4-H Club Leader Kathy Elwell, shown at left, instructs 4-H horse project members on the types of bits used in English riding. Elwell has been a 4-H volunteer for 12 years and is an excellent example of the outstanding leadership, caring and dedication that 4-H volunteers provide to 4-H youth. The Cape May County 4-H Youth Development Program celebrates all of its many volunteers during National Volunteer Week.
Cape May Court House - Each year, thousands of volunteers in New Jersey donate their time and energy to make their communities a better place to live. These volunteers will be among the millions across the country who will be spotlighted during National Volunteer Week, April 15-21, 2018.
One group that relies heavily on volunteers is the New Jersey 4-H Youth Development Program. 4-H volunteers contribute an estimated 150-200 hours annually to New Jersey 4-H. Of the more than 2,000 4-H adult volunteers involved in New Jersey, over 180 adult volunteers are currently on the rosters of the Cape May County 4-H Youth Development Program. They serve various roles including leading 4-H clubs, judging 4-H events, serving on advisory groups and helping the 4-H Foundation keep the fairgrounds beautiful.
Although their roles may vary, they all have the same mission of serving as caring adult role models for the youth in the 4-H program. “Volunteers are the life blood of the 4-H program, no bones about it,” Linda Horner, Cape May County 4-H Program Coordinator, proclaims. “There would be no 4-H without them, and we value their dedication and service tremendously.”
Kathy Elwell is an example of the fine volunteers who make the 4-H youth program a success in Cape May County. She has been a volunteer for the last 12 years. In addition to being the organizational leader for the Shore Blazers 4-H Club, Elwell is a longtime leading member of the 4-H Horse Council advisory group where she has served as secretary for the last eight years. “Her tireless energy, enthusiasm and organizational skills have been an incredible asset to the 4-H program,” says Horner. “She is little, but she is mighty, Horner laughs, “and I can’t imagine running the 4-H Horse Program without her!”
Elwell has this to say about her 4-H experience, “I am a firm believer in the 4-H mission to help youth gain the knowledge and life skills they need to become productive and responsible citizens. Volunteering for youth organizations such as 4-H empower young people with vital skills that they will use for a lifetime, and then, hopefully give back to the next generation to come.” Elwell encourages others to volunteer as well. “Come join our 4-H family! New volunteers are always welcomed!”
The work of 4-H volunteers is continuous. Every day a volunteer is lending a helping hand to provide learning opportunities for the 4-H members involved in Cape May County. Volunteers are always needed and welcome. If you would like more information on how you can become involved in the Cape May County Youth Development 4-H Program, please call the 4-H Office at 609-465-5115, ext. 3605.
The 4-H Youth Development Program is part of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. 4-H educational programs are offered to all youth, grades K-13(one year out of high school), on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, marital status, domestic partnership status, military service, veteran status and any other category protected by law.
For more information about the New Jersey 4-H Program, administered by Rutgers Cooperative Extension visit the website at http://nj4h.rutgers.edu.