4-H offers summer programs

BALDWIN — School is getting out and that means plenty of free time for Lake County kids. 4-H will be putting on a number of programs in Lake County through the Baldwin MSU Extension office to help them fill those summer hours with activities which are fun, proactive and positive.

"Summer is a good chance to get involved in 4-H and there are tons of programs to join and a bunch of ways to find something fun to do now that school is out," said Seth Hopkins, 4-H program director.

Among the programs 4-H will have in Lake County is the Garden Club, which will teach attendees how to grow vegetables at the Circle R Farms. The group has already started, but is welcoming people of all ages. However, young children must be accompanied by an adult.

"Programs like the Garden Club are great because kids and adults can both learn to grow things and supplement their dinner table," remarked Hopkins. "It will run through October."

There also is a woodworking club for kids ages 10 and up. There, those who sign up will learn how to fashion wood for any number of practical or artistic purposes.

"We have everything from small projects like birdhouses to large projects like furniture," said Hopkins. "We want kids to learn how to use their hands for something besides a video game controller."

A disc golf team will be starting up, which will hold practices and competitions at Baldwin High School. It is open to both boys and girls ages 10 to 18. There is a $20 fee to join, or $10 if the child can provide their own equipment. The team will have its first meeting on Tuesday, June 23, and will meet from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Deadline for sign-up is Tuesday, July 7.

"We're taking disc golf registration right now," explained Hopkins. "We have a course set up at the school and we travel around to other courses all over the state. Kids younger than 10 years old can join the group, but you have to be older than that to travel with the team."

For those looking for something more cerebral, the Lake County Tech Wizards Club has a summer program which meets from 8 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays at Baldwin Schools. It is open for kids ages 10 to 13 and will help students explore science and math subjects in a fun and engaging way.

"We're in our summer programming with the Tech Wizards," said Hopkins. "It's a mentoring program that matches youth and adults to explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects in a fun and creative way. STEM jobs are good careers and this can help foster in kids an interest in these subjects."

Hopkins also explained 4-H is looking to expand more programs into the Luther area. One program is up and running at the Luther Library. The group will focus on science education and will meet from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday nights and is designed for families to take part together with all ages welcome.

"We've been working with the Luther Library, exploring different science topics with experiments," said Hopkins. "We'll be doing science projects, and provide mentoring and reading support for kids."

4-H also has little league baseball, however the season began in April and registration is now closed. Hopkins encourages people to cheer on the teams and for kids to consider joining next year if they are interested. It is for ages 5 to 15.

For more information on any of these programs, contact Seth Hopkins at (231) 745-2732.