Thursday, October 11, 2012

4-H at Brooker Creek Saturday October 13 at 1:00

October 13- OPEN HOUSE:  Join us for a special introduction to this Pinellas County 4-H series! Program includes: How Wood You Like That? – Get to know some of the common trees of Brooker Creek, and how wood is “made.” From 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sample activities include:

Activity 1:  Leaf and Bark rubbing

Activity 2:  Identification of the leaf that was rubbed

Activity 3:  Age of several Tree Cookies

Activity 4:  Drawing Your Own Life as a Tree Cookie

Free registration for the Open House is available here.We look forward to seeing you there!

Come learn what the Florida 4-H Forestry program has to offer!  First there is the Brooker Creek Explorers 4-H Club.  Youth from ages 5 - 18 can join this club to learn about the natural Florida spaces we all enjoy.  Each member will receive a 4-H project book and attend meetings held twice a month. Come to the open house for more registration details and activities!

Florida Forest Ecology Event - In addition, 4-H members ages 8 - 18 can join the 4-H Forest Ecology Team and learn about Florida forests.  The topics cover forestry ecosystems, tree and plant I.D.,  wildlife, forestry pests, and orienteering.  There will be a statewide 4-H Florida Forest Ecology Event in Gainesville during the spring. See sample activities and resources at the open house!

If you are interested in joining either opportunity or both please contact Lara Miller at

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Annual 4-H Apple/Pecan Sale is Here!

Ready to bite into a fresh, crisp, and juicy apple?  How about some really fresh pecans for holiday baking or tossing into a salad?  The annual Extension 4-H apple and pecan sale sponsored by the Pinellas County 4-H Association is now in full swing.  This sale is the main fund raiser for the 4-H Association to raise money for the 4-H scholarship program. 

This year we are offering Yellow Delicious and Empire apples.  Both varieties are excellent for baking, cooking, or just eating.

The apples are offered in quantities of a bushel for $44.00 or a half-bushel for $24.00.  A bushel is approximately 40 pounds.  Orders must be placed by October 1.  Pick up will be at the Chester Ochs 4-H Educational Center October 25 – 28, 2012.  The address is 14644 113th Avenue, N. Largo.

There are also pecans, halves or pieces, available in one pound bags. Specialty chocolate covered pecans, chocolate cluster pecans, and cinnamon glaze pecans are offered in 12 ounce decorative bags.  All bags are $11.00 each. 

It is very easy to place your order.  If you know of a 4-H club in your area, any 4-H member can take your prepaid order.  The 4-H Association web site at has more information on the apples and pecans, as well as downloadable forms to pay by check or credit card.  Credit card orders can also be placed online.

This is a win-win situation.  You can enjoy delicious, fresh, nutritious apples and pecans and at the same time support your county 4-H program. Each year the Pinellas County 4-H Association awards $6,000 in scholarships for 4-H camps and trips, 4-H Legislature, 4-H Congress, and now, college scholarships.

Questions? please contact Jean Rogalsky at  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sign Up for 4-H Vegetable Garden Now!

Orientation for the 2012 Ochs Garden 4-H Club is September 6 at 6:00 p.m. at the Pinellas County Extension Service.  Families will learn about the 4-H program, what vegetables they can grow, and all the benefits of belonging to the Pinellas County 4-H Program.  Attendees will have first choice in selecting their garden plot and their garden neighbors along with a variety of 4-H project books.  This program is open to youth ages 5 (as of 9/1/2012) to 18.
 If interested in this award winning program, please contact Jean Rogalsky at or call 727-582-2597.
Don't miss out on all the delicious fresh veggies you can eat!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Grow Your Vegetables and Eat Them Too!

Where? Why at the Ochs Garden 4-H Club, of course!  Members of this 4-H club not only learn to grow vegetables, but to appreciate and eat them as well. Vegetable gardening is very popular and it is no wonder.  Gardening gets the family outside and away from the screens.  The benefits include physical activity, the joys of watching the garden grow, and the best tasting vegetables around!
Want more information?  Here's what you need to know:

  • Each 4-H member receives a project book, a 10' x 12' plot, starter plants and seeds.
  • Garden tools are provided.  
  • Membership open to children ages 5 - 18. 
  • Instruction is provided by Master Gardeners
  • Cost is $15 for 4-H membership and $10 per plot for the year.
  • Garden is open Wednesdays 2-6 p.m. and Saturdays 9-11 a.m.
  • Club meetings are on Wednesdays at 4:00 p.m.
  • The garden is located at 14644 113th Avenue North, Largo.
  • 4-H'ers keep all the produce they grow.
Interested? Everyone must pre-register by contacting Jean Rogalsky at . Or call 727-582-2597. There will be an orientation at Pinellas County Extension September 6 at 6:00 p.m. for those who have pre-registered.  At orientation there will be an opportunity to register, select a plot, meet the other gardeners, and learn about this award winning 4-H program.  Let's get growing!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Camp Ocala 2012: A Counselor’s Perspective

