Sampson County’s Cooperative Extension is looking forward to sparking a variety of interest in local youths.
Through its 4-H program, the organization is hosting an inaugural meeting for The Sampson County 4-H Special Interest (SPIN) Club from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28 at the Sampson County Extension Livestock Facility, 55 Agriculture Place, Clinton.
Daniel Collins, extension agent for 4-H Youth Development, said the purpose is to offer participants an opportunity to have 4-H experiences that are different from the traditional. The club is open to all Sampson County and City of Clinton youth who will be 5 to 18 years old by Jan. 1, 2016. 4-H membership is not required.
The club may sound similar to existing 4-H clubs, but the SPIN Club will be a little different and go beyond livestock, according to Daniels.
“We do interest from our other clubs, but we have kids that are not interested in livestock and a lot of people think it’s still all agriculture based,” Collins said.
He said there was a lot of interest in the program with roots in Texas, focused on youth not over-committing on activities.
“What we’re trying to do is build upon what we already have and offering some future opportunities,” Collins said.
During the SPIN Club, Collins expects a topic to highlight each meeting, including gardening Entomology (the study of insects), STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), theater arts, recreation and foods.
“There’s a whole gamut of different things from expressive arts to the STEM program,” Collins said. “There’s more animal science out there. We have rabbits, dogs and all sorts of different things that we can look at too. Depending on what these kids want from this SPIN program, we’re going to give them a snippet of it and have guests come in.”
Shooting sports, is also a big interest.
“I know that’s going to be one thing because there’s a lot of people that already talked to me about it,” Collins said in regards to the target shooting activity. “That’s one of the big things we’re looking at.”
He compared the potential of the club to a buffet.
“You got different things out on that buffet, that you want to give a try,” he said. “This is what this is.”
For the upcoming gathering, Collins is expecting to arrange meeting times, expectations and the enrollment process. Snacks will be provided to youths and parents in attendance
“If they can’t make it that night, we’ll definitely take them when we can …,” he said about other opportunities to sign up for it or for other special occasions.
Afterward, extension officials hopes it pushes youths to join established clubs offered by 4-H. Also, there’s opportunities to develop new clubs in the county, such as the shooting club.
“It’s going to be tailored around what the kids want to do,” Collins said.
He said another aspect of the program will focus on leadership and social skills.
“All of those will encompass different things,” he said.
Extension officials would like to know who’s attending by Monday, Jan. 25. For more information, contact Collins or Cindy Nance, 4-H Secretary in the Sampson County Extension Office at 910-592-7161 or by email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.