Tag Archive: Military

4-H Provides Opportunities for Military Volunteers

Through 4-H, Victoria is able to share her skills and passions to help young people grow workforce and life skills.

Victoria Ballard came to Santa Rosa County 4-H in 2011 from Texas.  Her family has been involved in 4-H since her oldest daughter turned eight.  As a military spouse, Victoria has seen 4-H in two states.  Prudence Caskey, the Santa Rosa County 4-H Extension Agent, has worked closely with Victoria and the two clubs that she leads. These clubs have completed projects on Marine Science, Wildlife, Horseless Horse, Robotics, and Veterinary Science; in addition to supporting a wide variety of individual projects such as poultry, photography, leadership, community service, and many more.  To say that Victoria is vital to the success of the 4-H clubs that she leads would be an understatement. But the true success of the clubs comes from the dedication of the youth leaders that volunteer to serve as club officers and run the meetings and present program. The youth, ages 8-17, work together to decide their projects and activities, and learn what it takes to run an official meeting and be a leader in the community.

Victoria worked diligently to establish a summer horse day camp program.  Creating the schedule, designing activities and obtaining volunteers was all part of the process, and she handled every aspect of the program.  “When you find a volunteer’s passion, then you can just let them take the reins, so to speak”, says Prudence Caskey, 4-H Extension Agent.  “She has a passion for horses and youth and so it was such a natural fit!”

When asked what she enjoys most about being a 4-H volunteer, Victoria says, “I really enjoy teaching kids about technology and animals that otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to those topics.”  Prudence Caskey said, “We would not have been able to implement nor offer several programs if not for the tenacity and dedication of Victoria.”

Do you have knowledge and skills that you would like to share with young people?  Consider becoming a 4-H volunteer.  4-H is in every county, in every state, and several countries, so it a perfect opportunity for military families especially.  4-H offers a wide variety of roles to fit any schedule.  To find out more, contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office or visit http://florida4h.org.

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Author: Prudence Caskey – prudencecaskey@ufl.edu

Prudence Caskey

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/04/26/4-h-provides-opportunities-for-military-volunteers/

4-H Grows Leaders Through Military Partnership

michael individualThe month of April provides an opportunity to recognize and honor the service of our youngest heroes, military children. Since 1986, April has been designated Month of the Military Child. This allows us to acknowledge the significant role military youth play in our communities and honor them for their commitment and sacrifice. They are resilient and take pride in their service to our Country. They deserve our appreciation and support.
I am so excited to introduce you to one of our 4-H grown military youth, Michael. He began as a Bay County 4-H member as a summer camper three years ago. Michael then became involved with the 4-H club programs on base through the 4-H Torch Leadership Club. He serves as a peer mentor to other military youth in the base school age program. His work with younger youth includes helping them design, plant, and maintain a garden at their youth center. Assisting with homework and school struggles. Michael also participates in the 4-H Archery Program. In February, he was nominated as “Teen of the Month”. At camp this year, he is looking forward to serving as a counselor-in-training. Michael has adopted a quarterly service project using cooking skills he acquired from the 4-H foods and nutrition project to prepare and serve food to the single military members. He and his club are currently perfecting their entrepreneurial skills while working on a service project to support local veterans. He is also on the school track team. Michael is a phenomenal youth with a heart of gold and passion for helping others. He is a well-rounded young man that is very involved in 4-H. He exemplifies the 4 H’s – Head, Hands, Heart and Health. One of his club leaders, Ms. Heather said he really shows an interest in the younger youth and takes his role as a peer mentor seriously. She relayed a story of Michael taking extra time from his schedule to help a youth he wasMichael garden mentoring prepare for an upcoming test. His mentee was struggling to understand the material that was going to be tested on the next day, so extra time was needed reviewing the material.
When I ask Michael what he felt he was getting out of being a 4-H member at the youth center and at camp, he responded “I feel that for the last few years since I have been in 4-H, I have become more outgoing, confident and experienced in so many ways. If not for 4-H, I might still be sitting in my room all day playing video games. I especially like helping others whenever I can whether it’s at the Youth Center or at Summer Camp. So to me, 4-H is an amazing program that has been a positive influence in my life and in michael robot cropmaking me the person I am today.”

