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ALICE NICKELSON: Summer activities now a memory

Wow, what a 4-H year! I am so proud of the 4-Hers in Davison and Hanson counties for their successes this past 4-H year. They not only had a great showing at the State Fair, but State 4-H Horse Show, State 4-H Rodeo, State and National 4-H Shooting Sports competitions, State 4-H Dog Show, State 4-H Livestock Judging and the region Character Counts! talks at the Sioux Empire Fair as well. The Davison County Consumer Decision Making Judging Team placed first in the state at the State Fair and will be going to nationals at the Denver Stock Show in January. It goes on and on from there! How can we not be proud?

I want to thank all the 4-Hers for their commitment to "Making the Best Better." All of the skills you learn will go with you throughout your life. I also want to thank the parents, 4-H Leaders, volunteers and sponsors for all you do for the 4-H program. You are the supporters who truly make it a success for our 4-Hers. Thanks so much!

4-H teaches life skills

With the new 4-H year beginning on Oct. 1, now is a great time to check out what 4-H is all about and what it teaches youth. The 4-H program is the largest out-of-school youth program in South Dakota where it serves approximately 9000 youth.

South Dakota 4-H is designed for youth ages 8-19. Most youth belong to a traditional 4-H club, however project clubs, such as horse clubs and shooting sports, offer alternatives to the traditional club. With the completion of the 4-H year, each member is encouraged to turn in a record book, which contains project participation and accomplishments.

Through participation in 4-H project areas the members "learn by doing". This encourages growth physically, mentally and socially. It gives youth a sense of belonging and also the sense of contributing to something positive. The most important thing that they will experience is the learning that goes along with every success and failure. The 4-H programs are designed to prepare young people for life.

Parents also play an essential role in the 4-H program. Their encouragement and support is necessary to create a positive experience and to foster a positive attitude in the 4-Her. 4-Hers grow because of the quality of experiences they have, not because of how well they do on a project. Families doing activities together is an important component of 4-H.

If you have a child or know of someone who is interested in 4-H, stop by or give the office a call. We can get you in touch with a 4-H club leader in your area. Our phone number is 995-8620 in Davison and 239-4542 in Hanson County.