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4-H clubs hosting open houses

October 02, 2006

Do you know what John Glenn, Faith Hill, David Letterman and James McCleaf have in common?

They are 4-H alumni, along with 14 governors, 33 university presidents and chancellors, 31 CEOs and three more astronauts.

4-H is one of America's largest youth-development organizations with more than 6.5 million members learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.

On Friday at 7 p.m., Washington County 4-H clubs are hosting a Mega Open House simultaneously at Sharpsburg Town Hall, Williamsport Town Hall, Shiloh United Methodist Church and Smithsburg Fire Hall.

At each place, 4-H members and adult volunteers will talk to local youths and their families who would like to know more about the organization. 4-H is for ages 5 to 18, and adult volunteers.

The parties are being held in conjunction with National 4-H Week.

"We want to get the word out about 4-H and its positive impact upon youth," said Paula Green Shupp, a volunteer with the Williamsport-Downsville Club.

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"The question I hear most often is, 'Do you need to live on a farm to join 4-H?'" Green Shupp said.

The answer is "no," she said.

"Our farm roots are an important part of 4-H," but members often come from local towns and Hagerstown, as well as the county's more rural areas, she said.

"I really enjoy seeing young eyes get big as I explain to them how much more 4-H offers. And that's the message we hope to deliver to Washington County communities on Oct. 6."

For more information about 4-H, call the Washington County office of the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension at 301-791-1404.

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