By Robert Flippo
The Piedmont 4-H club held its inaugural meeting Thursday, September 19 at the Piedmont Library. Jennifer Ochoa, the leader of the 4-H club, ran the meeting with the help of assistant club leader Sheila Dunn, and Canadian County 4-H educators Summer Riggins and Jordan Slagell.
The meeting was a big step for the future of 4-H in Piedmont. Previously, the only 4-H presence in Piedmont was the 4-H horse club, the CC Tuff Riders. A full 4-H club in Piedmont will provide more opportunities for Piedmont youth, which has many excited.
“I’m looking forward to getting our club established and getting a name picked out and finding out what the kids here in Piedmont are interested in,” Ochoa said.
A large turnout at the meeting showed Ochoa wasn’t the only one excited about the prospect. Some 25 children and their parents crowded into the library’s side room for the meeting.
The meeting began with introductions, each child gave their name and said their favorite dessert as a way to get to know each other. Next, the leaders went into an explanation of what people could expect from the club, which turned out to not be entirely concrete.
“One of our goals is to teach life skills, whatever that may be,” Slagell said. “4-H can be whatever you want it to be.”
The openness of 4-H is what makes it such an impressive program and why it is a positive addition to Piedmont. 4-H is more than just horses and cows. The club can introduce children to science and technology such as robotics and it can teach kids about public speaking and leadership. The opportunities are endless.
Slagell told the children in attendance that Canadian County 4-H has educators who can work with them on anything they are interested in. If they do not have an educator on hand who is familiar with the subject, they will find someone who is.
The 4-H club is open to anyone ages 9-19 and there is a group for younger members, ages 5-8, called Cloverbuds.
The Piedmont 4-H club held a kickoff party Saturday, September 28 at Chester’s Party Barn. The next 4-H meeting will be held October 17 at the Piedmont Library. At the next meeting, the club will choose a name and elect club officers.