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4-H Military Partnerships

4-H Military Partnerships create opportunities and provide support to military connected youth whether they live on or near an installation, in our communities, or on overseas installations. The 4-H Military Partnerships rely on Land Grant University Extension faculty, the “Extension 4-H Military Liaison” to serve as a link between the State Cooperative Extension System, Military Service Branches, and 4-H National Headquarters at USDA.  4-H clubs provide quality educational experiences to military youth using research based curricula for military youth ages 5-18. 4-H clubs have been established on nearly every Army, Navy, and Air Force installation worldwide, while 4-H clubs in communities have opened their doors to military youth.

  • 4-H at Hanscom Air Force Base
  • 4-H at Joint Base Cape Cod/Otis Air National Guard Base
  • Military members also connected to 4-H Clubs in Communities across the State.

“The change in home, school, and community was drastic for me, but through it all, 4-H gave me a steadiness that eased the transition and gave me opportunities to learn new skills and meet new people.”- 4-H Military Youth

For more information visit http://4-hmilitarypartnerships.org/

Massachusetts 2013 Report

Opportunities:

NH- Our winter Military Teen Adventure Camps are happening in January and February for the 5th consecutive year! You may have heard we are a little light on snow in the northeast, but our camps are at the northern tip of NH -  they have some snow and will get more by the time our camps are held. Camp details can be found on our website:

The camp highlighted below has space and budget for teens with disabilities to bring a parent/caregiver: January 8-11, 2016   Ages: 14–18

This camp features adaptive sports activities in the spectacular White Mountains of Northern New Hampshire, including alpine skiing, ice skating, a winter campfire, and snow tubing! This session is implemented by Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists and is specifically designed for teens with varying abilities. As needed, adaptive equipment will be utilized.  Originally designed for teens with physical disabilities, this camp has been opened to teens with any diagnosis. During our camp weekend, we work on things like decision making, social interactions, confidence building, trying new activities, independence, etc.

April MOMC (Month of the Military Child)

The month of April provides an opportunity to recognize and honor the service of our youngest heroes, military children. Established by former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger in 1986, the designation of April as the Month of the Military Child acknowledges the significant role military youth play in our communities.  In 2011, the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Military Youth and Family Program started the “Purple Up! for Military Kids” initiative that quickly gained momentum and is now celebrated nation-wide.  Children in school and youth groups, employees in businesses and organizations, and everyone in the community is encouraged to wear purple on a specific day in April in honor of military kids. New Hampshire has chosen April 15 to be that special day, as long as it does not fall on a weekend.  Why purple? Purple is the color that symbolizes all branches of the military, as it is a combination of Army green, Marine Red, and Coast Guard, Air Force, and Navy blue. The goal of “Purple Up!” is for military youth to actually SEE the support in their school, youth groups, and the community!  So gather your office, school or group to show their support and share your pictures with us by sending them to Vashon Wallace Hiltpold at vwallace@umext.umass.edu

Purple Up! for military kids logo

Purple Up Flier

 Operation Megaphone UMass Extension 4-H Youth Development Program supports Operation Megaphone.  Operation Megaphone 2015 is scheduled for April 24th to 25th. For the third year, MANG & 4-H will partner with the Hanscom Air Force Base Youth Center to offer a 12 hour teen lock-in from 8:00 PM on Friday until 8:00 AM on Saturday.  Past National Guard teen attendees have had a great time, and our numbers keep growing every year. This is also a great opportunity to meet active duty Military Teens and share your experiences. Stay tuned for more information! This is for teens ages 13-18.  Contact Susan LaFlamme – susan.l.laflame.ctr@mail.mil MANG Youth Coordinator 

In Honor of Month of the Military Child, the MANG Child and Youth Program also mails out certificates that recognize the outstanding accomplishments of our National Guard youth. Please email us at MASSNGYouth@aol.com to register your National Guard connected child, and they will receive their well – deserved certificate this April. Please include the Service Member name, Service Member’s branch, children’s names & ages, and the mailing address for the certificates. Unit Youth Coordinators can work with their units to obtain this information and send in lists to the email mentioned above.

4-H Military Partnership Curriculum Resources including, but not limited to:

  • 4-H 101
  • Babysitting
  • DoD-USDA Partnership Tech Discovery Curriculum
  • Up for the Challenge: Lifetime Fitness, Healthy Decisions

http://4-hmilitarypartnerships.org/educator-staff/resources/curriculum/index.html

Resources from MFRI (Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University)

How to Help Military and Veteran Families is a series of publications that offer valuable information to various audiences to help them assist and support members of the military, veterans and their families.  Each issue provides evidence-based guidance on how a particular group can help, with short, practical suggestions and links that point to additional resources.  Each issue has been carefully reviewed both by subject matter experts and military family support organizations.

This series is the result of a joint effort between the Department of Defense <http://www.defense.gov/> and the Department of Agriculture <http://www.usda.gov/>, in collaboration with the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University <http://www.mfri.purdue.edu/> and the National Military Family Association <htp://www.militaryfamily.org/>.

Operation Military Kids Updates:

The Operation Military Kids (OMK) program has been part of the Massachusetts 4-H program since 2005, bringing a wide variety of activities, materials, and assistance to military youth and their families for ten years. Starting on March 31, 2015, funding for the OMK program, originated through the Department of the Army, will end. The OMK program will conclude not only in Massachusetts, but across the country. Both the Operation: Military Kids name and the OMK dog tag logo can no longer be used. After that date, military youth programs in Massachusetts will be known as the 4-H Military Partnership as well as Military Family Outreach – Cape Cod (https://www.facebook.com/militarykidscapecod).

The 4-H Military Partnership program will continue to establish 4-H clubs, groups, and programs on Massachusetts military bases, as has been occurring. Through this partnership, young people whose parents are in the military are able to join a 4-H group located at a base that they are affiliated with. Should their parent be transferred to another base, a 4-H group will be there as well, allowing young people to continue with 4-H project work anywhere in the country!

Massachusetts 4-H also will continue military programming though additional grants and funding.  This July, two horse camps will be held on Cape Cod for military youth at Smithfield Farm in East Falmouth. For more information, contact Kerry Bickford at kbickford@barnstablecounty.org.

More Support:
There is still support for the Guard and Reserve Families along with additional resources. Follow the links to find out more.

For Army National Guard Families: Get your youth involved with the State
Child & Youth Program by visiting https://www.jointservicessupport.org/FP/Default.aspx and click on "Read More” under Family Programs, and then click on “Contact your local State Family Program Director, Airman & Family Readiness Program Manager, Family Readiness Support Assistant, Family Assistance Specialist, or Child & Youth Program Coordinator" at the bottom of the page. Then choose your state for assistance in connecting with your Child & Youth Program Coordinator.

For Army Reserve Families: Get your child involved with a Command Child, Youth, School Service Program! Contact a Command CYSS specialist near you to check out the program offerings and activities in which they can participate. Go to https://www.arfp.org/programs-and-services/child-and-youth-services/ or contact Debra Wilder, MANG Child & Youth Services Lead, at debra.a.wilder.ctr@mail.mil.

Military OneSource is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Go to www.militaryonesource.mil or call at 1-800-342-9647. You can also consult with Massachusetts Military OneSource specialist, Rebecca Jennings at rebecca.jennings@militaryonesource.com.

Visit the 4-H Military Partnership website for information, resources, and to learn about 4-H clubs and groups for your military family.


Linda Horn, Assistant 4-H Director & 4-H Military Liaison
University of Massachusetts Amherst
101 University Drive, Suite A4
Amherst, MA 01002
413-577-0332
email: lrhorn@umext.umass.edu