This should be an exciting year for the 4-H program in Idaho and particularly in Blaine County.
Idaho 4-H is turning 100 years old in 2012. 4-H is the largest non-formal youth educational organization in the U.S., reaching over 6.5 million youth every year.
The Blaine County branch of University of Idaho Extension Service wants you to know that 4-H means summer fun for local kids. 4-H summer programs adhere to the organization's motto of "making the best better," by using your head, heart and hands for overall health.
4-H summer camps offer experiences giving young people growth in four areas—positive identity, social skills, physical and thinking skills, positive values and spirituality. You don't have to be a 4-H member to participate.
Many young 4-H members will also be hard at work on their projects for the Blaine County Fair Aug. 8-11 in Carey.
Projects run the gamut from archery, rifle, citizenship, cooking and scrapbooking, to quilting, baking, horse, cowboy poetry and leadership.
Organizers are open to trying new projects if someone has an idea and a willingness to follow through with it.
Here's a sampling of the 4-H summer for 2012. Call 788-5585 weekdays and pick up the booklet of summer offerings.
4-H summer camps
This year, two multi-day outdoor camps are offered for kids ages 8-13 (grades 3-8) at the Central Idaho 4-H camp 18 miles north of Ketchum.
June's camp is a three-day gathering from June 18-20 mainly for southern Idaho kids. July's five-day camp is more likely to be attended by Blaine and Camas County children.
June Summer Camp for ages 8-12 on June 18-20 features hiking, campfires, a scavenger hunt, fishing, talent show and karaoke, and fun workshops. The theme is "Let's Experiment." All youth from the state are invited. Cost is $110 for non-4-H members ($100 members) by May 21, or $120 by June 4 ($110) or $140 before June 18 ($130).
4-H July Summer Camp is an outdoor experience for ages 8-13 who have fun as campers while kids 13-18 are counselors.
From dawn to dusk, kids are kept busy with hiking, cooking, water games, volleyball, first aid and more. They raise and lower the flag, join various workshops and enjoy campfire activities each evening.
Dates are Monday through Friday, July 9-13. Early-bird fees by June 8 are $175 for campers ($225 late fee through June 29) and $60 for counselors. Attending adults are free.
Pick up application forms at the Blaine County extension office, across from the Blaine County offices, or register directly with Camas County Extension at 208-764-2230.
Don't have a horse? Join 2 Hearts North
Don't own a horse?
Want to hang with a horse?
Those words from a 2012 University of Idaho Extension 4-H brochure says it all about a brand new program of the 2 Hearts North 4-H Club.
Youth ages 8-18 are invited to take part in "limited partnerships" if they are willing to care, love, learn and ride horses that have been trained to be child-user friendly.
The cost to take part in these limited partnerships is $300 per child, and the registration deadline is Tuesday, May 1. Email your child's information to email@example.com.
Two Hearts North is located in the mid-valley area of the Wood River Valley. Call Blaine County Extension at 788-5585.
Idaho Teen Conference
Travel to an entirely different part of Idaho and learn leadership skills during the 2012 Teen Conference June 11-15 on the University of Idaho campus in Moscow. This year's theme is "Way Out West."
Invited are youth who have finished grades 8-12, with adults as chaperones. College-age young adults may attend as college staff members.
Participants stay in university dorms, eat at the cafeteria and, according to the brochure, "survive without sleep for much of the week."
Cost is $250 for youths and $175 for adults who register and pay before the May 15 deadline. Visit www.4h.uidaho.edu for details. Or call Claudine Zender at 208-885-7700.
Day Camp focuses on fishing
Get the summer off on the right foot by attending the 4-H Wildlife Day Camp on Saturday, June 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hayspur Fish Hatchery off U.S. 20 near Picabo.
This year's topic is "Fishing." Morning classes and afternoon stations include talks on Hayspur history, fish identification and habitat and fishing tackle.
Wildlife Day Camp is geared for youth 8-13, but kids 5-7 may also attend if accompanied by an adult. You don't have to be a 4-H member to attend. Parents and families are encouraged to join in and must pre-register.
Pick up your registration form at the Blaine County Extension Office and register by May 18 (early bird $12) or May 25 (late fee $24). Adults pay $12 and are provided with orientation at the June 2 camp.
4-H looking for volunteers
On the occasion of Idaho 4-H's 100th anniversary, Blaine County Extension of the University of Idaho is putting on a new push for volunteers to continue the good things 4-H has done for generations in Idaho.
Kathi Kimball, 4-H Program Coordinator for Blaine County Extension, said, "As 4-H begins celebrating 100 years of Idaho 4-H, more volunteers are needed to plan events, lead new projects or clubs.
"Volunteers play a vital role in the ongoing growth of those in the 4-H Youth Development program. The volunteers coordinate local community clubs and help to plan and conduct local 4-H events."
Join 4-H at 788-5585.
Blaine County celebrations
"A Century of Fashion" is one event planned locally for the 4-H Centennial Year in 2012.
4-H members will learn about the century's clothing styles, textiles and history and formulate a Style Revue for the Aug. 8-11 Blaine County Fair featuring fashions from each decade.
You can sign up or volunteer to help with the Style Revue.
Families with 100 or more combined 4-H years will be recognized during the fair. Child, parent, grandparents and great-grandparents is the succession to determine 100 years.
A 100-year timeline will be at the fair. Each club will make a banner disclosing "What 4-H has done for me," on the Century Bulletin Board at Carey's Blaine County Fairgrounds.
In addition, each club has been challenged to complete 100 hours of community service.
Idaho Military Family Camp
For the seventh year, University of Idaho Extension and Operation Military Kids are offering a weekend Military Family Camp from July 27-29 at the Central Idaho 4-H Camp north of Ketchum.
The camp tries to meet the needs of Idaho's National Guard and Reserve personnel (individuals and families) from all branches.
Enjoy wagon rides, campfires, fishing, family competitions, shooting sports, archery, arts and crafts, cooking, flag ceremonies and skits. Priority goes to military families. Visit www.operationmilitarykids.org or www.4h.uidaho.edu or call Barry Lockard at 208-334-2328.