4-H is the Cooperative Extension System's dynamic, informal, educational program for young people. 4-H programs reach over 6.5 million young people across the United States. The program combines the cooperative efforts of youth, volunteer leaders, state land-grant universities, federal, state, local governments and the United States Department of Agriculture.
The mission of the Cooperative Extension System in conducting 4-H programs is to assist youth in acquiring knowledge, developing life skills and forming attitudes that will enable boys and girls to become self-directing, productive and contributing members of the world. The 4-H program focuses on developing knowledge and skills, learning how to deal with stress and learning to help others.
The 4-H roots are deeply planted. The first 4-H emblem design was a 3-leaf clover, introduced sometime between 1907 and 1908. From the beginning, the 3-H's signified Head, Heart and Hands. In 1911, at a meeting of club leaders in Washington, the present 4-H design was adopted by approving the fourth H, Health.
Otis Hall, State Leader of Kansas, was responsible for the original working of the 4-H pledge. At the first National 4-H Club Camp in 1927, the state 4-H leaders officially adopted the 4-H pledge. The pledge read: "I pledge my Head to clearer thinking My Heart to greater loyalty My Hands to larger service and My Health to better living For my club, my community, my country."
The addition "and my world" to the last line in 1973 has been the only change to the pledge in over 80 years.
The 4-H pledge is a symbol of the devotion generations of America's youth have given to the 4-H program. Its words embody the goals of 4-H. The pledge is the heart of a special union... the union between 4-H members, who learn and grow through 4-H programs; the staff, both volunteer and Extension, who make 4-H a reality for young people throughout the nation, and the growing family of 4-H supporters and partners who make it possible.
4-H programs in Cumberland County are open to all boys and girls in grades K-13 (one year out of high school) without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
For more information about 4-H, call the 4-H Center at 856-451-2800 ext #3. or fill out our contact form.