If you are a teen and want to learn more about how you can volunteer in your own county, please contact your local extension agent. Volunteering is a time investment that will pay you back exponentially through the growth you see in the youth and program you’re affiliated with. Volunteers come in all forms from peer mentors, camp counselors, to committee members. Follow the links below to see how you can help 4-H expand our capacity to reach more youth, more families, and more communities through utilizing your skills, your knowledge, and your story!  #trueleaders #4hgrows

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Author: pmdavis – pmdavis@ufl.edu

4-H Youth Development Faculty Bay County Extension
http://bay.ifas.ufl.edu/4-h/

pmdavis

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/04/29/4-h-grows-leaders-through-military-partnership/

4-H Military Partnership

4-H Agent Misty Smith trains staff at Eglin air force base.

4-H Agent Misty Smith trains staff at Eglin air force base.

Did you know that 4-H and the military have a partnership to help support military youth? Most people don’t know that there is a strong partnership between 4-H and all branches of the military to include the National Guard, and Reserves. 4-H clubs have been established on nearly every Army, Navy, and Air Force installation worldwide, while 4-H clubs in communities provide support to military youth living off base installations.

4-H clubs provide consistency and belonging, and an opportunity to develop life skills through a positive youth development framework. As a parent’s military role causes frequent moves, 4-H clubs provide familiarity and stability throughout the military child’s life. Military youth can find 4-H in every county in the U.S. and on overseas installations, making new transitions easier because they can continue on with their 4-H work. Research shows 4-H youth excel beyond their peers: 4-H youth are more likely to be civically active, make contributions to their communities, participate in science programs during out-of-school time, and make healthier choices. (Tufts University, 2012)

Military youth involved in 4-H are also able to participate in local, state, and national events and may qualify for military scholarships to help offset the cost of these events. Every year, 4-H’ers have the opportunity to participate in overnight camp in the Panhandle of Florida. One camp that is offered at Camp Timpoochee, located in Niceville, is Camp Corral. Camp Corral is an amazing week of non-stop fun and excitement in the great outdoors for children (ages 8 to 15) of our military heroes. It’s for the children of brave soldiers who have been injured or fallen protecting our freedom, our way of life.

Read more about our military programs in last year’s military volunteer post, 4-H Military Volunteers Hit the Bull’s-eye.  Parents and youth can get more information on the 4-H Military Partnership by contacting their school age program located on any military installation, visit http://florida4h.org, or contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office.  

 

 

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Author: Heather Kent – hckent@ufl.edu

Heather Kent is the Regional Specialized 4-H Agent in the Northwest Extension District.

Heather Kent

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/04/22/4-h-military-partnership/

Go Purple to Support Military Youth

Show military youth that you care- wear purple on April 8th!

Show military youth that you care- wear purple on April 8th!

April is the Month of The Military Child! When we think of honoring our military, we often think of Memorial Day and Veterans Day.  Did you know there is also a time identified to honor our youngest heroes, military children?  Since 1986, April has been designated Month of the Military Child. This allows us to honor military children and their families for their commitment and sacrifice. In Florida we have over 51,000 military youth who deal with situations like having their parents in harm’s way when they deploy. Most people think of the color green when they think of 4-H, but on April 8th, 4-H youth and volunteers in Florida will be sporting the color purple to show support for our military families.

Imagine if someone close to you were deployed.  Would you like to see all the news reports showing bombs exploding and people shooting at each other?  How would you feel about having long and repeated separations when your parent misses important events like birthdays, holidays, school and sporting events? Would you like it if your family had frequent relocations/moves?  Every time families move, children have to make new friends, get used to new schools, and find new 4-H clubs and teams to join.

