The Dawson County 4-H program is looking to expand what it offers to students in the area.
"Currently we want to offer BB and archery competition teams, more animal projects including horse and dairy cows, summer camping and weekend conference opportunities," said Chesley Davis, 4-H agent for Dawson and Lumpkin counties.
The organization will be holding a Volunteer Kickoff Dinner at 6 p.m. Sept. 8 at the County Extension Office, at 298 Academy Ave., in order to gauge the community's interest, as well as find volunteers to help "make these 4-H'ers dreams come true."
"Dawson County 4-H is currently recruiting 4-H volunteers to assist with Shooting Awareness and Fundamentals Education (SAFE) BB and archery competition teams, 4-H summer camp and our livestock program," Davis said. "Volunteers are urgently needed for the SAFE BB and archery teams because there is a specific certification for that program in the fall before the teams can even practice."
All 4-H Volunteers go through the Georgia 4-H Risk Management Training program, as well as pass a background check, have three character reference letters and pass an online test.
These criteria must be completed before working with students.
"The 4-H staff will make sure you are properly trained and feel comfortable volunteering with the 4-H'ers before any activity," Davis said.
Parents are saying it's a great way to stay involved in what their kids are enjoying.
"I love having the opportunity to share the fun with my twin girls and their friends and not just hearing about it when they came home," said 4-H volunteer Brenda Wasserman.
According to Davis, there are more than 500,000 4-H volunteers in America, with 5,000 of those volunteers in Georgia.
"4-H Volunteers are essential to help youth make the most of the wide variety of learning experiences Dawson County 4-H offers," Davis said. "In Dawson County 4-H, you can leverage your own experiences and skills to help young people find their own passion and interests.
"Without volunteers, Dawson County 4-H will not be able to offer a BB and archery team and take 4-H'ers to camps and conferences."
According to Davis, getting kids involved in organizations like 4-H early, it increases their chance for success later in life.
"Research has shown 4-H'ers are two times as likely to go to college and pursue a career in science, more likely to make healthier choices, be physically active and avoid risky behaviors, and three times as likely to give back to their communities," she said.
For more information, call the Dawson County Extension office at (706) 265-2442. RSVP to the event is requested by Sept. 4.