Back to top

Faculty & Staff Newsletter

February 2018

Tom Waskiewicz4-H Clubs These Days: They’re on Trapezes, Guiding Drone Flights, and Appearing on Center Stage

Tom Waskiewicz, 4-H extension educator in western Mass., says, “things are booming in the 4-H world.” While some 4-H clubs still work directly with animals in a time-honored tradition which formed the foundation of the youth organization, others are branching out to meet the needs of young people around diverse contemporary interests. A few examples of some unexpected activities in the Pioneer Valley include:

4-H participants on trapezeThe Muddy Mustangs OCR 4-H Club float through the air with the greatest of ease ... from a flying trapeze. This club trained at the world-renowned Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield last fall. Some goals of this club are to meet, share, train with, and educate youth who enjoy any and all types of obstacle races. Techniques and experience are key components of the Club. 4-H youth train and motivate members to their fullest athletic potential. Components include conditioning, nutrition, teamwork, communication and stamina.

Youth Theater logoTwo theater 4-H clubs are forming in Whately and Wilbraham. Whately’s club offers extended activities in communication, improvisation, pantomime, script writing, stage design, and costume design. Life skills and workforce development concepts are woven throughout the curriculum as 4-Hers master more sophisticated theatre techniques.

4-H participant with droneSTEM 4-H clubs work across many science fields including robotics, drones and computer coding. During summer camps, they have learned how to extract DNA from their own bodies and microscopes were employed to examine pond organisms.