A lot of military children take these changes in stride and some even thrive on them, but it is also hard – kids have to rebuild their world every time they move.  UF/IFAS Extension and 4-H are proud to be a part of the military family working with youth centers across the nation to have some consistency for youth in these situations and who are making these moves.

Here locally we want you to join us in showing your support and to celebrate our young heroes! Participate in the 6th annual Purple Up! For Military Kids Wear purple on Friday, April 8th, as a visible way to show support and thank military children for their strength and sacrifices. Why purple? Purple is the color that symbolizes all branches of the military, as it is the combination of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red and Navy blue.

The goal is for our military youth to see the support of their community. Please join us in honoring these young heroes as we Purple Up! For Military Kids on April 8th! Be creative….the goal is for military youth to see the support in their school, youth groups, and the community! If you don’t have or own a purple shirt wear a purple ribbon, tie, headband etc. Just show your support and let our youth know we care about them! Can’t make the 8th then do something another day in April. We would like to encourage you to take pictures of your group wearing purple and share them on social media. If you are willing to share then e-mail them to us.:bay@ifas.ufl.edu or post photos to Facebook and tag us https://www.facebook.com/bayifas/ or comment and add your photo.

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Author: pmdavis – pmdavis@ufl.edu

4-H Youth Development Faculty Bay County Extension
http://bay.ifas.ufl.edu/4-h/

pmdavis

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/04/01/go-purple-to-support-military-youth/

Military 4-H Volunteers Hit the Bullseye

Military 4-H Volunteers Hit the Bullseye

Volunteers insure that military youth have a consistent, quality 4-H experience.

Volunteers insure that military youth have a consistent, quality 4-H experience.

April is the Month of the Military Child, and no Volunteer Appreciation Celebration would be complete without acknowledging our 4-H military volunteers.  The team of volunteers and staff at the Naval Support Activity Youth Center in Panama City ensure that military youth have an opportunity to participate in a wide variety of 4-H Programs at their youth center. One of the newest programs they offer is the 4-H shooting sports project. The leadership team for this 4-H club include Ms. Alana, Mr. Cole, Ms. Heather, Ms. Jessica, Ms. Shelby and Ms. Tammy. To allow all interested youth to participate, they started multiple archery clubs that meet weekly helping new archers develop strength, accuracy, and discipline. A small competitive traveling team has also been organized to help youth improve their skills and potential of becoming competitive archers through their 4-H learning experiences.

Cole is a five year veteran 4-H volunteer who did not grow up in 4-H, but was drawn into the program by the opportunity to teach youth life and workface related skills through projects like archery, aerospace, film making, photography, outdoor cookery, robotics and rocketry. His favorite 4-H experience so far has been with the rocketry project: “The youth just really got into it! We learned about force, drag and flight. It was a unified project where everyone became involved and the learning just exploded. They were learning physics, science, and communication skills all at once. 4-H can really make a difference and cause youth to consider different careers too. It is really nice when you see a child that may be struggling in a different part of their life find their niche during one of the 4-H projects. You just see their confidence sky rocket and then carry over into their social confidence also.”

When talking with him recently he said that “4-H is conducive to relationship building while learning life skills allowing both youth and myself to grow. It gives us an organized meeting time with specific goals and direction allowing us to maximize our time and growth. It helps make a difference because it is the conduit running in the background to allow everything to happen. 4-H allows the flexibility of being able to try ideas, experience things and make their curricula work for my needs. The best part is that when youth leave here they have something consistent to look forward to at their next duty station. It provides youth with one consistent thing to look forward to. I feel like we are literally planting the seeds to help youth develop their life skills. The program is nationwide and can help with the many changes and challenges our youth face. We are an important cog in the wheel for navy youth.”

According to the Tufts University study on positive youth development, 4-H helps youth build resiliency, which is especially important for military youth.

According to the Tufts University study on positive youth development, 4-H helps youth build resiliency, which is especially important for military youth.

