4-H Update

Volume 13, Number 15


• June 13-21: Citizenship Washington Focus, Washington, DC
• June 15: National 4-H Conference applications due, State 4-H Office
• June 23-26: State 4-H Conference, CSU Campus
• July 1: National 4-H Congress applications due, State 4-H office

2009 National 4-H Congress Applications due July 1

Applications for county delegates planning to attend National 4-H Congress are due in the State 4-H office by July 1, 2009. Counties are to select their own delegates, as there is no further screening at the state level. For more information go to http://www.colorado4h.org/events_opportunities/nat_congress/

Applicants are to check with school and/or employers prior to submitting their applications. The dates for this year’s trip are Nov. 27 – Dec. 1, in Atlanta, GA. We make no guarantees that late cancellation will be accepted without financial penalty. Trip deposits will not be refunded. — Ellen Butler

Teen Clerk Applications due July 1

Teen Clerk applications for the 2009 Colorado State Fair/Camp Tobin are due by July 1. Judging begins at noon on Wednesday, Aug. 19 through Friday, Aug. 21 at 5 pm.  Teen clerks must be 13 years or older prior to Dec. 31, 2008.  Their application must be signed by the county extension agent.  Applications can be found on the State 4-H Website at:  http://www.colorado4h.org/events_opportunities/state_fair/packet/TeenClerkApplicationForm.pdf.  You can also receive an application via email or snail mail by contacting Sharie Harless at sharie.harless@colostate.edu.  Thanks! – Sharie Harless

Host Families Needed – 4-H Japanese Exchange

Host families are needed for 65 inbound Japanese boys and girls, ages 12-21, coming to Colorado through the 2009 inbound Colorado-Japan Teen Exchange.  Hosting dates are July 23 – Aug. 18.

This program is coordinated through Colorado State University and has been running since 1975.

Host families do not need to be a member of 4-H and may reside in urban, suburban, or rural settings throughout Colorado.  They may share a room with their host sibling.  Matches are made on the basis of same sex and closeness in age, as well as some common interests.  Note:  Host siblings may be as young as nine to match with a 12 year old Japanese participant.

All participants are 100 percent medically covered with 4-H insurance and may participate in host family vacations, camping trips, youth camps, etc.  They are expected to become part of the family, including attending church, helping with household chores, following house rules, and participating in other aspects of daily life.  The program covers costs for the exchange.  Each participant has his/her own spending money.

Japanese participants will attend an orientation in Denver before going to host families and a debriefing in Denver before returning to Japan. Carpools are planned to transport delegates to homes if host families are not able to pick up or return their exchange student.  Orientation for host families is also in Denver.  In addition, there will be a host family orientation in the Montrose/Grand Junction/Delta area.

Host siblings have the option of traveling to Japan to participate in a four or eight-week exchange while staying with Japanese host families and learning Japanese culture.

The greatest success occurs when families treat the delegates as a family member, rather than a “guest.”

Please contact me at 970.491.2711 or courtney.loflin@colostate.edu.  – Courtney Loflin

2009 Inbound IFYEs to Colorado – HOST FAMILIES NEEDED

Austria – Markus Zuzer.  Markus is 26 years old and will be here from June 22 through July 29.  He speaks German and English and his hobbies include jogging, skiing, and being around friends.  Areas of interest include agriculture, economics, and politics. Markus lives on a farm and is currently studying economics education at a university.

England – Katharine Smaldon is 23 years old and will be here from June 22 through July 29.  Her hobbies include her friends, photography, shopping, reading, current affairs, politics, and Young Farmers. Katharine lives on a poultry farm and has a degree in English Literature.

Germany – Anne Osterkamp is 21 years old and will be here from June 22 through Sept. 4.  Anne speaks both German and English.  Her hobbies are sports, horseback riding, swimming, friends, and movies. Anne lives on a dairy farm and has a three year apprenticeship in agriculture.

Greece – Anastasia Zaralt is 16 years old and will be here from June 22 through July 29.  Anatasia speaks Greek and English. Her hobbies are biking, shopping, swimming, dancing, music, friends, reading, football, and volleyball. She is currently studying math at the American Farm School.

