Sam David of the Parksville Qualicum District 4-H poultry club sports a pair of unusual birds during a club event this year. The local 4-H club is seeking adult volunteers for 2017.

Parksville Qualicum Beach 4-H club needs volunteers

And you don't have to be a farmer to be a member and help the youth of 4-H

The Parksville Qualicum District 4-H Club may see its activities curtailed in the coming year. But don’t blame the kids.

Currently on a break after wrapping up its 2016 schedule, the local club is facing a critical shortage of adult volunteers and helpers and is hoping members in the community can step up.

“We have no problem getting members; we have lots of those,” 4-H club president Joan Larson said. “What we really need are parent helpers or other adults who can step up and help the club function.”

Of particular need is an administrative volunteer to take on some of the paperwork generated by registration, scheduling and correspondence from the District 4-H Council.

“It’s a little bit of hands-on work, but not a large amount,” said Larson. “It’s usually our once-a-month club meeting and one district council meeting per month.”

The Parksville Qualicum District 4-H will gladly accept volunteers in any capacity. The organization currently has about 75-80 members, Larson said, who are involved in projects ranging from the horse, poultry, beef, odd stock and dog clubs, to photography and art clubs, and more.

The local club is a member of 4-H British Columbia, which in turn is part of a larger, international organization dedicated to preparing young people for their future roles as adult citizens. In addition to their specific project areas, which can range from raising farm animals to small-engine repair, sewing and fibre crafts, photography and art, members are also eligible for scholarships, school credits, education boards, demonstrations and seminars.

“You don’t have to live on a farm to be a member,” said Larson. “And you don’t have to have kids in 4-H to be a volunteer. We have a person who was never in 4-H, who doesn’t have kids, and she runs our dog club.”

The youths also elect their own 4-H member council, and project leaders are selected to head the various groups.

Prospective members must be at least nine years old as of Jan. 1 to be registered. The Clover Buds program offers crafts and other activities to youngsters from 6-9 years of age, “if we can find a leader,” said Larson.

Plans for the coming year include a Parksville Qualicum District 4-H gardening club. Garden spaces have already been provided in Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Coombs, and 4-H has teamed with the Coombs Farmers’ Institute in applying for a grant that would fund a co-ordinator.

“All we need is a leader to oversee the kids,” said Larson.

For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, contact Larson at 250-752-0395 or joan@joanlarson.com.

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