I grew up on a farm in northeast Iowa and my summers were spent picking up rocks, cutting volunteer corn from soybean fields and learning from 4-H. 4-H was interwoven
into the culture of rural life. Learning was at the center of summer and 4-H was the catalyst. Fair projects provided the incentive for me to learn many things. I learned about the science of cooking—why eggs turned green if boiled incorrectly, the process of canning and using a pressure cooker, tying a variety of macramé knots, the details of furniture refinishing, photography and the effects of different light exposures to only highlight a few. Learning didn’t stop when the school bell rang, in fact, learning moved into high gear. For me learning that was purposeful or necessary to do something was powerful. I learned early the importance of how to learn and the joy and satisfaction that can come from learning.
How can we encourage this kind of learning today? Kids are still joining and learning through 4-H and the Scouting organizations are still running summer camps. I’m seeing my 15 year old off to Scout camp this weekend for a two week stint and he can easily give testimony to what he has and will learn at camp. Youth programs like 4-H and Scouts offer valuable opportunities for youth to learn not only practical, technical skills, but life skills like communications and getting along with other youth and adults. Sadly, more should and could take advantage. Summer youth programs can provide a unique opportunity for youth to learn in a relaxed environment outside of school.
It’s not too late to get your child enrolled! It’s not too late for learning! Call today.