4-H offers choices galore

Members of the Cactus Critters 4-H Club learn about rabbit showmanship on a recent Tuesday night at the Mohave County Agricultural Extension Office. From left to right are Michael Montoya, Mark Bonnee, Bryan Bonnee and Shawn Lent with their rabbits. 
JC AMBERLYN/Miner

Members of the Cactus Critters 4-H Club learn about rabbit showmanship on a recent Tuesday night at the Mohave County Agricultural Extension Office. From left to right are Michael Montoya, Mark Bonnee, Bryan Bonnee and Shawn Lent with their rabbits. JC AMBERLYN/Miner

Anyone thinking there are few children's activities available in Kingman probably is unaware of the University of Arizona/Mohave County Cooperative Extension Service's 4-H program. It's an out-of-school education program for boys and girls ages 5-19, said Jerry Olson, extension agent for 4-H/youth development.

"We operate with adult volunteer leaders and have a long list of subject matter young people can learn about," he said. "Our animal projects get a lot of visibility. However, we have a lot of other things to offer like leather craft, arts and crafts, woodworking, small engines, cooking projects, food nutrition and home skills."

There are 10 clubs that meet at different times to work on assorted group projects. That is where learning takes place, Olson said.

Special programs and contests are held throughout the year for 4-H members to show off their projects and compete for prizes.

4-H activities in Mohave County start up the new year in October and end in September with the county fair. There are periodic trips outside the county, as well.

"We're just back from the state fair with a group that won blue ribbons throughout the year," Olson said. "It was a reward trip for them to see what other counties in the state are doing."

Adult volunteers go through a certification process and background check before they can work in the 4-H program. The individual membership fee is $10 annually, although manuals used have a small added cost between $2 and $5, he said.

"We have a list of programs developed through the university system that are age appropriate and are offered as long as adult volunteers are there to lead and teach," Olson said. "If an individual has a special need or interest we don't have, we work to do a special interest project to develop goals and objectives for that boy or girl."

Anyone interested in learning more may contact Olson at 753-5488.