Extension staff promoted the safety and welfare of minors by training 138 4-H volunteers and 35 teen camp counselors in child abuse recognition and reporting. Volunteers learned to identify of the four main types of child abuse: sexual, emotional, physical and neglect, as well as how and when to make a report to the appropriate authorities. A teen volunteer reported that she was able to use the training when faced with a potential abuse situation with a child in an after-school program where she volunteered.
A partnership of OSU Extension, Preble County Juvenile Court, and local law enforcement, the 4-H CARTEENS program taught traffic safety to 110 first-time juvenile traffic offenders. Five teen volunteers gained public speaking, teaching and leadership skills during the program sessions. Five adult volunteers support the program. Teen participants report an increased awareness of risky driving behaviors, laws that govern teen drivers, and the relationship between vehicle speed and stopping distance.
This year, 33 first-time horse project participants participated in Horse Safety and Ethics training with a parent/guardian. Program participants learned the dangers of equine projects and the steps they can take to make their experience with equine a safe experience while making ethical decisions when caring for, training and exhibiting equine.
35 teens were selected as volunteer camp counselors for 2016 Preble County 4-H camp. Youth learned how to complete applications, prepare for an interview, dress appropriately, and interview for the position. The selected counselors completed a training program that included setting goals, agreeing to expectations, and developing a working relationship with the team members. This group planned and implemented 4-H camp for 116 campers.
This year, 801 4-H members in Preble County gained valuable life skills through completing 2,022 4-H projects in many different interest areas. Goal-setting, skill-building, community service and leadership are all part of the project experience. Members apply their knowledge by participating in judging events and other evaluation activities.
Building a relationship with a caring adult is one measure of the effectiveness of a youth development program. In Preble County, 138 adult volunteers taught, mentored, cared for and led 4-H members in club and project work. These adults provided organizational support for 4-H clubs throughout the county.
The Successful Co-Parenting program is a court-mandated class for divorcing couples with children under the age of 18. The class helps parents understand their child’s perspective and needs during a divorce. Participants learn to: maintain a healthy parent-child relationship through the divorce process; avoid conflict with their co-parent; have healthy communication with their child and their co-parent; and create a stable environment for their child. Approximately 85 parents attended the class in Preble County in 2016. Participants reported learning the importance of focusing more on the children and not the other parent; gaining problem-solving and communication skills, and understanding more how their children feel.
Five Preble County 4-H members participated in out-of-county opportunities. Two attended Citizenship Washington Focus; two attended State 4-H Leadership Camp; and one attended Shooting Sports Camp. All the youth reported on their experiences with a speech at the annual Preble County 4-H banquet. The youth all reported that these opportunities increased their confidence and leadership skills.
Thirty teen members of the Preble County Junior Fair Board learned and practiced leadership, program- planning and evaluation skills. These teens conducted livestock shows and special events, working behind the scenes to support youth exhibitors at the Preble County fair. The youth observed that this experience increased their confidence when working in difficult situations and improved their organizational skills.
This year, 10 youth in kindergarten through second grade participated in a 4-H day camp planned and conducted by an older 4-H member as part of a 4-H project. Two other older youth served as volunteer counselors.
Young people know 4-H camp is fun. Youth development experts know 4-H camp helps build critical life skills for both campers and youth counselors. 4-H camp helps build teamwork, communications and leadership, cultivating job readiness skills while connecting campers with nature. In Preble County, 116 campers participated in this experience. Campers report that they love camp and can’t wait to come back next year. A current camp counselor said on her application that she wants to be a camp counselor because “camp helped make me who I am today.”
Assuring Quality Care for Animals educates youth and their parents on proper animal care and handling, recordkeeping, and ways to carry out healthcare activities in a manner that will maintain a wholesome food product from the project animal. More than 700 youth and their parents attended this educational program.