Since 1965, when they were first chartered, the Valley Boosters 4-H club has been serving kids in Dodge City, as well as the surrounding areas.
“We have kids from Dodge, Bucklin, Ford, Kingsdown and a few other communities in our club,” said Tammy Draper, the community leader for the Valley Boosters, “because we serve such a large area, our club is probably a little bigger than some of the other ones in Ford County.”
Valley Boosters is a rural club and because of this, livestock is one of their most popular projects.
“Many families in our club work on the livestock or horse projects with their family pets and farm animals,” said Draper. “But we also have a lot of kids that participate in the photography club, rocketry and other projects.”
Right now, because the fair is so close, the Valley Boosters are mostly just working on putting the final touches on their individual projects to present that day. But, once the fair is over, like all other 4-H clubs they will begin working on community service projects as a group.
Some of the community service projects the club does include the recycling trailer, going to a local nursing home and showcasing their projects and different fundraisers for the community.
Valley Boosters, and all the other 4-H clubs, is a great organization for kids in Ford County to get involved in, according to Draper.
"It’s more than just a good way to make new friends,” said Draper, “4-H teaches kids skills that they will need later in life including public speaking, how to present themselves and their ideas, how to keep records and so much more. And it’s not only a good experience for the child who is involved; it’s a good family experience because we try to include the whole family in everything we do.”
Draper wasn’t in 4-H herself but became involved when her own children joined the club. She started out as a Clover Bud leader and then moved up along with her kids. Draper said that it has been a good experience for her whole family.
“Everyone in the club is so helpful,” said Draper. “If any child needed help with an individual project, all the adults in the club are willing to help out, and share their experience and expertise.”
Currently there are about 16 members of the Valley Boosters ranging in age from 7 to 18, along with a few Clover Buds, but they are always looking for new members. The Valley Boosters meet on the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at Bucklin National Bank in Bucklin. For more information about the Valley Boosters contact Draper at (620) 369-2891.
Reach Julia Kazar at (620) 408-9913 or e-mail her at Julia.firstname.lastname@example.org
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