A New 4H Club Could be in Homer's Future

     There’s an effort underway to try to get a 4H club in Homer off the ground. But with all the clubs and activity already available for youth, the group is trying to figure out how a club could benefit kids and current organizations alike.

     Folks from Sustainable Homer and the R.E.C. Room are spearheading efforts to create the club. There are some questions about the structure and a theme for the group. The Homer Equestrian Club is currently the only formalized 4H club in town. Kyra Wagner with Sustainable Homer is enthusiastic about creating a group because she knows first-hand the benefits of joining 4H.

     “I did everything. I did sewing. I did cooking. I had a cow, so I put myself through college. Well, for the first couple years,” she said.

     She also was able to meet someone from Japan through 4H’s exchange program. Wagner said they plan to promote the idea of starting a club during an upcoming week-long robotics camp at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. But they can’t just get interest from kids, they need adult volunteers.

     “There’s a club leader. And that could be one person, really strong volunteer who really wants to see this through,” R.E.C. Room’s Anna Meredith said.

     Meredith’s also a former 4H’er. Her club experience dealt mainly with farming and cows since she grew up in rural, western New York State. And although that’s stereotypically what comes to mind when you think about 4H, it isn’t the rule. 

     There are clubs that form based solely on geography. And that might play better in Homer because of the wide variety of activities already available to kids. Kevin Wilmeth is a parent who attended a brainstorming session Thursday night. He said it will be key to promote the idea of 4H as an “umbrella” organization. 

     “You wouldn’t want to put something in place… that if it succeeded, would be seem to be poaching on other things,” he said.

     Wagner said she was hoping to have a direct connection to kids through the Boys and Girls Club, but the group had to shut down operations and there’s no word on when, or if, it will open again. For now the team will continue to meet and advocate for creating a club. There’s another meeting scheduled for June 25 beginning at 6 at the R.E.C. Room.