Social distancing and stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic are having an impact on many aspects of daily life, including many summer activities and events.
The New Mexico State University system has announced the cancellation of all in-person youth programing through Aug. 8 due to ongoing health concerns related to the outbreak.
This includes all in-person 4-H programs, activities, camps, conferences and events.
“Face-to-face events may be canceled, but our New Mexico 4-H program and other youth education programs are still going strong,” said Laura Bittner, NMSU 4-H Youth Development interim department head.
“Extension agents, program assistants, volunteers and even some of our 4-H youth have been developing educational trainings and activities and sharing them through Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, Instagram and other social media outlets,” she said.
“Many clubs have begun meeting virtually using Zoom. The 4-H state officers are busy planning New Mexico’s first virtual State 4-H Leadership Conference, while other committees are making plans to offer summer events online.”
Along with the state leadership conference, virtual events and online educational activities in the planning stages include Northern Regional Livestock School, New Mexico 4-H Dog School, Ag Tech Camp, Dream Keepers Camp and New Mexico Youth Ranch Management Camp.
“The format for these schools and camps obviously won’t be as provided in the past, but they will still offer young people an opportunity to gain knowledge and develop skills, interact with agents and peers, and stay connected,” Bittner said.
The 4-H motto, “To Make the Best Better,” is one of the first things a youth learns when they join 4-H. The Extension agents and staff are demonstrating this motto in the work they are doing.
“This is not the summer any of us anticipated, but we will continue to innovate our Extension programing to meet the needs of New Mexico youth, families and communities during the response and recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jon Boren, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences associate dean and director of the Cooperative Extension Service. “We can take this situation and we can make it better.”
For up-to-date information about virtual events, contact your county 4-H agent or visit aces.nmsu.edu.