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By Emily Aughinbaugh, Tribune staff writer

El Dorado County’s 4-H projects are once again in full swing, and one of them is to attract more South Shore youth.

Carol Martin, the county’s 4-H program representative, said South Shore youngsters only make up a handful of the 700 kids who participate in 14 clubs, that range from computers to food.



“Anything a child wants to learn, they can get involved in a club,” Martin said.

4-H has been popular for West Slope youth, according to Martin, but the program recently put out 1,900 fliers on the hill to gain interest from Tahoe, which has been historically lacking.




“(4-H) has definitely always had a stronghold in the county and the community,” Martin said. “Right now we’re starting to build a club in South Lake Tahoe.”

Joyce Strom, community leader for the Tahoe Cool Water 4-H Club, has been given the responsibility of recruiting South Shore 4-Hers. In her second year as the community leader, Strom said the numbers have grown from 12 to more than 20, but she’s hoping for more.

“I’ve been working on a membership drive, but we haven’t had much of a response,” Strom said. “I think a lot of people have a misconception about 4-H that you have to have a horse. You don’t have to have a horse. You just have to have an interest in being in the group.”

Strom said past 4-H projects include: a dog agility group, arts and crafts group, community service and library programs.

“It’s run by the kids,” Strom said. “The activities are picked out by the kids.”

Strom said parents and leaders are just facilitators, but the 4-Hers organize their own work groups and appoint their own president, secretary and treasurer.

Teresa Robinson, a 13-year-old South Shore resident, said she has enjoyed the three years she’s been involved in 4-H, cleaning up meadows and performing volunteer work in the community.

“We get to learn lots of things,” Robinson said. “We get to do science experiments, plant trees and work with animals.”

Strom, who has two children in 4-H, said she has had as much fun as her group of 4-Hers, who range in age from 5 to 18.

“I’ve totally enjoyed it,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed working with the kids and watching them learn.”

The El Dorado County 4-H program offers activities ranging from computer science and government procedure to wildlife preservation and science exploration.

Children ages 5 to 18 can be involved in 4-H.

The South Shore club meets at 6:30 p.m. every third Thursday of the month at Edgy Toys, located in Lakeview Plaza at 3330 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

If interested, call Joyce Strom at 544-3300.


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