Celebrating Nebraska 4-H Month – Join 4-H!
“I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service and my health to better living for my club, my community, my country and my world.” This pledge is recited at the beginning of most 4-H events. Have you ever stopped to wonder what exactly those words mean?
“I pledge my Head to clearer thinking…” Our heads (aka our brains) control everything our bodies do from breathing to running, thoughts to feelings, and much more. Youth use their head to make decisions about what projects to take and how to complete them. They develop problem solving skills when their projects do not have the outcome they expected.
“I pledge my Heart to greater loyalty…” The heart is the center of our lives and the 4-H program. 4-H members learn to use their hearts to care about other club members. They make new friends through their 4-H activities whether it’s a club meeting, 4-H camp, or the fair.
4-H volunteers demonstrate caring hearts to their 4-H members. They become a non-parental caring adult their 4-H members can learn from and trust. 4-H volunteers are truly the heart of the 4-H program. Without the true heart of the 4-H volunteer sharing their passion for learning and their willingness to share this information, 4-H would just be a classroom without a teacher. Youth adult partnerships are truly are the heart of what the 4-H program does.
The final and perhaps best way 4-H members develop their hearts is by helping others. Providing opportunities for service learning helps 4-H members see what they can do for their community and opens their hearts to the needs around them.
“I pledge my Hands to larger service…” Reach out. Work hard. Give back. Youth utilize their hands in learning life skills, working hard to complete projects. Hands help youth enhance their personal development, self-esteem, social skills, communication skills, and problem solving, all the while developing attitudes and qualities of character that contribute to a happy, progressive home and community.
The hands are also fundamental to the learning that happens during camps, workshops, trips, conferences, and much more. We all use our hands for service, citizenship, to help others in the community, and to work together to make a difference. The recent findings of the Tufts University Study of Positive Youth Development states “4-H youth are more likely than other youth to make contributions to their communities.”
Parents and adult volunteers use hands to teach youth. The 4-H Volunteer Information Series, “Ten Tips for Working with Youth” suggests using your hands to provide meaningful assignments for youth, to share work activities, to make activities challenging and fun, and to serve as a role model. The Pledge for 4-H Parents states, “I pledge my hands to help my child’s club, to help in many important ways.”
Sir Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Using our hands in many different ways, 4-H youth, volunteers, and families make a difference with their hands.
“I pledge my Health to better living for my club, my community, my country and my world.” Health is definitely an important component of 4-H, in fact it is one the National 4-H Mandates. Through the 4-H program youth can learn how to lead lives that balance, physical, mental, emotional, social health.
Everyday 4-H members use their head, heart, hands, and health to help make the best even better. To learn more about the Nebraska 4-H program go to www.4hunl.edu or contact the York County Extension Office at 402-362-5508 or york.unl.edu.
Source: Jennifer Hansen, Extension Educator in Thurston County. This article comes from a series of resources developed by 4-H Youth Development professionals in the NE and SE District.
February 19, 2017 at 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Cornerstone Building, York County Fairgrounds
Fun for the whole family! Enjoy FREE hands-on activities and carnival-style games while experiencing the variety that 4-H has to offer. The first 50 youth in the door will receive a 4-H prize! There will be pictures with Lil’ Green, inflatables, prizes and it’s all FREE! Concessions will also be available. Open to all York County families. (4-H is for youth ages 5-18)
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