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4-Hers attend Junior Conference
1115 4H
Four Effingham County 4-Hers went to Rock Eagle for the 4-H Junior Conference. They are Phoenix Truitt, Anna Sykes, Jose Espino and Skyler Lanier. - photo by Photo provided

Effingham County 4-H youth recently traveled to Rock Eagle 4-H Center to attend the Georgia 4-H Junior Conference, a 26-hour event filled with community service projects, classes, workshops and activities. There were 715 4-H youth who took part in this year’s conference. Participants from Effingham County were Jose Espino, Phoenix Truitt, Skyler Lanier and Anna Sykes.

Junior conference is a statewide event designed for seventh and eighth grade 4-H’ers to experience belonging to a group of peers, have an opportunity to demonstrate generosity through service projects, master subject matter through classes and workshops, and exercise independence as they learn about possibilities available through Georgia 4-H.  Also providing an opportunity to build leadership skills, youth have the chance to represent their peers by serving on a 36 District Junior Board which works with an adult committee to plan the conference

Classes instructed by high school 4-H’ers and adult volunteers included curriculum on healthy lifestyles, portfolio development, and communication.  The conference also provided a variety of entertainment and recreation such as a dance; a one mile fun walk; a talent review; a performance by Clovers & Company, the Georgia 4-H Performing Arts group; and multiple games such as miniature golf, flag football, ultimate Frisbee, relay races, and even Wii Fit.

Service projects, which were designed by 4-H’ers, provided participants with the opportunity to exhibit generosity and compassion. Together, the 715 4-H’ers, 4-H staff and teen leaders made 111 letters for the Veteran’s Hospital, 228 anti-bullying posters for schools, 45 pillow cases for cancer patients, 100 journals for cottage, 66 terrariums for nursing homes, and painted 150 flower pots for shut-ins.

In addition to service projects, 4-H’ers continued their 101-year tradition of collecting and selling pop tabs to benefit the Ronald McDonald Houses of Georgia. This year Georgia 4-H’ers collected 15,182 pounds of pop tabs with a total value of over $9500.  The project began in 2002 when seventh and eighth grade 4-H’ers presented the idea to 4-H administration.

Since that date, 4-H’ers have raised over $50,000 to support Ronald McDonald Houses across the state by selling 98,437 pounds of pop tabs.

Georgia 4-H provides fun, exciting, and educational events year round for all youth ages 9 through 19. Contact Abby W. Smith, 4-H agent, at 754-8040 or visit to learn how to become involved with the Effingham County 4-H program.