Learn more about 4-H news and events for this month.
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 Michaela Castens

There are a lot of exciting upcoming opportunities for our 4-H families. Check in on the Extension events page, and be sure to connect with us by following us on Facebook. Information is also updated on the 4-H website on a regular basis. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me at (618) 443-4364 or mes379@illinois.edu.

We are still accepting names for the HCE Penpal program and the radio spots. If you want to participate in either program, please let me know. The 4-H enrollment forms and project exhibit forms were due on May 1. If you haven't turned these in already, please send them to me ASAP

YQCA training is this Thursday, May 6 at 6 p.m. at the Extension Office in Sparta. It is $3 for the training in person and $12 for online. There are also two in-person training opportunities at the Perry County Extension office on May 13 and May 19 at 6 p.m.

- Michaela Castens, Randolph County 4-H Extension Program Coordinator


2021 Randolph County 4-H Fair Dates


Below are the dates, times, and locations for the 2021 fair.  We're looking forward to hosting these in-person events!

Horse Show

 June 5

9 a.m.

Jackson County

Small Animal Show

 June 12

9 a.m.

Randolph County Fairgrounds

Livestock Weigh In

 June 13

6 p.m.

Perry County Fairgrounds

Livestock Show

 June 14

8 a.m.

Perry County Fairgrounds

Tractor Driving

 June 15

11 a.m.

Perry County Fairgrounds

Livestock Social/Auction

 June 15

4:30 p.m.

Perry County Fairgrounds

Swine Premier

 June 16

9:30 a.m.

Wenneman's Meat Market

Randolph Co. General Show

 June 30

5 p.m.

Sparta Community Building


Spark your interest as you plan for fair season

 child holding sparkler

Projects help 4-H members find and nurture their spark. When you try something for the first time, you may be inspired to keep learning as much as possible about it. Fair season is right around the corner. Explore all of the 4-H spark sheets to get some inspiration for your projects at: https://go.illinois.edu/4Hspark


Illinois 4-H is being asked for help with an important research project!

Bee on a purple flower, iPollinate Citizen Scientist 

I-Pollinate is a citizen science initiative and will be offering $100 to each of 54 small “study” gardens established by Illinois 4-H members this spring if they agree to report back on-line their observations of which annual, ornamental flowers pollinators prefer on their gardens. The task at hand though is to spread these gardens out statewide – so only one garden per county will be allowed until all 54 are registered.  Leaders can apply for funding by completing a training and registering their garden. These are small garden plots with specific plants  – literally only 4’ x 6’ in size.  

Data collection won’t start until National Pollinator Week during the week of June 21. Along with the $100 reimbursement for supplies and materials, 4-H members completing the reporting observations will receive an I-Pollinator Certificate; permanent sign for their garden; and an honorary pin! This is a great idea for a future entomology project display!

This project is designed by Dr. Alex Harmon-Threatt at U of I with the support of the Illinois Farm Bureau and Illinois Extension. More information can be found on the I-Pollinate website


4-H Shooting Sports Adult Certification Field Day Trainings

 Illinois Shooting Sports Logo

Two 4-H leader certification trainings are scheduled for June and July with Shotgun, Rifle, Archery, Pistol, Hunting/Outdoor Skills, and Coordinator disciplines offered. Details for the one-day trainings are listed below:   

June 5, 2021 at 4-H Memorial Camp, Monticello, IL (central IL)

July 24, 2021 at Gardner Camp, Hull, IL  (western IL)

Contact your local U of I Extension Office for registration information.   https://4h.extension.illinois.edu/programs/shooting-sports/4-h-shooting-sports-volunteers              

Questions? Contact Curt Sinclair at sinclair@illinois.edu


Travel Abroad with 4-H

Multi-story ornamental building in Japan 

Are you curious about daily life, culture, and youth programs in other countries? Travel abroad with 4‐H and experience foreign countries for a month‐long cultural immersion experience. Delegates live with volunteer host families and engage in experiential learning about a new way of life.