Greece – Anna Panagiotoudi is 18 years old. She will be here from Sept. 1 through Dec. 1. Anna  speaks Greek and English.  Anna’s hobbies include swimming, music, shopping, friends, reading, volleyball, and basketball. Anna is currently studying at the American Farm School.

Switzerland – Nina Hunziker is 22 years old and will be here from June 22 through Sept. 15. Nina speaks German, French, and English. Her hobbies are riding horses, reading, friends, and travel and plans to study social work. Nina is also a vegetarian.

Inbound IFYE’s generally stay with a host family for two- to three-weeks.  The goal is for these exchange participants to learn about everyday life in the United States by participating in the homestay experiences.  All delegates have medical insurance and personal spending money.

Please contact me in the State 4-H office for further information at 970.491.2711 or Courtney.loflin@colostate.edu. – Courtney Loflin

2009-2010 4-H International Exchange – Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX)

Host families are also needed for FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange) students. This program is funded by the U.S. State Department to instill democratic principles in exchange participants from the New Independent States (NIS) of the former Soviet Union (now called Eurasia): Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.  Colorado will host eight participants, ages 15-18, who will stay with host families and attend high school August 2009 through mid- June 2010.

These delegates are proficient in English, have excellent grades, and speak a minimum of three languages.  They are excited to learn about the United States and share their culture.  Colorado schools have been very receptive to this program due to the high quality of the delegate applications.  Fifty-five thousand youth apply from these Eurasian countries every year and 1,200 youth are chosen annually to spend 10 months in the United States.

Delegates receive $125/month for personal expenses.  Host families receive $300 to assist with “startup” costs. To review the applications of the delegates available, please contact me at 970.491.2711 or courtney.loflin@colostate.edu for further information. – Courtney Loflin

Special Needs Youth Thrive in 4-H

 Vicki Hoefer with son Terry, and Ra, rescued mini horse--photo courtesy of Vickie Hoefer

Vicki Hoefer with son Terry, and Ra, rescued mini horse--photo courtesy of Vickie Hoefer

In Kitsap County, Washington State, 4-H clubs welcome youth with differing abilities. They recently formed two new clubs specifically for children with special needs. These clubs provide an opportunity for 4-H’ers with special needs to thrive in their 4-H club by completing their projects successfully, while also giving back to the community.

Vickie Hoefer leads the Justice Riders Club in Olalla. Her son Terry, 16, has cerebral palsy and David, 18, a mild form of autism. “4-H has made them feel so independent,” said Hoefer. “They like being part of a group and knowing they are part of society. Their disabilities don’t stop them from participating,” she added. Terry’s mini horse, Ra, and David’s quarter horse, Buddy, provide life skills in responsibility, caring and communication. Record books are a collaborative effort as Vickie does the typing and the boys track the data.

Community service is intrinsic to Hoefer’s club. Their current project is sending greeting cards and raising money to help a soldier in Iraq. Since joining 4-H, Hoefer has seen her sons’ willingness to reach out to others grow. “They like working with other people and getting things done,” said Hoefer. “It brings them a sense of well being. They have a feeling of ‘I did it and nothing can stop me.’ It’s a great sensation.”   This past summer the brothers participated at the Kitsap County Fair showing Ra and doing herdsmanship in the barn.  “I liked taking leadership in the group,” said David. “I helped decorate the stalls and I liked helping others and encouraging my fellow club members.”  Terry also took his horse to the petting farm at the Fair. “I liked telling the public about my animal and letting the public see a disabled person can have fun in 4-H,” said Terry.

Kelly Fisk, Kitsap County 4-H Youth Development Coordinator, works with clubs to ensure members receive services to accommodate individual needs. “It’s important for people to understand that special needs members are just as capable as anyone else in challenging themselves and achieving success,” said Fisk. “A number of people see the disability and not the child. Expectations are then lowered and the child is not pushed to their individual capabilities because of lack of knowledge or inexperience with the disability and modifications that can be made,” added Fisk.

To learn more about this club and find out how you can form a club in area, please contact Vickie Hoefer at 253.857.0555. – Ellen Butler


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