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Posted: November 30, 2013 11:00 p.m.

Kenyan 4-H’ers to visit Covington

On Monday, we’re hosting Kenyan 4-H members for a brief visit while they are in Atlanta for National 4-H Congress.

My best guess is that they might be a little surprised to meet a few of our 4-H’ers.

By the time they get here, they may have already met our Congress delegate, Will Holder. He won the Power and Energy project at State 4-H Congress last summer and thus won his trip to National 4-H Congress with about 800 youths from around the country and a few international guests.

From what I’m reading, none of Kenya’s 4-H members are likely to have earned their trip learning about nuclear energy.

Just as 4-H began back in 1904 here in Covington, Kenya’s 4-H program is centered on agriculture and skills needed in the home. It’s also not called "4-H." Rather, it’s called "4-K," which has a clover logo with "K" in each leaf and the head of a cow in the center.

The K’s stand for kuungana, kufanya, kusadia and Kenya. The first three words, in Swahili, mean "to unite," "to do" and "to help."

So, while their projects might be a little different, it sounds like their clubs aren’t so different from ours.

I’m thankful that an educator in Covington, Ga., went beyond the standard books and chalkboards to bring research-based information on corn from the University of Georgia to school boys, and that today that tradition continues around the world.

Today, more than 7 million youths around the world learn and practice leadership, teamwork and service while learning everything from agriculture to entrepreneurship.

I’m thankful I had the opportunity to grow up in Newton County 4-H, as did my own dad.

Back then, I might have been less enthusiastic about volunteer leaders since my parents were two of them. But today, I’m thankful for the many volunteer leaders who make our activities possible. I’m also thankful that my own parents taught me the value of community through their own volunteer work.

We have parents, uncles, grandparents, alumni and other community members working with 4-H’ers on everything from parade floats to livestock shows.

I’m thankful I had the opportunity to earn free trips through 4-H to Memphis, Tenn., Culpepper, Va., and Warren, Pa. They gave me a desire to travel even farther as an adult. (Maybe the Kenyan 4-H’ers will let me come visit them next?)

I’m thankful for county, city and school officials who appreciate the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and all the work we do here in the community.

Then there are the countless parents who trust us with their children each time they drop them off with us for an event or camp.

Some are already saving for and paying on summer camp, perhaps even in place of a family vacation.

Several of them will be up late the night before project competition, helping finish "just one more poster."

We’re thankful for each and every 4-H member in Newton County and all those family members who support them.

While some days we’re overrun with pop tabs, books and canned goods, I’m thankful we have youths so ready to serve their community in any way possible.

I’m looking forward to sharing just a tiny portion of our 109 years of history with our Kenyan guests on Monday!

Gift certificates

In the meantime, if you know a 4-H’er hoping to attend summer camp, remember that we sell gift certificates. You’ll read more details about summer camp in the weeks to come, but here are the basics.

Youths who turn 9 by Dec. 31 are old enough for Cloverleaf Camp, which goes all the way through sixth grade. It will run June 23–27 at Wahsega 4-H Center for $310.

Seventh- and eighth-graders can attend Wilderness Challenge Camp at Wahsega 4-H Center July 14–18 for $344 and Junior Camp at Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island July 14–18 for $329.

High school students have Senior 4-H Camp at Wahsega June 29–July 3 for $324 and Senior Extreme Camp at Rock Eagle’s Frank Fitch Pioneer Camp June 9–13 for $314.

Registration begins with a $100 cash down payment, but gifts may be purchased in any amount.

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Terri Kimble Fullerton is a Newton County 4-H Agent through UGA Cooperative Extension. She can be reached at tkimble@uga.edu.

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