By Mark Boshnack Staff Writer
The Daily Star
---- — Otsego County 4-H will be joining celebrations for National 4-H Week that take place annually during the first full week of October. It is meant to highlight the children, ages 5-19, that participate in 4-H and the volunteers that make an impact in the community, according to a media release..
4-H, the largest youth development organization in the world, is a community of seven million young people across the globe learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. In the U.S., 4-H programs are implemented by the 109 land grant universities and the Cooperative Extension System through their 3,100 local extension offices across the country, according to the organization’s website.
In Otsego County, a wide range programs and activities are available to those who participate, including the traditional animal science, cooking, sewing, public speaking projects and new STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) offerings in robotics, 4-H resource educator Patti Zellmer said.
There are 25 4-H clubs in the county and many will have displays either in storefronts or on main thoroughfares in their communities, she said. This includes the Laurens Ladybugs, Otego Helping Hands, Garrattsville Grey Wolves and Gilbertsville Dairy Club. More than 200 county youth are involved in the various programs.
As part of the week, there will be two informational nights, which are adult-oriented meetings, so parents can learn more about 4-H and the need for volunteers. The sessions are held 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at 123 Lake Street, Cooperstown and 6:30 p.m.Wednesday, at 31 Maple Street, Oneonta. RSVPs are appreciated. For more information call the Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H Office in Cooperstown, 547-2536.
The only thing preventing 4-H from growing in Otsego is the lack of volunteers, Zellmer said.
There is another opportunity to learn more about the groups. Discover 4-H Day for youth and adults will be held at the Cobleskill Sunshine Fairgrounds, from 1-3 p.m. on October 19.
“It is an opportunity for members to showcase what they have been working on,” said Teresa Adell, a leader of the Otego Helping Hands and Cloverbuds. They will both be displaying their projects. 4-H provides “a chance to learn leadership skills and how to work with others,” she said. Every club in Otsego and Schoharie counties are welcome to share with the community and encourage others to join at the event, she said.