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|History of 4-H:
The history of the 4-H program has its roots in the development
of the Land-Grant University system. This system of research-based
learning institutions sowed the seeds of agricultural innovation, based
upon university research, since enacted through the Morrill Act of 1862.
The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 directed that all Cooperative Extension
work, including boys' and girls' clubs, become an official function
of the United States Department of Agriculture directed through
the land grant college system. This is the point at which the California
4-H program, through the University of California cooperating with the
individual California counties begins to bloom.
The 4-H Pledge
Otis Hall, State Leader of Kansas, was responsible for the original
wording of the 4-H pledge, officially adopted by the State 4-H Leaders at the
first National 4-H camp in 1927. The pledge remained unchanged until 1973,
when it was revised to include "and my world."
My Head to clearer thinking,
My Heart to greater loyalty,
My Hands to larger service,
And my Health to better living,
For my club, my community, my country, and my world.
To Make the Best Better
Leaders so you don’t feel left out, here is the Leader’s Pledge.
As a 4-H Leader I Pledge:
My Head to clearer understanding of the children of today, their needs, challenges and opportunities; so that I will know when to direct and advise, but more, when to back off and encourage them to accept responsibility, to make decisions, and also allow them to make mistakes.
My Heart to greater affection, flexibility, trust, cooperation, and willingness to respond as a friend and guide, rather than a director or dictator.
My Hands to provide larger opportunities for training, exploration, independence, achievement, leadership and satisfaction in discovery by these incredible young people.
My Health to better enable me to use the 4-H program to help youth develop a positive self-image, to be able to set goals, to be aware of the need to serve others.
The Meaning of Our Club’s Name,
The history of our club began in 1969 when a small group of young members and their parents decided to form a local 4-H club. The San Diego County 4-H Office requested that the new club have a name. The new club looked around the area, filled with trees, native bushes, and mountains and chose the name Chaparral. “Chaparral” was their first choice, but another club in Alpine had chosen that name. They went through the dictionary and chose “Chaparros”. Chaparros means thick, low, fast growing shrub or short people. Our members chose this name referring to our young members being short and growing tall as our club grows.
A few years later the name Jamul was added to give the location where the meetings were held. Jamul is an Indian word meaning green or dirty water, or pool of dirty water.
(The above historical information came from Connie Nierodzinski, retired Jamul Chaparros 4-H Club Leader.)
Blossom Snivley and her daughter, Sheri, were part of the group that formed our
club in 1969.
Mrs. Carl Madson
Printed in the National 4-H News, June 1955, p. 17
I AM a 4-H leader. I say it proudly, glad that
others have thought me able. Proud, too, to be associated with the ideals that
4-H leader represent, and proud to be one of many working for a common worthy
cause. I say it humbly, feeling inadequate in knowledge and
understanding-groping feebly for the right things to say and do before these
young mimics and critics.
I AM a 4-H leader with a prayer of thankfulness that in this land of ours such
things are possible. That while we receive training and advice from experts,
we rural leaders are free to apply that learning to our clubs as we see the
need, not as "higher-ups" dictate.
I AM a 4-H leader. I whisper it in an excited thrill of achievement as I hold
in my hands and study the record books which tell the years; accomplishments
and development of each club member.
I AM a 4-H leader. I say it in wonder, how did insignificant I stumble into a
job affecting so many young and precious lives? I say it apologetically,
thinking of my poor example in some of the very things we are striving to
teach these future homemakers, knowing the many mistakes I seem so adept at
making, and shrinking from those myriad mistakes I do not even recognize. I
say it in harassment, pressed for time to do the things I must do and longing
for time to do the things I want to do; having to choose the important things
here and now, for tomorrow, even my own daughters will have passed this stage
of learning and impression.
I AM a 4-H leader with gratitude in my heart for our instructors and their
training that so facilitate our task; for fellow-leaders and their
inspiration, for my co-leader in particular with her responsiveness and eager
helpfulness; for the parents of the boys and girls in our club and their
interest and co-operation, and the girls and boys themselves and the education
they are giving me.
I Am a 4-H leader with a special "Thank You" for an understanding
and patient husband\wife, and with a hope that s/he sometimes recognizes
improvements in our home and family living which are direct results of this
4-H business, while overlooking several undarned socks and dust gremlins.
I AM a 4-H leader. I say it prayerfully, that with God's help I shall not err
too much in my contacts with these young lives which are our country's most
valuable resource and our whole hearts' measure, that I might help them see
the fullness and richness of farm living, or if they choose other occupations
that they will take along the know-how and appreciation that we are trying to
I Am a 4-H leader. With a prayer in my heart for guidance and a speck of
determination in my soul, I again repeat with the girls and boys of our club,
"I pledge my head to clearer thinking, My heart to greater loyalty, My
hands to larger service, My health to better living, for my Club, my
Community, my Country, and my World."
Did you know CA 4-H has a Cloverpedia? The Cloverpedia is a resource designed to be a living document for individuals to learn more about common California State 4-H terms, events and programs. Along with an explanation of which each item is, there are also hyperlinks to online resources that will provide more detail.
Check out the Cloverpedia here