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From the State Leader's Desk... ..August

Posted: August 3, 2012

by Christy Bartley

In my mind, it really can’t be August. The time has passed much too quickly. The one thing attesting to a full summer season is all the weeds in my garden. I started early this year and was confident I had the weed battle licked! Life got in the way and sometimes  had to be focused on other issues, and now the weeds are taking over. I did find some time this weekend to get some of the smaller gardens done. And so it is with programming. We all have big plans. Time moves so quickly it is often difficult to get everything completed. Have you decided what you are focusing on as priorities to support the 4-H State Extension Team, what you will train volunteers to manage, and what you will let go? If not, be sure to take some time to do that. I know I am thinking that the wildflowers in my garden are looking good right now. As we work in districts, we should also be thinking about what we can do as a multi-county group. Can we call on the expertise of others and then offer our expertise to them when needed?

State Days will be here soon. I’m looking forward to meeting teens who have worked throughout their 4-H career to qualify to come to State Days. Thank you for supporting them and their leaders. We are doing some fantastic programming with youth. As I meet with other organizations, I truly appreciate the opportunities, we have because we are located in every county in the state. Thanks to your efforts in building collaborations and reaching out to community partners. We need to continue to build those efforts.

We will be meeting with Dave Ferris, the Volunteer Liability Insurance agent, on August 22. If you have new fund-raising ideas, you would like approved, now is your time to forward them to Karen Hack, ksh1@psu.edu. Karen will be working with the 4-H State Office for half her time on risk management issues. She will help answer questions and be sure the policy manual and VIP fact sheets are updated. Karen will also be looking at developing some online training for new employees as well as those who may need a refresher. I’m looking forward to working with Karen over the next few months.

The 4-H Executive Team, the leaders of the team sub-groups, are working on several items, including planning our face-to-face meeting on December 4-5 and membership for a 4-H Advisory Committee. The face-to-face meeting will have some guest speakers and others who will continue to help us understand our roles and develop our education skills. If you have recommendations for the meeting, please let me or your team leadership know. We are also in the process of identifying people to serve on the Advisory Committee. These individuals should have an understanding of youth education, science, positive youth development, connections to communities, or other skills to assist the Pennsylvania 4-H program to grow and develop, reaching more youth and strengthening collaborations. If you have recommendations for individuals, send their name and contact information to me.

Enjoy the rest of the summer and appreciate the beauty of the wildflowers growing in your garden.