TRAVEL PERIOD: 4 –8 weeks (dates vary by program June‐August 2022)

REQUIREMENTS: Youth ages 12‐18 (some programs 15‐18)

Cost: $2700‐5000* Based on previous years (price varies by year, program and length of stay)

RECRUITMENT PERIOD: September‐November


Costa Rica · Japan · Korea · Norway · Finland · Romania · Taiwan · Argentina                                  

*Country availability changes each year

Visit https://www.states4hexchange.org/ or contact Miriam Rosenbohm at rosenbohm07@comcast.net or Elisha Hughes at ehugh2@illinois.edu


Champion Equity-Related Work in Your Community!

 True Leaders in Service Institute September 10-12

From September 10-12 and on October 9, 2021 the True Leaders in Equity Institute will prepare up to 20 teams to be change agents to create more welcoming and inclusive environments in 4-H. 

At the Institute, your team will gain a deeper understanding of equity and inclusion, choose an issue to focus on, develop new skills, create an action plan for when you return home!

Head here to apply by June 30th.  Download the FAQs here.


We want to hear how you are impacting your community!

I pledge my hands to larger service written on green background 

Register your service outreach efforts (or outreach plans!) for the months of MarchApril, May and June that demonstrate support of your communities.  Register here.


New 4-H Bass Fishing SPIN Club curriculum ready to go!

 Fish on a line with the words Bass Fishing SPIN Club

To the first 20 adult volunteer 4-H leaders that respond…..start up a new 4-H Bass Fishing SPIN Club, and you will receive a kit of supplies that will allow you to complete all six of the fun activity lessons in this new curriculum! Each kit will supply up to ten 4-H youth with the learning supplies they need. 

Want to look at the curriculum first?   Find it on the Illinois 4-H Project page website at:   https://4h.extension.illinois.edu/members/projects/nature-fishing-and-wildlife   

Contact Curt Sinclair at sinclair@illinois.edu to submit a request!   


Barred Owl NestWatch 2021

Baby owlet in a nest 

Remind your 4-H families to be checking on their nest boxes!    Reporting can be made back directly to Curt Sinclair at sinclair@illinois.edu.  

We will be using the NestWatch check data sheet developed by The Cornell Lab of Ornithology to record our Barred Owl citizen science data.  


4-H Volunteer Café Conversations

 Cup of coffee on purple background ~ Volunteer Cafe Conversations May 20th

Register to participate in the 4-H Volunteer Café Conversations Thursday, May 20 at 7pm.  Volunteers meet to discuss topics of interest, share both ideas and challenges. Volunteers will gain access to tools & techniques to support their volunteer efforts, strengthening 4-H club and member learning experiences. Bring your ideas, questions, and since this is a Café Conversation, feel free to bring a snack!

Head here to register.


Experience the fun of summer camp with your kids!

Girl in a lake ~ are you ready for family fun that makes a splash? 

4-H Family Camp | Experience the fun of summer camp right along with your kids!

Enjoy your own family cabin for a three-day, two-night retreat right in central Illinois. While at camp your family can swim, boat, shoot archery, climb the rock wall, make arts & crafts, fish, take hayrack rides, participate in S.T.E.M. activities, hike, make s’mores over a campfire, and so much more!

Ready to camp?  Sign up for the June 6-8, June 18-20 or July 9-11 sessions at 4-H Memorial Camp in Monticello, IL.


Mark Your Calendar!

  • May 15                               Illinois 4-H Food Action Summit 
  • May 20                               Virtual Volunteer Café Conversations
  • May 31                               DEADLINE: State 4-H Public Speaking Contest Submissions Due
  • June 4                                 State 4-H Livestock Judging Contest
  • June 5                                 4-H Shooting Sports Leader Training at 4-H Memorial Camp
  • June 5                                 State Public Speaking Contest
  • June 6-8                              4-H Family Camp Session #1
  • June 18-20                          4-H Family Camp Session #2
  • June 27 – July 1                   Illini Summer Academies (Virtual)
  • July 1-3                               Camp Corral Family Camp
  • July 9-11                             4-H Family Camp Session #3
  • July 11- 23, 2021                 Discovering STEM in ACES is a two-week virtual experience
  • July 24                                4-H Shooting Sports Leader Training at Camp Gardner in Hull
  • July 25 – August 1              ISF Junior Horse Show
  • July – August                      In-Bound Exchange Program Summer 2021

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