Camp Ocala: A Counselor’s Perspective
Keri Hannukainen

                4-H Camp Ocala was an absolute success this year. As campers, we were able to experience all of the joy of being a 4-H’er at camp. As counselors, we were able to take on leadership roles and help our campers to enjoy camp to the fullest. Despite some unique problems at camp this year, Camp Ocala was able to once again provide the opportunity to 4-H youth to enjoy life, make new friends, and learn new things—both about ourselves and about the world.
                As Ms. Jean was unable to attend camp, the O.C.A.L.A class was canceled this year.  While there were many complaints as this is many campers’ favorite class, the camp class list seemed more diverse than ever. Many of the classes this year were more on the science side, but were still just as fun. While walking across camp, you could see the Science with a Twist class making ice cream, the Aquatic Wonders class getting wet, and the Rocketry class building and firing rockets that raced to the sky. The standard camp staff classes were great, but my favorite class would have to be the PPPH Media Class. What is better than taking pictures of your experiences at camp and putting them in a slide show?
                Pinellas County claimed 5 of the 10 spirit awards given at the end of camp. The results are listed below.
·         Junior Head—Jared McNelis
·         Junior Health—Andrew Woolley
·         Senior Head—Adison Julian
·         Senior Health—Matthew Galiano
·         Senior Spirit—Evan Julian
The last activity at camp is the Friendship Circle. Before the Friendship Circle began, the camp staff surprised everyone with a new type of award. This award would be presented to those whom the camp staff believed to best embody the Camp Ocala spirit and who the staff hoped would later join them as camp staff. Colleen McNelis and Evan Julian were selected and were presented with “Property of Camp Ocala” t-shirts.
The Friendship Circle concluded the exhausting, but unforgettable, experience that is 4-H Camp Ocala. While I will not be returning next year as I have graduated, I will always remember camp and the friends that I have made there fondly. I sincerely hope that all of you return to Camp Ocala next year and treasure every moment as your time at camp will pass all too quickly.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

4-H Summer Bash

      This year’s 4-H Summer Bash on June 1, 2012 was a success! Over 40 people attended the event, making this year’s bash the most successful and popular yet. 4-H’ers enjoyed delicious hamburgers, hotdogs, and other side dishes, kicking off the beginning of summer with a pot-luck picnic. 

     4-H’ers from Average Joe’s, County Council, Hare Raisin’ Homesteaders, J.D. Cooking Club, Ochs Garden Club, and other clubs attended the bash. Colleen McNelis and Keri Hannukainen, both graduating seniors, gave their farewell speeches during the County Council elections. Jared McNelis led Minute to Win It, which created a fun and light-hearted atmosphere. A curious alligator even showed up during the bash along the edge of the lake shore to help us celebrate.

     The County Council elections were held during the bash and are:
·         President: Lacey Steele (Hare Raisin’ Homesteaders)
·         Vice-President: Emily Vines (Hare Raisin’ Homesteaders)
·         Reporter: Abby Vines (Ochs Garden Club)
·         Historian: Cheyenne Schoeppner (Hare Raisin’ Homesteaders)
·         Sergeant of Arms: Jared McNelis (Hare Raisin’ Homesteaders)
The elections for secretary and treasurer will be held soon.

     Congratulations to Jessica Freed for winning a blue ribbon at the State Horse Competition in Gainesville.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

4-H District Events

On May 5 the six counties of 4-H District Nine gathered in Pasco County for District Events.  Nearly 100 4-H members were registered for this day of competitive events and District Council elections and meetings.
Congratulations to newly elected 2012/2013 District President Emily Vines!
Close to 30 Pinellas County 4-H'ers competed with demonstrations, public speaking, and Share the Fun.  Many received blue ribbons and all represented their counties well.
High point winners are recognized with a medallion.  Pinellas Junior and Intermediate winners are awarded with a camp scholarship and Senior winners receive a scholarship to Congress week.
Here are our Pinellas high point winners:
Matthew Galiano with Basics of GPS; Annelise Vieira with How to Organize a Binder for Success;
Michaela Polmann/Lexa Armstrong  with Making a Good First Impression; Alexis Carter/Alexus Oehler with Duct Tape Art; Shannon Piquet  with Whelping Puppies; Sarah Head with One Must Suffer to Be Beautiful; Amanda Benedict with If the Shoe Fits; Jared McNelis with Vermicompost; Stefan Mason with Scratch; Emily Vines with Intro to Herbal Medicine; Savannah Kutz/Samantha Richards with Animal Testing; Abby Vines with Soldier with a Tail; Elizabeth Briggs/Cheyenne Schoeppner with Who Says?; and Abby Lang/John Roe with Cha Cha/Mambo.
Once again Pinellas County had a great showing at a district-wide events.  Congratulations to all who participated!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Area E 4-H Horse Show

