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La Plata County 4-H adds outdoor survival skills project, talent show

October kicks off the start of our new 4-H year, which means we get to introduce new projects and events.

One of our new projects we will be offering is an outdoor survival skills project. This will teach our youths about being safe and resourceful while outdoors. It will include first-aid trainings, outdoor cooking, camping essentials and outdoor safety.

One of our new events will be a regional talent contest. This event will be open to all 4-H’ers in La Plata, Archuleta, Montezuma and Dolores counties, as well as in San Juan County, New Mexico. Our 4-H members will get a chance to show off their dance, vocal, instrument and acting skills. I know we have a lot of very talented 4-H members, so it will be a lot of fun to get them all together and give them the opportunity to compete regionally.

This weekend, we have our 4-H Awards Banquet, where we get to celebrate our 4-H members and their huge successes this year. Thanks to our amazing community, we are able to purchase 200 awards that will be given to our outstanding members.

Many of the awards are for overall in a species where our members were judged on how they did in the ring, their showmanship skills, their record book and the carcass of the animal.

We will also give out an award to our top horse(wo)man of the year. This is a hard award to qualify for because you need to be able to ride well in three different styles, compete in all of our horse events and do well in our record book and demonstration contests.

Our members who qualify for these awards work hard all year long and are able to learn so many valuable skills. They learn responsibility from taking care of their animals and working with them every day, communication from working with each other and adult leaders, leadership by helping their fellow 4-H’ers improve, and public speaking skills by attending 4-H meetings, giving a required demonstration speech and interviewing with a 4-H judge and answering questions from the judge in the ring. Our members really are outstanding people and embrace our slogan of “Learn by Doing.”

Later in October, we will host a Halloween party at Jack-a-Lope Acres in Ignacio. This party is for all current and potential 4-H members. If you have been thinking about joining 4-H, please reach out to the Extension Office and we will give you the details about joining and our Halloween party.

Our goal is to make 4-H welcoming and inclusive for everyone; part of this is keeping enrollment fees as low as possible. It only costs $25 to join La Plata County 4-H for the year, which includes project manuals and most of our local activities. We also offer scholarships for enrollment, camps and state leadership events.

Now is the perfect time to join La Plata County 4-H. If you are interested in getting involved in our 4-H program as a member or volunteer, contact the La Plata County Extension Office.

Angela Fountain is the La Plata County 4-H youth development agent. Reach her at angela.fountain@co.laplata.co.us or 382-6460.