New Youth Program Associate for Camden County

I am looking forward to my new assignment as Youth Program Associate (YPA) for Camden County.  Having spent fifteen plus years doing business in the lake area, I am familiar with the territory, but anxious to meet new people and especially those I will be working with.  I have already been made to feel welcome here at the MU Extension in Camden County Office and I consider myself to be in great company.  As someone who has had a rewarding background working with young people, I especially enjoy summer camps, retreats and other outdoor activities.  I realize that I have much to learn, but I know I will enjoy doing so.  I am grateful for the opportunity of working in Camden County and the surrounding lake area.  After January 1, 2019, I plan on being here at the Office every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to Noon and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  My office hours on other days will vary from week to week. 

We have some good things going on with Camden County 4-H.  On January 5, the Easy Riders 4-H Equine Club enjoyed an indoor riding clinic in Rogersville, MO.  Twelve youth and four adults participated. 

I am pleased to announce also that we have had someone step forward to head up a Photography Project if enough interest is expressed.  I feel this could be a great opportunity in that here in the Lake Area we are fortunate to be in a "target rich" environment for photo opportunities!  There is also a very good possibility of a drone project in the not too distant future....  

Also, Gerald Harvey who is the Shotgun Project 4-H Volunteer for MU Extension in Laclede County has extended the invitation to any safety trained students and volunteers in Camden County to participate in any practices or events that might be on his schedule.

Please feel free to drop by and say hello.

Sincerely, David W. Atkinson, Youth Program Associate 

2019 Missouri 4-H Equine Tour heads north

Do you dream of combining your equine passion with a future career, love to learn more about the horse industry and enjoy making new 4-H friends who share your love of horses?  The University of Missouri Extension 4-H Annual Equine Carer Tour may be just for you!  The 2019 tour, May 20 - 28, will be exploring the horse industry in Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Canada ans is open to Missouri 4-H teens, ages 14-18.  Tour highlights will include collegiate equine education departments, harness racing, visiting a variety of equine farms, meeting 4-H youth and touring Mackinac Island.  Participants will learn from leading equine professionals in the fields of equine therapy, dressage, entertainment, training, art, harness racing, equine facility management and equine welfare.  In its thirteenth year, the tour has proven to be a great opportunity for participants to expand and clarify their possible equine related career paths.

"The Missouri 4-H equine tour gave me an opportunity to see so many beautiful parts of this country.  It's not just a quarter horse, Arabian, barrel racing, our western pleasure tour....you get to see every aspect of every breed, discipline, boarding facility, breeding facility, etc.  Thsi is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and trip for youth in 4-H who have a passion for horses and want to explore our ever-growing industry.  You get to meet so many new friends, learn so much and make lifelong connections for which I will forever be grateful."  said Ashley Bauer, 2018 Missouri Rodeo Queen; William Woods BSE, MSE Equine Studies, Warren County 4-H Alumni.

"The Missouri 4-H Equine Tour is a trip that exposes youth from across the state of Missouri, to the horse industry across a nation.  These youth learn about the different careers within the quine industry, make connections with professionals and make lifelong friends along the way.  As a 4-H trip, the Tour is not a trip of pur learning, but also of growing; where youth can grow in their leadership skills and be challenged to step out and pursue their ideas, career pthsw, dreams and passions.  As a three-year participant, I have seen firsthand the impact that this tour has had on my life and career.  This tour has given me priceless professional connections, has challenged me to pursue and learn about my career path, and has given me friendships that will last a lifetime,  The Missouri 4-H Equine Tour is a once in a lifetime experience that I would recommend to any youth in the state of Missouri." said Isaiah Chandler, Jasper County 4-H, Student West Texas A&M.

The $650 tour fee provides charter bus transportation, 4-H staff chaperones and most all travel related expenses.  The link to the registration form is below and are due before March 1, 2019.  A scholarship will be available to Camden County 4-H Club members.  Specific travel information with detailed tour itinerary will be available to participants after March 1.  For additional information, contact your MU Extension Office in Camden County at 573-346-2644 or by email at camdenco@missouri.edu

Missouri 4-H Equine Career Tour registration form (PDF)

Get involved with 4-H

Young people are welcome to join any of the Camden County clubs. They can attend meetings, complete 4-H projects, exhibit their projects in the local fairs and the state fair, participate in local events, state and national trips and events and qualify for college scholarships. Camden County currently has 63 members and 18 adult volunteers enrolled in 4-H clubs. Contact Sam Lower, 417-532-7126 or lowers@missouri.edu, for more information.

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How to join 4-H

University of Missouri Extension 4-H

Empowering young people to reach their full potential

4-H brings young people, ages 5 to 19, and adults together to learn everyday skills through hands-on learning. Working on activities from animal and plant sciences to robotics, 4-H’ers learn problem-solving skills that can make a positive impact upon our community. Through 4-H, young people learn to:

  • meet the diverse challenges of today’s world;
  • build self-confidence;
  • learn responsibility; and
  • make positive decisions.
4-H clubs

4-H clubs are open to ages 8 to 18. Clubs meet monthly for group activities and club business. Each club elects officers and has an approved adult leader who supervises club activities. Club members also enroll in projects in their areas of interest.

With projects on more than 75 topics, 4-H has something to interest every child. Here are just a few of the opportunities 4-H offers—geocaching, robotics, international exchanges, horsemanship, pets, starting a business, arts and crafts, raising animals, woodworking, photography and gardening.

Clover Kids clubs

Clover Kids introduces 5- to 7-year-olds to the 4-H experience. In Clover Kids, children learn how to get along with others, work in groups, explore their interests, while building self-confidence. Clover Kids do not enroll in projects or raise animals, and do not participate in competitive events, contests or shows.

How to join

Joining 4-H is as easy as contacting the extension center. A staff member will explain the enrollment process and membership dues. In addition to dues, some projects may require a small investment to get started, and there may be a fee for materials, trips or other activities.

Young people are welcome to join at any time. The 4-H program year runs from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31. Certain activities may have participation deadlines.


4-H Online enrollment system
Missouri 4-H Clover—A guide to 4-H projects, activities and publications. It is designed to assist volunteers, members and their families select projects and activities, and set goals.

Be a 4-H volunteer

Adult volunteers are essential to 4-H. Adult volunteers serve as club or project leaders, help with county or regional events, chair committees and organize fund raisers. You don't have to be a parent or grandparent of the 4-H member to get involved. All volunteers are screened for child abuse and neglect, as well criminal records, before they are accepted and each year thereafter. As a volunteer, University of Missouri Extension will provide you with training so you will be well-prepared and successful as an adult leader. The orientation includes information on 4-H history and the educational framework, the characteristics of age groups, character development and safety.