4-H program just keeps growing
The Morgan County 4-H program keeps growing each year. Some 110 kids are members this year, said Cindy Smalley, 4-H program assistant. The Morgan County Extension Office sponsors the 4-H program.
Area 4-H clubs are the Paw Paw Mountaineers, the 4-H Explorers (Greenwood), the Settlers (Berkeley Springs), the Mighty Iroquois (Pleasant View) and the Wolves, an after-school 4-H program at Grace United Methodist Church in Sleepy Creek
About 30 members are doing the "This is 4-H" first-year project for the Morgan County Fair, said Smalley. Many 4-H members are involved in the cooking project.
Kids are making brownies, pretzels, cakes, breakfast tacos and meals. They watch commercials and note how many are aimed at sugary products. They also explore careers in cooking fields, said Smalley.
Other 4-H fair projects include horses, chickens, cats, dogs, crafts, floral arrangements, hobbies, rocketry, computers and the fishing project.
In the fishing project, 4-H members learn to make lures, take care of their fishing equipment and study stream quality, said Smalley. Other kids pick a topic and create a project around it.
4-H chicken project
Julie Jenkins, a 4-H Explorers Club member, did a chicken project this past year. Jenkins is 12 years old and will be a seventh grader at Warm Springs Middle School. She has been in 4-H for the past two years.
The family took home eggs that were hatched at last year's Morgan County Fair, said Christel Jenkins, who is Jenkins' mom and the 4-H Explorers Club leader.
They have three roosters and two hens from the original hatching, chicks of various ages and eggs incubating. They also adopted three chickens from a neighbor, she said.
Julie Jenkins thought that doing a chicken project for 4-H would be interesting. She likes holding her chickens and petting them
Jenkins enjoys being in 4-H because some friends are in it and they get to do cool things like skating. Jenkins also went on a 4-H trip to Charleston where she got to be a page at the Legislature.
Jenkins' brother Alan is turning eight years old and will be a Warm Springs Intermediate School third grader. He will do his Cloverbud 4-H project on their rooster Rocky.
The family won't be able to bring their chickens to the county fair because of the statewide poultry ban at festivals due to avian influenza.
Other 4-H news
Nine older members attended the tri-county 4-H camp at Camp Frame, said Smalley. About 62% of 4-H members attended camp this year. Scholarships for camp come from the 4-H cake auction proceeds at the county fair.
Samantha Veara, age nine, and Jenny Burdock, age 14, both received gold ribbons for their projects at the state 4-H Days. Veara's project was "Why do we live in Morgan County?" Burdock's "Duck and Cover" project was about the bomb shelters in Greenbrier County.
The 4-H program will be awarding a $500 scholarship to graduating senior J.D. Smalley. Any child that begins 4-H as a ninth grader, completes a project each year and does a community service project and at least one fundraiser a year will receive a scholarship, said Cindy Smalley.
The scholarship can be used for college, vocational or technical school or other post-secondary education, said Smalley.
Smalley is excited to have older high school kids staying on with the 4-H program. They have many opportunities available to them, such as trips to Washington, D.C. and national events.
For more information
For more information about the 4-H program, call Smalley at the Morgan County Extension Office at 258-8400.