Wednesday, July 23, 2008

4-H Clubs To Go Online

Web sites are an easy and increasingly important way for educators, teens, and people in general to reach an audience, clientele, and friends in an ever-growing global society. That’s why the Pinellas County 4-H Technology Team is gearing up to help 4-H Clubs go online with the help of a website creation tool, the expertise of the 4-H Technology Team, and their already formulated website, the Pinellas 4-H Teen Connection. On Thursday August 7th, 2008 from 10:00a.m.-12:00p.m. at the Pinellas County Extension Office the 4-H Technology Team will be training 4-H clubs on Web site building. The 4-H Technology Team asks that each 4-H Club Leader designate one adult and a participating youth to attend the training (limited to 6 clubs – first come first serve.) Additional training will be scheduled as needed. Please contact Richard Livingstone at 727-582-2103 or to sign up.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Disney Minnie Grants for Youth Volunteers

Youth Service America and Disney are pleased to launch a second round of Disney Minnie Grants to engage children and youth, ages 5-14 as community volunteers. The selected applications will receive $500 to support their youth-led service projects. The deadline is August 30 and projects must take place October 15-November 15, 2008. Visit for more information and application materials. You can review past award recipients from all over the world at:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

4-H'ers Have a Blast at Camp Ocala

This past June, 4-H’ers from four District 9 counties gathered at 4-H Camp Ocala for a great time making new friends having fun, and even learning. Pinellas County is joined by Polk, Pasco, and Hillsborough Counties for this week-long adventure in the Ocala National Forest. In addition to the beautiful forest scenery, campers also enjoy the nearly pristine Lake Sellers. By the end of the week, most campers had a summer’s worth of stories, camp songs, and tall tales to share with friends and family.

Campers participated in a variety of activities all week long. They also choose one County Class they attend for a class period each day. This year’s County Classes included the Press Team. This group spent their class time each day interviewing campers and taking pictures. By Friday morning the team had published a camp newspaper and “delivered” one to each camper. The Rocketry classes spent their week building rockets and then launching them for the whole camp to watch. Some of the rockets gained such attitude, they temporarily disappeared from sight. One of the biggest classes was Ball Room Dancing. It was nicely balanced by the Hip Hop Fitness class taught by counselor Katy Wheeler. In all, campers could choose from ten County Classes.

At Thursday night’s candle lighting ceremony, Brian Sackett of the King’s English 4-H club, was honored as the Junior Head 4-H Spirit. The Spirits include Head, Heart, Hands, Health, and Spirit. The adults and senior counselors look for campers who exemplify the values of 4-H. Brian was overwhelmingly elected Junior Head.

One of the highlights of the week was Wednesday’s flag retirement ceremony at campfire. Fourteen of the senior camp counselors each read a narrative piece that described the history, meaning, and importance of our flag. Many of the campers had tears in their eyes as they thought of their family members who were in Iraq or other places overseas.

In addition to the campers, there was a family of three sandhill cranes that spent the day walking around the camp, looking for good things to eat in the ground. When another sandhill family landed at the camp, they were noisily chased away by the adult cranes of the first family. Every year these birds raise one or two babies right in the middle of camp.

The Ocala National Forest is home to a great variety of wildlife. Bears, foxes, and bobcat have all been spotted in the area. This year mysterious tracks were spotted next to the camp. Suggested identities range from a panther to the neighbor’s dog. In any case, the story of the tracks will be the next tall tale from Camp Ocala.

Pinellas 4-H camps for one week each summer at Camp Ocala. For more information about the 4-H camp or environmental education program, please contact Jean Rogalsky at And keep reading the 4-H blog.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Build Stronger Families With Help From Pinellas 4-H Youth Development

Families with teenagers have their own set of unique challenges to deal with on the home front. To help families with youth ages 11 to 17 tackle these issues, Pinellas County Extension 4-H Youth Development is holding a two-day Family Teening-Up Workshop to help build stronger relationships. Parents, caregivers and youth should plan on attending both days of the workshop together.

The workshop is planned for Saturday, July 19, and Saturday, August 2, and will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both days. It will be held at Pinellas County Extension centrally located at 12520 Ulmerton Road in Largo.

The workshop is a group learning program to help parents, caregivers and teens learn about and understand the normal development of teenagers and improve their family communication. Practical information and resources with hands-on learning activities to enhance family relationships will be shared.

Saturday, July 19 Day One focuses on topics such as the teen brain, transitions in adolescence and positive discipline.

Saturday, August 2 Day Two targets talking with teens about issues that affect their daily lives, understanding teen anger while managing yours and empowering teens to build assets. Families must attend Day One of the workshop to be eligible for this one.

This informative program includes course materials and healthy snacks. Families receive a Family Resource Binder complete with all program information to take home. The cost for the two-day workshop and materials is $25 per family. Registration is required for this 4-H Family Teening-Up Workshop. Call (727) 582-2450 for more information.

Please note that this program is not designed to offer therapy or other services for teens and families with more serious problems.