughter, Dominique Groffman who is a teen leader in the Carson Valley 4-H Shepherds Project, will be travelling to Samoa as a delegate and is stunned by how much more 4-H is than just learning proper care for her sheep and competing at fairs”, said 4-H parent and former 4-H Leader Anne Jeton.

The club leaders are some of the best mentors to have. 4-H leaders give countless hours to their clubs and communities. They want to help youth achieve their goals only receive a simple thank you at the end of each year.

In Douglas County, the annual 4-H kick-off event has traditionally been the annual Fall Family Pumpkin Patch at Lampe Park, but this year they are changing things up with a brand new family event, the 4-H Fall Family Costume Ball.

Families can wear their favorite costumes and enjoy an evening of dancing and fall-themed activities. The event is suitable for all ages and includes a costume contest, dancing, limbo and ‘Bring a Decorated Pumpkin’ contest. Face painting, photo booth, games, and refreshments will be available to purchase. Youth must be accompanied by an adult and you do not need to be a 4-H member to attend.

The event will take place 5:30-9 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Contests will be held 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. followed by dancing. Pre-purchase tickets can be purchased at the Douglas County Recreation office $10 per person, ages 4 and younger are free. No tickets will be sold at the door. The phone number is 782-9828.

To find out how you can help support the 4-H contact Montana at 782-9960. You can find out more information about 4-H by visiting

4-H is a youth development program of the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.