The 4-H Horse Program is growing and thriving in Pinellas County.  Last weekend 34 Pinellas riders and their horses joined 100 more from eight area counties for the Area E 4-H Horse Show at the State Fairgrounds in Tampa.  What a full weekend it was!  The excitement started on Friday when the competitors arrived with their families and friends for registration.  At registration Coggins test results are checked, bits and helmets inspected,  ponies are measured, and show packets handed out.  Then it is time to move into the stalls or practice, practice, practice.
Saturday classes begin at 8:00 a.m.  Last weekend the weather forecast was fairly threatening, so we all had our fingers crossed. Saturday is mainly English classes with the notable exception of the Speed Events and Trail which took place in the Charlie Lykes Arena.  The weather held until the afternoon and the very competent grounds crew was able to moved the jump class course to the covered pavilion before the storm hit.  In spite of the rain and wind, we were able to complete all the scheduled classes in good time.
Western classes are featured on Sunday with the recent additions of Ranch Riding and Ranch Trail.  Sunday's exceptions were the very elegant Dressage and the demonstration classes for miniatures. All classes missed the Sunday morning shower.
Of the 134 entries, 60% qualify to advance to the State 4-H Horse Show, also taking place at the State Fairgrounds.  Eighteen of the Pinellas competitors qualified for the state show on July 12-14.  The show is free, parking is free, so please come out and watch the best of the Florida 4-H Horse Program compete. 
Showing a horse involves a lot more than grooming and riding a horse.  Members are enrolled in a 4-H horse project,learn how to take care of a horse, learn to be organized and how to focus on a goal.
In the words of Dr. Ed Johnson, the horse program is designed to" improve citizenship, sportsmanship, horsemanship, character, competitive spirit, discipline, and responsibility..." (Florida 4-H Area & State Horse Shows Official Rules 2012).

For more information on the Florida 4-H Horse Program, go to Florida 4-H Horse Program

Friday, March 30, 2012

Springing into 4-H Events

If it is spring, it means that all 4-H calendars are full to overflowing. Last Saturday we completed our 4-H County Events with Demonstration Day. Of the 39 entries presented March 24, 24 have qualified to advance to Districts Events May 5 in Dade City. At Night of the Arts on March 2, several 4-H members were won in their age categories and will advance with their Share the Fun acts. They are Juniors Katie Dempsey and Stefan Mason (also eligible with demonstration), Intermediates Elizabeth Briggs/ Cheyenne Schoeppner (team), and Taylor Mason, and Seniors Rebekah Briggs and dance duo Abby Lang/John Roe.
We also had 23 4-H'ers submit poster and photo entries with 17 judged at blue ribbon level, qualifying them to advance to State competition.
Look for the Thursday Clearwater Gazette for a piece on Demonstration Day.
Area E Horse show is coming up April 21. At this point I am processing 33 entries for the show. Pinellas County has one of the largest delegations in this ten county show. We have entries from nine different clubs.

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Gainesville was the location of my meeting. My group was assigned to meet in the UF Small Animal Hospital. This is a very impressive building with state of the art services. If you are interested or have a 4-H'er interested in the College of Vet Medicine, there will be an open house April 14 that includes a tour of both large and small animal hospitals. More information can be found at : .

If you have any questions about these events or about the Pinellas County 4-H program, please contact me at:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Help Support 4-H Community Service Project

Pinellas 4-H County Council is collecting canned goods as part of the District community service project CanRaiser. Four-H members are donating the goods to local food banks.
A second community service project is to collect items for the homeless. Along with the usual toiletry items like soap, toothpaste. or shampoo, homeless people also need socks, brushes, and wash cloths. These new items can be dropped off at the 4-H office or to any 4-H member.
If you are coming to Night of the Arts March 2, there will be a box to collect the canned goods and the items for the homeless. Show your 4-H spirit and support these worthy community serrvice projects.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Pinellas 4-H County Events

