RED BLUFF, Calif. — As far as Taylor Arrowsmith is concerned, it’s never too early for kids to learn about all the fun things that happen in 4-H.
Arrowsmith, 11, escorted her 3-year-old cousin, Kylie, to all the booths at an open house in a downtown plaza here on Oct. 12, showing her how to do the different crafts and telling her about activities.
The older Arrowsmith got started in 4-H a couple of years ago, and she raises swine and pygmy goats.
“I mostly like it just to have an animal,” she said of 4-H. However, she enjoyed seeing what other members were doing at the open house.
“I like it,” she said. “You get to do a bunch of activities that other 4-H’ers do.”
Tehama County 4-H clubs do the open house each year as part of National 4-H Week, which was Oct. 6-12 this year. The open house used to be part of a larger “Carousel of Care” event at the Tehama District Fairgrounds here.
However, 4-H leaders wanted their displays to be more visible, as the open house comes during the clubs’ recruitment drive. So the open house moved downtown, where people would encounter it during a morning of shopping.
“We tried to get more foot traffic,” said Spring Severson, Tehama County’s 4-H secretary.
For the first time this year, Tehama 4-H clubs honored the first baby born locally during National 4-H Week by sending a giant gift basket to the family. The 4-H office plans to do this annually, according to a news release.
The county’s 4-H membership has remained steady in recent years, with about 350 youth members and 150 adult volunteers, Severson said. At the open house, the county’s 11 clubs offered booths featuring arts and crafts, community-service information and a demonstration of cooking projects.
“These are projects from their clubs that they currently have going on,” Severson said.
Katie Conner, 14, is in her 11th year in 4-H. She was leading an arts and crafts booth at the open house.
“It’s a fun thing to do to get people interested in 4-H,” she said. “It’s one of the reasons why we do this event, so we can let people know what we do and that it’s not just about animals.”
4-H Youth Development Organization: http://www.4-h.org