We are Hadleigh Bolton and Xavier Lovering, both 12 years old, and are 4-H members who recently joined on as new club reporters, replacing Elle Arvesen.
I, Hadleigh, just started my first year at Laguna Blanca, and I, Xavier, just started seventh grade at Dunn Middle School.
We both joined 4-H in the fall of 2019 after hearing about it from friends, and are excited to report to the community through our monthly columns about what 4-H youth are up to in our club, in the county and even the nation.
Before joining 4-H, we had no idea that it was about more than animals, but Lucky Clover offered a public speaking project that we were both drawn to.
Our first year was challenging, but we both made it to the state competition and won the two highest awards — gold and platinum. This year, we decided to take on a new leadership challenge as club reporters.
Last year, everything was a lot less fun, with all meetings being held virtually. That was hard. While some things have changed a little since COVID-19, we are back to in-person meetings with safety protocols in place such as masks, hand sanitizer, being outside, the works.
4-H really does have something for everyone from ages 9 to 18. Most clubs offer activities for younger members, too.
Many people think that 4-H is just about animal projects, but it offers even more than that.
According to Jennifer Berman, our Lucky Clover project leader, 4-H is America’s largest youth development organization with nearly 6 million members. And with the guidance of adult mentors, kids complete hands-on learning projects in any area of interest or expertise that an adult wants to share.
There are 17 clubs in Santa Barbara County offering a variety of animal project groups as well as other hands-on projects like sewing, robotics, woodworking, welding, beekeeping, shooting sports and more. The club also is open to new project group ideas and welcomes input.
Come check out our first club meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13, at The Grange, 2374 Alamo Pintado Ave. in Los Olivos. To find a listing of projects being offered or to volunteer as an adult mentor, visit SB4H.org
We are excited and hopeful for the new year!