4-H involvement key to keeping youth grounded, says organizations member

Harry Sullivan
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UPPER ECONOMY - More young people would be inclined to remain in their home communities after they grow up if they were to become involved in 4-H at a young age, Maja van den Hoek believes.
"In school, you can pick out the kids that go to 4-H, they are more confident," said van den Hoek, a member of the Glooscap Trail group's county counsel publicity committee.
"They feel really good about themselves," she said. "And they have a good time growing up, they don't feel they have to go anywhere for things to happen."
Van den Hoek refers to her own six children as an example. Despite living in a rural area relatively removed from any urban setting, all her children are content to remain in the area as they grow up, as opposed to aspiring to move away.
"A lot of young people can't wait to move out of the area but my kids don't (want to), because they had a really good time growing up," she said.
While a big part of 4-H involves working with farm animals or pets, group activities also include photography, arts and crafts, public speaking and trips.
Those activities enable youth to be more involved in and aware of what is going on in their own communities and leaves them better grounded for the future without having to seek outside stimulation, she said.
On Saturday, the 4-H county counsel is having its second annual scholarship auction at Bible Hill Junior High, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The evening will feature live entertainment, live and silent auctions, free refreshments plus a fancy cake auction.
Auction items will include a hand-carved bowl by stone mason Heather Lawson, two cheese baskets from That Dutchman's Farm and more.

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