Sitka Conservation Society starting new 4H program for Sitka children

The Sitka Conservation Society is looking for families, adult leaders and children to participate in a new 4H club for the 2011-12 school year that will focus on the Alaska way of life. The Sitka 4H club will offer youth hands-on activities that foster community, learning, leadership and giving through outdoor activities and traditional skills.

Tracy Gagnon holds the flier introducing the Sitka Conservation Society's new 4H program.

Tracy Gagnon holds the flier introducing the Sitka Conservation Society's new 4H program.

“We’re hoping to find interested families to participate in a local 4H program that focuses on Alaskan traditional skills through hands-on learning,” Sitka Conservation Society Community Sustainability Coordinator Tracy Gagnon said. “The age range that would best fit the program would be between 6-12, with parent involvement to encourage community. Additionally, we would need a parent(s) or adult volunteer(s) to help coordinate the program, since 4H is a volunteer-run program. My position is to help get it running and pass it off to the community.”

The Alaska 4H programs are coordinated through the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service. More than 14,000 youth ages 5-19 participated in Alaska 4H programs during 2010, about one in 10 Alaska youth. Some of the 4H hands-on science projects included geocaching, woodworking, robotics, solar-powered cars, alternative energy and remote oceanic vehicles. To learn more about 4H projects in Southeast Alaska, click this link (this includes information about a 4H sustainable harvest camp Aug. 16-19 in Juneau that has some scholarships available).

“The club will evolve into whatever skill sets parents and community members have, but I’m hoping to focus on Alaska way-of-life skills like fishing and processing (smoking, canning, cooking and eating), hiking, finding wild edibles, food preservation (like blueberry jam), baking, safety skills, and even hunting. Check out the flier for more more ideas,” Tracy said. “I will have fliers in the SCS office and library foyer, where interested families can leave their contact information until Aug. 12. Once I get enough folks interested, we’ll have a community meeting and get the program running. I’m hoping to get the club going right around the time school starts so we can do a few summer activities before it gets too late.”

To learn more about the new 4H program, contact Tracy through the Sitka Conservation Society at 747-7509, by cell at 1-702-374-9090 or by e-mail at tracy@sitkawild.org. A copy of the flier is attached, and you can drop it off at the Kettleson Memorial Library foyer or at the Sitka Conservation Society office before Friday, Aug. 12.

• Sitka 4H club registration/interest flier

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