- Author: JoLynn Miller
On Tuesday October 1st, 4-H Member Belle, Tuolumne County 4-H Ambassador, and Rosemary Giannini, 4-H Community Education Specialist, made a presentation to the Tuolumne Board of Supervisors requesting October 5-12 be proclaimed 4-H Week in Tuolumne County.
Rosemary began by citing the research which show 4-H members are four times more likely to make contributions to their communities, two times more likely to participate in science programs during out-of-school time, and nearly two times more likely to make healthy choices.
Then Belle came to podium to talk about her involvement in 4-H and the impact it has had on her life. The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors have historically been a vocal advocate for our program and this time was no different. The four members in attendance that day all had special comments to share about 4-H.
Supervisor Sherri Brennan, District 1, was wearing a 4-H pin on her lapel. She was the first to speak:
“The program is a success because of the committed volunteers that support it. We need to acknowledge and thank them!” ~Supervisor Sherri Brennan, District 1
“I was a judge at a 4-H event this year. To see 6, 10, & 16 year-olds that are more intelligent & better spoken than I am and I was there to judge them. I thought, "I'm not qualified to judge this!” A bit of humor, a bit of truth by Supervisor Ryan Campbell, District 2, “Thank you to the organizers of 4-H. You're building the leaders that will be taking the reins in our community down the road.”
“You want my chair?” Board Chair, Supervisor Karl Rodefer, District 5 joked in response to Belle's account of how 4-H has helped her grow as a leader. They were pretty impressed with her public speaking skills.
When Supervisor Daniel Anaiah Kirk, District 3 asked Belle what she wanted to be when she grew up (answer-nursing) he said: “Well you're on the track to do whatever you want because you're very well spoken. 4-H prepares young people for success.”
Supervisor Kirk also shared how he was in 4-H as a youth and has good memories of his experience. He is looking forward to enrolling his kids in 4-H "because of the life skills that it will give to them."
“You're really a class act. If you're the poster person for 4-H, I think 4-H is very well represented.” Board Chair, Supervisor Karl Rodefer, District 5.
"4-H develops the next generation of leaders for this county, this state, and this nation.”
~Board Chair, Supervisor Karl Rodefer, District 5
The measure to proclaim October 5 - 12 as National 4-H Week in Tuolumne County passed unanimously.
- Author: Jada Ho
- Author: TJ Suit
- Author: Rose Fiorenza
- Author: Addyson Rubin
REPOST - updated 9/23/2019
We asked teens who attended the 2017 Mindfulness Retreat: "What were the highlights of the Mindfulness Retreat for you? What did you learn from the retreat that would be useful for teens?"
Jada: The mindfulness retreat was refreshing for me to be able to worry about nothing but the present. I loved the morning yoga and and making collages. This weekend reminded me that I should stop and take a total break from everything more often, and that I don't have to constantly be accomplishing something. I learned that visualizing things, like the glitter in a moody jar, when I meditate or practice mindfulness helps me to focus.
TJ: Given the opportunity to focus on myself and the present for a weekend with no worries about the future was an amazing experience. I spent time learning more about myself, learning about others, and learning mindful tools to help me get through my everyday life. From meditating on the beach, tons of arts and crafts, hilarious skits, and meeting new friends, it was an experience I will remember for a very long time!
Rose: The mindfulness retreat was an enlightening experience that impacted me in so many ways. With all my college applications due, I've been extremely busy and extremely stressed. The retreat really opened my eyes to the impact that stress can make on my social, mental and emotional health. I was able to leave the retreat with mindfulness strategies that I now use to help me relieve stress, such as collaging, deep breathing, and journaling.
Addy: The mindfulness retreat was a great weekend for stressed teens and adults. It gave everyone some time to step back and live in the moment instead of being obsessed with future plans and responsibilities. The retreat provided everyone with helpful tools that will keep you on track, and keep your stress levels down. This retreat really opened my eyes to what meditation and mindful breathing is capable of and I now use these techniques as a daily stress reliever. This was an unforgettable experience that I would highly recommend people of all ages.
Join us this year!
November 1-3, 2019
Camp Ocean Pines, Cambria, CA
A 4-H Healthy Living Program for youth age 13-19 and adults
Register online - Deadline is October 1, 2019
See our Event Calendar posting for more information.
- Author: Elizabeth Sugarman
We are having a great time in D.C. celebrating Margaret “Sissy"Sugarman from Olivenhain Valley 4-H, earning the Congressional Award Gold Medal. Congressman Mike Levin presented her with the Gold Medal in a medal ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.
The Congressional Award
The Congressional award is the highest honor Congress can bestow upon a civilian recognizing achievement, initiative and service in America's youth, ages 14-23. The Award provides a unique opportunity for young people to set and achieve personally challenging goals that build character and foster community service, personal development, and citizenship. To earn a Congressional Award, participants set and achieve individual goals in four program areas: Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration.
Recognizing that children in her community are disconnected from animals, agriculture, and nature, Margaret “Sissy” Sugarman organized and led tours and classes at her farm and at local schools promoting agriculture, beekeeping, and connection with animals. Her pollinator education program, “The Honeybee Road Show,” earned national recognition from the American Agri-Women Foundation. Sissy also served at a Veteran's camp in Alaska, Camp Battle Dawgs, which uses sled dogs and other outdoor activities to help veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries reintegrate back into every day life. Currently, Sissy is connecting people to animals and agriculture by hosting veteran groups, disabled adults and youth groups for free Goat Yoga classes at her family farm in Olivenhain.
Sissy was furthered recognized as a "STEM Star"
Senator Ron Wyden presented Sugarman with the added distinction of being a S.T.E.M. Star for her Honey Bee Road Show initiative. Ray Kerins from Bayer, a national 4-H partner, presented her with her STEM Star achievement pin.
The Honey Bee Road Show is a program Sissy developed after growing up learning about bees in 4-H. Sissy had cared for her bees on her family farm and found them to be a source of endless fascination. She has hosted hundreds of groups of children on tours to her family farm and was always surprised to encounter children who were afraid of bees or had no appreciation for bees. Sissy created the Honey Bee Road Show as a way to teach schoolchildren about bees and their vital role in our world. Bees are our #1 pollinator and they need our help!
Sissy took her program to elementary schools and did many presentations at the Encinitas Farm Lab, which is an ecology center run by our local school district. Sissy taught the children all about the inner workings of the beehive and invited children from the audience to join in her presentation in a starring role by acting out the different roles of the honey bees.
“Children are so eager to make a connection with animals. Being a part of that joy and discovery is absolutely magical.” ~Sissy Sugarman
The model of leadership, service, and giving back to the community that Sissy learned from her selfless 4-H leaders was the inspiration for her program.
Sissy's 4-H skills came in handy. Of course, she learned so much about bees in her beekeeping project, but her years in the sewing project came in handy as she crafted and sewed costumes for the children to wear in their bee hive skit. And all those years of presentations and demonstrations paid off, as her public speaking skills were vital to holding the attention of 60 2nd graders at each presentation!
Sissy plans to continue her program locally and hopefully take what she has learned to Africa in the near future. She hopes to intern in a program called Elephants and Bees which would combine her experience with pollinator education with her passion for elephant conservation. You can learn more about that at http://elephantsandbees.com/
Sissy's community service work and links to news articles highlighting her work can be found at: http://www.sugarsweetfarm.com/community-service.html