Cole offers advice for anyone thinking about working with 4-H and kids. “If you have even an inkling that you would enjoy working with youth, then do so! It can be very valuable to that child, to know someone cares about them. Your follow through with one child can make a great deal of difference in their life and be the encouragement they need to become something great. Quite often there are not enough role models and caring adults for today’s children. Take the 4-H challenge and help a kid today!”

Dr. Paula Davis, the Bay County 4-H Agent says, “I want to recognize that this 4-H club is truly a team effort. With so many youth involved, it definitely can’t be done with one just person.  I really appreciate the teams diligence, enthusiasm, and willingness to try new things with 4-H.  The quality of a youth’s 4-H experience to a large extent depends on the relationship built between the 4-H members and their volunteer leaders, and these are some of the best!”

Do you have a passion or expertise that you would like to pass on to the next generation?  Consider becoming a 4-H volunteer- we offer a wide variety of opportunities to fit your interests and schedule.  Contact your local UF IFAS Extension Office or visit http://florida4h.org/volunteers.

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Author: pmdavis – pmdavis@ufl.edu

4-H Youth Development Faculty Bay County Extension
http://bay.ifas.ufl.edu/4-h/

pmdavis

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/04/16/military-4-h-volunteers-hit-the-bullseye/

4-H Goes “Purple” to Show Support to Military Families

Most people think of the color green when they think of 4-H, but on April 10th, 4-H youth and volunteers in Florida will be sporting the color purple to show support for our military families.  When we think of honoring our military, we often think of Memorial Day and Veterans Day.  Did you know there is also a time identified to honor military children?  Since 1986, April has been designated Month of the Military Child. This allows us to honor military children for their commitment and sacrifice. Here in the Florida Panhandle we have over 27,800 military youth who deal with situations like having their parents in harm’s way when they deploy.

Tyndall 2

Imagine if someone close to you were deployed.  Would you like to see all the news reports showing bombs exploding and people shooting at each other?  How would you feel about having long and repeated separations when your parent misses important events like birthdays, holidays, school and sporting events? Would you like it if your family had frequent relocations/moves?  Every time families move, children have to make new friends, get used to new schools, and find new 4-H clubs and teams to join.

A lot of military children take these changes in stride and some even thrive on them, but it is hard also – kids have to rebuild their world every time they move.  UF/IFAS Extension and 4-H are proud to be a part of the military family working with youth centers across the nation to have some consistency for youth in these situations and who are making these moves. Here locally we want you to join us in showing your support.

So what can you do to show them that we appreciate their sacrifices?

1. Participate in the 4th annual Purple Up! For Military Kids Wear purple on Friday, April 10th, as a visible way to show support and thank military children for their strength and sacrifices. Why purple? Purple is the color that symbolizes all branches of the military, as it is the combination of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red and Navy blue.

2. Ask others to Purple Up! We hope everyone will take this opportunity to appreciate and celebrate these young heroes and to thank military families for their support and the freedoms they provide us by their service and sacrifices.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Ask your local, regional, state, and federal officials to wear purple on April 10thpurple up logo
  • Engage fraternal organizations, social clubs, and Rotary groups
  • Request local businesses to post a Purple Up! message on their roadside signs
  • Ask stores and restaurants to put a Purple Up! flyer in their business window
  • Suggest companies and businesses ask their employees to wear purple
  • Invite coworkers, as well as members of your spiritual community, exercise class, or golf league to join you in showing support for the military youth in your town by wearing purple on April 10th.

For more information, contact Paula Davis, Ed.D. at the Bay County Extension Office at 850-784-6105.  All programs are open to all persons regardless of race, color, age, sex, handicap or national origin.

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Author: pmdavis – pmdavis@ufl.edu

4-H Youth Development Faculty Bay County Extension
http://bay.ifas.ufl.edu/4-h/

pmdavis

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/04/08/4-h-goes-purple-to-show-support-to-military-families/