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What 4-H has meant to me
Erika Payne
Erika Payne

I have been a member of 4-H for six years. It has played an important part in my life. It has taught me leadership skills as well as public speaking skills. It has also given me opportunities to meet other 4-H’ers across the state of Georgia.

When I began thinking about my project area, I decided to pick an area that would include all the “things” I like to do. I have always enjoyed playing cards and games. I also enjoy playing games on my Play Station 2. So it was easy to decide on the project area of General Recreation.This is the second year that I have held my project club, Ben’s Card and Game Club. I’ve had three meetings with cloverleaf’s and one with senior 4-H’ers.  It was a lot of fun teaching the card games like Spoons, Kemps, War, UNO and UNO Attack.  Everyone had such a good time that they did not want to go home.

4-H has offered me so many opportunities. I attended summer camp at Wasega where we led a carnival for the local community.  I went as a teen leader for cloverleaf camp at Rock Eagle. We took 175 boys and girls. It was a lot of work as well as fun. I just attended Youth Summit at Rock Eagle. It was a great opportunity to work with youth leaders from all over the state to develop plans to improve your community. Our plan was developed to help decrease the high school drop out rate in our county.  After coming back from the Summit, I was asked to serve on the Youth Advisory Council for my school.

My sister was a camp counselor at Rock Eagle this year. She was in the Cherokee tribe. We went to visit her several times. I enjoyed visiting with her and getting to know many of the counselors. While there, I was asked many times, if I wanted to be a camp counselor. I think it would great experience, but that is several years away.
4-H is a wonderful program for youth. It helps develop leadership skills and public speaking skills.  It also helps you become more involved in your community with community service projects. I have learned so much and am proud to be a Senior 4-H’er!

Ben Snooks
10th Grade
Effingham County High School


I have been in 4-H for 5 years but I have been exposed to 4-H activities for the past 11 years because of my sister’s involvement in 4-H as well my parents’ involvement as volunteers. I remember going to Rock Eagle and watching my sister give her presentations and receive ribbons for placing in District Project Achievement. I have enjoyed participating in a variety of 4-H activities including Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging, District Project Achievement, Target Sports (Project S.A.F.E.), Matt’s Safety project club for Cloverleafs, and serving as a teen leader for various cloverleaf events. In my years as a 4-H’er I have gained valuable leadership, public speaking, and people skills that will help me in high school and college.

My project area is safety. I chose this project because I feel everyone should be safe in everything they do. The area of “Safety” means a lot of things to me: First it means being safe and always knowing what to do if a dangerous situation occurs. Second it means being able to do activities correctly and without injury. Jeff Cooper once said, “Safety is something that happens between your ears, not something you hold in your hands.” I strongly agree with this quote and believe that education and awareness are the keys to being safe. I have gained more knowledge about the safety and protection of others through this project. I hope to educate others on proper safety procedures and what protection to wear. I believe you can never be too safe.

Throughout my 4-H career, I have taught many of my county’s youth about all kinds of safety including home safety, water safety, Christmas safety, and first aid safety. I have made first aid safety kits for many schools and have led several workshops for 4-H’ers to make their own crafts and safety projects. Because safety is a very important element in life, I have learned that teaching others about safety can reduce the number of accidents and deaths. The 4-H motto is “To Make the Best Better,” but my motto is “To Make the Safe Safer.” Someone once said “Safety doesn’t happen by accident.” Through my project, I hope to promote safety and prevent accidents.
Matthew Rahn
9th Grade
Effingham County High School

I began 4-H when I was at Ebenezer Elementary School in the fifth grade. The year was 1999-2000 and Ms. Angie Wendelken was principal. Her daughter, Lauren, was a senior at Effingham County High School and very active in the 4-H. Both of these individuals had a tremendous impact on my start in the 4-H program and were positive role models. That year, 2000, Lauren won the Richard C. Kessler Leadership Scholarship and I won first place on my mini-booth exhibit at the Effingham County Fair.

4-H has helped me gain confidence in myself and has shown me how to set goals and work hard to achieve them. Learning to speak in public was very instrumental in helping me to overcome my shyness. Participating in many community service projects has taught me about the needs of others and how we as citizens should try to help whenever possible.

I have made many friends over the years and will never forget all that I have learned from the 4-H staff, especially Ms. Abby, Mr. Bill, Ms. Connie and Ms. Becky.  

So, here I am a senior and like my role model, Lauren, inspired me to work toward, I recently received the $500 Clyo Homemaker’s Scholarship. I would like to thank them for bestowing on me this honor. I am very grateful and can’t thank them enough.

I will continue my education at East Georgia College in Statesboro in the fall and will pursue early childhood education as my major. Thank you 4-H Staff for all you do for the community and children of the county!

Jennifer Garner
12th Grade
Effingham County High School


I began my 4-H career in the fifth grade and I have enjoyed every experience it has offered me. I cannot imagine my life these past eight years without 4-H. 4-H has taught me how to be a leader, a team player, a public speaker, a giver, a planner, and all in all a better person. I have also learned how to give back to the community by becoming involved. I have had so many amazing and beneficial experiences, and I know that I will continue to grow with the skills I have gained through 4-H. 

Erika Payne
12th grade
Effingham County High School


Hi, this is Ian Mosely telling you about our very last 4-H meeting. We collected over 1,000 points for our service learning project! Now our service learning project is canned goods. We had two demonstrations. The first demonstration was by Porsha Noble. She did her demonstration on rolling book bags. Next was Jesse Mosely.  She did her demonstration on different types of dance shoes. Well it’s been a fun time reporting to you other 4-H clover leafs, and have a great spring vacation and summer!

Ian Mosely
5th Grade
Sandhill Elementary School