4-H Youth Development Educator
University of Wisconsin-Extension Oneida County
The major fundraising project of the Oneida County 4-H Leaders’ Association involves the development and sponsorship of the official Oneida County Plat Book.
Every other year the plat book is updated as a result of teamwork between the county Land Information Office, the publishing company, and dedicated Leaders’ Association members. The final product is sold through the assistance of the UW-Extension Office, County Clerk’s Office, and various county business outlets.
The 2016 Oneida County Plat Book just came out two weeks ago. New in the book this year is an additional third page for each township featuring a high quality aerial map, in addition to the township roads and landownership map pages. Full-page color maps showing county trout streams, public lands, county silent sports trails, and county snowmobile and ATV/UTV trails are also included in the new edition. Besides the books, priced at $35 each, the 4-H Leader’s Association is also selling wall maps and electronic maps, and a portion of those sales also goes back to the Oneida County 4-H Leaders’ Association.
The Oneida County 4-H Leaders’ Association has been active for decades. Even during the years when there wasn’t an Oneida County Fair event, the Leaders’ Association continued to exist with the goal of providing support to 4-H programming through volunteer efforts and needed money. The county 4-H Leader’s Association mission is to have positive youth development programming throughout the county that is accessible to all youth in the county.
Behind the scenes, the Leaders’ Association’s work is only at times visible to the public. Members meet six times a year, the fourth Monday evening of June, August, September, November, February, and April. During these meetings, they discuss: County Fair plans, special event planning (i.e. Family Fishing Fun Day and Holiday Craft Workshop), budget, scholarships, risk management, out-of-county youth trips, fund-raising, volunteer development, and more.
The plat book money raised is used to cover health/liability insurance for all 4-H sponsored activities. It covers up to 75 percent of the cost for 4-H members who attend out-of-county trips to summer camps, art and science camps, Citizen Washington Focus, foreign countries, and Space Camp. Certified 4-H volunteers have their trainings financially covered. When youth do not have the financial means to get to a project meeting or pay for project materials, it is the Leaders’ Association that provides the money to make participation possible.
The Leaders’ Association awards high school seniors education-focused scholarships. It gives money for teaching supplies to all project groups, helps monetarily to support afterschool programming, funds in part the judging event at the County Fair, and provides monetary support for the 4-H area set-up at the County Fair. When you go to the Fair, you will notice a huge tent with a 4-H symbol on it. That was purchased by the Leaders’ Association at a cost of $12,000 a few years back.
Last month the nation celebrated National Volunteer Week. The Oneida County 4-H Leaders’ Association is celebrated in this county as the driving force behind structuring the 4-H program and providing as many activities as possible for as many youth as possible.