4-H Southeast Regional Energizer - Our Health to Better Living

The artwork for the back of the t-shirt

March 24, 2020

4-H Southeast Regional Energizer – Our Health to Better Living

Armed with a bright yellow sign Sharpied with the number 86,400 in bold numbers, Richard Rickman, the opening speaker for the 2020 Southeast Regional Energizer held at Advance Elementary School in Advance, Missouri on Saturday, February 22, asked the crowd of 4-H youth, “Imagine there is a bank that credits your account every single day with $86,400. Every morning the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? How would you spend it? Would you wisely invest that much or just squander it away?” Good question to ask a room full of approximately 140 youth ranging in age between 8 and 18, plus an additional 30 or more adults – not mentioning age ranges. Rickman, a University of Missouri Extension County Engagement Specialist in 4-H Youth Development went on to explain, “We all receive that amount - but in the form of seconds in a day.” Rickman asked the youth how were they using their time. Which led to the question of how will they use their time in the future.

Our biggest Energizer yet and our 10 year anniversary hosted nearly 170 4-H members – young and old - from Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Iron, Perry, Oregon, Scott, Stoddard and Wayne counties in the Southeast Region.. The purpose of a Regional Energizer is to bring a fun-filled event, similar to larger, state events, close to home for youth to learn, gather new ideas, and meet other 4-H youth from their own region. This year’s focus for the Southeast event was the fourth H – Health - of the 4-H pledge. The fourth H is all about our health to better living. Though we often think of our health as how we feel, 4-H breaks this H into two categories: being and living. Each category is broken down further: BEING - self-esteem, self-responsibility. character, managing feelings and self-discipline. LIVING - healthy lifestyle choices, stress management, disease prevention, personal safety. Throughout the day, youth attended such workshops as Vaping Dangers, Surviving Your Teen Years, Coping Skills, Water Safety CSI, Kitchen Sense, Personality self-esteem, Climate & Your Health, Bees & Milk, Stress Management, The Science of Art and Line Dancing. Meanwhile adult workshops covered volunteering and maneuvering the

4-H uses a framework called “Targeting Life Skills Model” (Hendricks, 1998)) that is based upon the four H’s – head, heart, hands and health – found in the 4-H Pledge. The life skills model helps to organize the delivery of experiences that support the growth and development of youth. 4-H.

4-H website (https://extension2.missouri.edu/programs/missouri-4-h)

Also available in the afternoon was a unique opportunity for participants from across the region to impact their communities. Youth participants ages 12 and up and an interested adult from their club had the option to get free training in Youth Action Research. In the training, a health-related issue was identified and the group learned skills and tools to: 1) gather information about the health-related issue, 2) identify existing resources in their community, and 3) develop a plan for how their club can take action on the issue. Club members are then able to apply for a $250 mini-grant to fund their project; the funding comes with additional training and ongoing support from a MU faculty member.

As a health deterrent and as a big thank you to Advance Schools for hosting us, attendees were asked to bring boxes of tissue to donate to the school.

If 4-H sounds like something you would like to be involved in, please contact University of Missouri Extension: Scott County office , 573-545-3516. A 4-H Youth Specialist or a 4-H Youth Program Associate will be happy to direct you in the enrollment process and answer as many questions as possible.

A favorite activity of Southeast 4-H youth is dancing. Renee Peters, Hannah Aufdenberg and Lauren McClanahan taught groups of youth several line dances.

Missouri 4-H is a community of nearly 230,000 youth ages 5-18 from all walks of life - rural farming communities, suburban schoolyards, and urban neighborhoods. 4-H youth learn leadership, citizenship, and life skills, guided by over 9,100 caring adult volunteers statewide. University of Missouri Extension 4-H is the youth development program of the nation’s Cooperative Extension system.

The slogan of 4-H is "Learning to do by doing". That's what 4-H is about and in this picture youth were doing to learn during one of the presentations.