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4-H leaders seek to boost membership

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Instead of erecting or repairing a structure at the fairgrounds, a group of 4-H’ers decided to work on building future membership in the program.

So this year’s 4-H Honor Group, a group of more than 20 recently graduated seniors, decided to visit local day camps and day cares to tell the children about 4-H. Although many of those children are too young to join, honor group members hope they’ll remember the program when they are old enough to enroll.

The group members also did a short craft project with the children and told them about the various projects that they could do in 4-H, aside from showing animals, honor group member MaryEllen O’Connor said.

“We told them that mostly it’s fun, 4-H is for everyone,” she said.

In June, the group visited large groups, such as Girls Inc. and Kickapoo Kids Camp in Franklin, and day cares and camps in Greenwood and the Center Grove area, sharing information about 4-H with more than 300 kids, O’Connor said.

Almost every child knew about or had visited the fair, but few knew about 4-H. Some children who had siblings in 4-H or live in rural areas knew about showing animals, O’Connor said, but others were learning about the group for the first time.

The hope is that the visits will bring in new members who might otherwise never had even known about 4-H, she said.

The honor group also organizes the annual 4-H Take a Bite Out of Hunger food drive, which benefits local food banks.

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