4-H in Laveen
In Laveen, the Pathfinders 4-H Club sponsors a variety of community service and other activities throughout the year from the annual “Trick or Treat so Others Can Eat,” to completing annual projects and exhibits for the Maricopa County Fair and the Arizona State Fair. Due to the area’s agriculture background, 4-H has long been part of the Laveen community. Its administrative arm is the Arizona Cooperative Extension Office at the University of Arizona. Each county has its own cooperative extension officer that oversees local clubs within its respective county.
Local leader Debbie Keating said that at one time there were multiple Laveen 4-H clubs, some focusing on horses others focusing on swine or other animals. Currently, Laveen Pathfinders 4-H Club is the only active one in Laveen, but its leadership team has been involved with the program for more than 20 years.
The club’s name comes from four areas of youth development that the club emphasizes: Head, heart, hands and health. The 4-H Pledge:
“I pledge head to clearer thinking
My heart to greater loyalty
My hands to larger service and
My health to better living
for my club, my community, my country and my world.”
Youth in the organization choose at least one annual project to complete during the year and exhibits that will be entered in competition at the state and county fair.
Business meetings, where youth learn parliamentary procedure through holding offices, making motions and participating in committees, take place once a month. Other activities, such as project workshops and family fun nights are scheduled by the membership. Typically there is at least one other monthly activity in addition to the business meeting.
The 4-H year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. Annual dues are $25 for the state and $5 for the club dues. The Laveen Pathfinders typically schedules open houses in September to recruit new members each year. Over the summer, those interested in learning more are invited to contact the club for information on summer-time activies.
Meetings typically take place at Phoenix Fire Station 57, 1708 W. Dobbins Road (across from the Humane Society).
For more information, contact Keating via email: Debbie.Keating@phoenix.gov or by phone 623-225-6502.