Town and Village

4-H seeks new members, adult volunteers as new season of programs begin

BURLINGTON — October marks the start of a new 4-H year, bringing fresh opportunities for both youths ages 5–18 and for adult volunteers.

Many 4-H clubs are enrolling new members for the upcoming project year. Current members will be able to sign up for projects ranging from livestock, clothing, and culinary to robotics, photography, and crafts. Adults will have the opportunity to organize and lead new clubs as well as support 4-H programming and events.

Vermont 4-H also continues to add new staff to support programming. Recently, Amber Thibodeau was hired as the new 4-H educator for Windham and Windsor counties and is based in the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension office in Brattleboro.

"4-H is a youth development program that is more relevant today than ever before," Allison Smith, assistant 4-H director, said in a news release. "It provides opportunities for youths to connect in meaningful ways with those around them and develop a sense of belonging."

This past 4-H year, 933 youths and 269 volunteers were involved in UVM Extension 4-H clubs. Among the most popular projects were those focusing on horses (282 youths), dairy (235) and shooting sports (108).

There were 2,602 participants, both 4-H members and non-4-H'ers, who took part in 4-H special-interest and short-term programs, including VTeen 4-H Science Pathways Cafés, AgroTek, and after school programs. An additional 546 adults and 130 4-H teens assisted with these and other 4-H programs and events.

"4-H uses hands-on learning to help youths develop life skills, engage in community service, form lasting friendships, and be mentored by caring adults," Smith says. "When all these ingredients come together, 4-H helps [participants] thrive by developing their sense of mastery in learning new skills and hopeful purpose in connecting with their community."

To learn more about joining a 4-H club or becoming an adult 4-H volunteer, contact the UVM Extension State 4-H Office toll-free at 800-571-0668. For information about upcoming 4-H events, visit 4-H alums also are encouraged to reconnect with 4-H through social media ( or by becoming a 4-H volunteer.

This Town and Village item was submitted to The Commons.

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