Local 4-H Club makes a comeback

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

4-H members grow up, move away to school or work and ultimately become the productive, confident citizens that 4-H wants them to be; however, it is sometimes hard to keep the flow of youngsters filling the shoes that were left behind for them. No one understands this better than local 4-H leaders Beth Thompson and Lisa Gamble. Upon the retirement of Nan Snider, Gamble and Thompson took over the leadership role for what was once a booming club known as the Buffalo Island 4-H club.

Not wanting children from other schools to feel excluded they opted to rename the club, Eastern Craighead County 4-H.

Thompson and Gambill's daughters Micah and Johnna were just two of the success stories from that club but like all good things their time came to an end when college called. Julie Thompson, the senior member, is carrying on club tradition and now represents Arkansas as a 4-H State Ambassador. Through the works of Lisa, Beth and Julie the Eastern Craighead club is making a fierce comeback!

The last club meeting resulted in a room full of bouncing new "Cloverbuds" from the Black Oak, Caraway and Monette area. Cloverbuds range in ages 5-9, juniors range from 10-14 and seniors range from ages 15-19. 4-H offers over 200 different project areas and is the largest youth organization in the United States with over 7 million youngsters. The new Cloverbuds in this area will be exposed to leadership, speaking, and citizenship skills.

"You know, it's like anything else, you have to start from the bottom and work your way up," Beth Thompson said. "I can remember when Micah was just a Cloverbud and before I knew it she was at state competitions and it was her senior year!" Gamble concurred, "We love having the little ones and we are excited about the possibility of some older members joining too. 4-H really does offer something for everyone and for every interest."

"This is such an exciting time of the year for our members. It is back to school time, banquet time and fair time," said Maleigha Light, 4-H County Extension agent for Craighead county. "The fair offers every 4-Her the chance to show off their skills whether it's cooking and crafts or livestock and gardening."

4-H is open to everyone ages 5-19 and the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

The next meeting date for the Eastern Craighead county 4-H club is 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, at Black Oak Community Center. Contact Maleigha Light, CEA, at 870-933-4565 for more information.

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