Springtime in 4-H means the competitive events are in full swing. One event common to all 4-H counties is called County Events. Pinellas County 4-H divides its County Events into two events - Night of the Arts and Demonstration Day.
Night of the Arts has three contests - Share the Fun, Poster Contest, and the Photo Exhibit. Share the Fun is the talent show with an emphasis on fun. This year's entries include piano, songs, a monologue, and dancers from ballroom to hula. Contestants are judged (except for Cloverbuds) and awarded ribbons. The top two winners in each age category advance to compete at District Events in Pasco County in May.
The Poster and Photo Exhibit Contest entries are turned in and displayed during Night of the Arts for everyone to enjoy. They are judged at a later date and the results are announced at Demonstration Day. Winning entries advance to the State competition in Gainesville.
Night of the Arts is a fun event, although it is important to remember that the entries are covered by the Communication and Expressive Arts project area. Theatre Arts, Photography, and Visual Arts are project book categories in 4-H. Some examples of these projects can be found at :
Four-H members are not required to be enrolled in one of these projects to participate in any of the above contests.

The second half of County Events is Demonstration Day. Demonstration Day presentations are tied directly to the 4-H'ers project. The presentation, called a Demonstration or Illustrated Talk is an opportunity for the 4-H member to educate the audience on something interesting that was learned while working on the 4-H project. Last year the most popular project area for demonstrations was on horses.
Registration for Demonstration Day is open. All 4-H'ers who need an entry form should contact Jean Rogalsky at
All blue ribbon winners are eligible to compete at District Events. Junior and Intermediate winners from Pinellas County earn a scholarship to 4-H Camp Ocala. Senior winners are awarded a scholarship to attend 4-H State Congress.

Night of the Arts takes place March 2 at 7:00 p.m. and will be held at the Pinellas County Extension Office.
Demonstration Day takes place March 24 at 9:00 a.m. also at the Extension Office.
The public is invited to attend these events. Come and learn a little more about what the Pinellas County 4-H program is all about.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Save the Date - April 14 for District Congress

Coming … District 4-H Junior Congress April 14, 2012
Pinellas 4-H Juniors and Intermediates, this event is for you!

Sarasota County 4-H will host District 9 4-H Junior Congress this year. The event is scheduled for Saturday, April 14 (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.; registration starts at 8:30 a.m.) at the Sarasota County 4-H Office, located at 6700 Clark Road (Twin Lakes Park) in Sarasota, FL 34241.

What is District Junior Congress? District Junior Congress is a fun-educational event for junior and intermediate 4-H’ers to participate in workshops and activities designed to develop leadership skills and learn about opportunities available in 4-H.

What Classes/Workshops are being offered? This year Senior 4-H’ers will be teaching sessions on Beekeeping, Dairy, Gardening, Mock Legislature, My Plate, Stop Bullying, Stow-it, Don’t Throw-it, and Waterworks. Everyone will get a chance to participate in most sessions.

What is the cost? The fee is $5.00 which includes materials. Please make your check payable to the Pinellas County 4-H Foundation. You must provide your own lunch.

How do I register? Copy the registration form below or request one from your 4-H leader, and return it to the Pinellas County 4-H Office by March 22nd. Your 4-H Agent will print your 4-H participation form (from 4-H online) and include it with your registration to the district.

District 4-H Junior Congress
Saturday, April 14, 2012

Registration Form

Name:_________________________ Age:_______ County:______________________________

Address:______________________________________ Club:______________________________


Please circle your top four (4) workshop choices:

Stow-it, Don’t Throw-it
Stop Bullying

Please return the registration form and a $5.00 fee to the 4-H Office by March 22.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Start the Year with a 4-H Vegetable Garden

Registration is now open for the Ochs Garden 4-H Club. This program is open to youth ages 5-18. The garden is located at 14644 113th Avenue North, in Largo. The parking lot is located off of Hamlin. The garden is open on Wednesdays from 2-6 and Saturdays from 9-11. The 4-H club meetings are on Wednesdays at 4:00. For more information and a look at what we did during the fall garden season, go to:

Each member is assigned a 10'x12' plot. All the starter plants and seeds are provided. Master Gardeners and knowledgeable volunteers teach techniques and assist the 4-H members to grow vegetables according to University of Florida guidelines. We use mainly organic methods, make our own compost, harvest rainwater, and learn to enjoy a variety of healthy foods. Best of all, the children have fun as they learn to garden, make sustainable choices, and spend time outdoors.

If you are interested in this program, please contact Jean Rogalsky at or 727-582-2597 to register your child. You don't have to know anything about gardening to participate, but adults must be accompanied by at least one child. Registration deadline is January 16.