“Helping Kids Reach Their Goals Is The Most Rewarding Thing About 4-H” For 4-H Club Leader

— Written By
en Español

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.

English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

As a 4-H Club leader and coach, Carla Arrowood has helped young people achieve their goals and develop skills that will help them be successful in life. Carla has been involved with 4-H for 16 years and heard about the program from friends who were involved in it. “My kids and I were already involved in other youth organizations, but our family wanted one that involved girls and boys in leadership and community service together,” she said. “The more we learned about 4-H, the more we loved it and the people involved.”

Carla currently leads two 4-H clubs and coaches teams in Forestry, the Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program (WHEP) Team, and Poultry Judging. The WHEP team placed 3rd in the nation this summer. She said no experience is needed to coach 4-H teams, just a willingness to learn and teach. “Other than knowing a few cute mammals and having a love of science in general, I had no experience at all with the specific topics I coach,” she said. “My background is in education and I love learning new things and challenging children to reach their potential.” She found there was no shortage of resources to learn from, including workshops, professionals, books, videos, and 4-H curriculum. Local and state 4-H personnel helped her find resources when she needed them.

Her 4-H participants were hooked after their national competition in forestry and wanted to form more teams so they could compete in more national contests, like WHEP. “After they won their way to that contest (WHEP), some members wanted to try the Poultry contests and asked my son to join them,” said Carla. “We didn’t even own any poultry. But we all learned together, found friends with chickens, and won our way to that one too”. She said she prepares teams differently based on their goals and their learning style. A team’s goals may vary from “not being last” to being in the Top Three in the nation. Some teams learn best from books while others may want hands-on activities like tree ID walks and working with live chickens. She found that games can be a fun way to teach teams the skill they need. During the pandemic, she used games they could play together on Zoom, like Kahoot and Quizlet. “Some topics take a long, slow approach, like learning tree ID.” she said. “With all the new information, it helps to learn it slower over a few years. Poultry Judging could be learned in one summer, though.”

Carla said helping kids reach their goals is the most rewarding thing about 4-H, with each child being a success story of how 4-H helped them develop the skills they needed to be successful in life. She loves helping them fund or win trips that let them expand their horizons, to appreciate people from other places, learn new things, and talk to professionals in careers they can aspire to. “I love to open their eyes to what’s possible for them and encourage them to reach their potential,” she said. “The confidence they gain will serve them wherever they go.”

Her three children are also enrolled in 4-H and have benefited in different ways. Her oldest says it helped her develop record keeping, organization, and scientific skills she uses in college and graduate school. Her youngest wanted to travel and learn new things, which he did through national competitions, the National 4-H Congress, and even a trip to Norway through the NC 4-H Outbound Exchange program. He lived with a host family in Norway for 3 weeks attending 4-H camp there and exploring their community, culture, and history on foot, on bike, and by boat.

Carla said she’d encourage other families to enroll their children in 4-H. “Leadership, citizenship, and community service are important skills to have in any profession,” she said. “4-H gives students so many opportunities to succeed and success breeds success. It gives them self-confidence that is so important in today’s world.”

All 4-H Clubs and Groups are Volunteer Led by screened, cleared, and trained volunteers. For more information on volunteering, contact Anika Parks Volunteer Coordinator by email aparks3@ncsu.edu or call 336-703-2848, email, April Bowman, Extension Agent, Livestock, Forages, and 4-H Youth Development at awbowman@ncsu.edu or call 336-703-2855 or Dr. Monique Pearce-Brady, Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development at dmpearc3@ncsu.edu or call 336-703-2856.