The Turlock Eagles are the newest 4-H club in Turlock, providing local youth with the opportunity to get involved in the community in unique ways, whether it be through raising goats or decorating cakes.
The club was started in 2014 with only a few members, but has since blossomed into an organization that boasts 30 children with a passion for activities including woodwork, public speaking, scrapbooking or the raising of dogs, horses, sheep and rabbits. Many of the projects completed by members are shown at the Stanislaus County Fair.
Members range from ages nine to 19 and are known as regular members. According to Amelia Bettencourt, regular members are able to show large animals at the fair, partake in monthly meetings and even run for office within the club. Members under the age of nine are primary members, who meet less often and do not participate in competitions.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Bettencourt, the club’s Communications Officer who is also a fifth grader at Julien Elementary. “I like the club because it’s smaller than a lot of other clubs. It’s a great way to boost confidence and make friends while helping out the community.”
The Turlock Eagles stay active in the community by frequently donating items to local shelters, caroling at senior homes, helping pack food boxes and collecting Christmas gifts for children in need. The club recently held their first fundraiser at Neto’s, where they handed out over 250 meals to Turlock residents. They also plan to hold a pancake breakfast fundraiser next fall.
The club also stays busy with plenty of activities throughout the year, which begins and ends with each school year. Livestock Proficiency Day lets members demonstrate their skills with the animals they have raised and receive recognition. Members can choose a topic for Presentation Day that shows off their public speaking prowess and create original fashion creations to be judged for Fashion Revue, as well as participate in Small and Large Animal Field Day, where new skills are learned thanks to guest speakers and demonstrations.
The Eagles will also soon be attending the Stanislaus County 4-H Camp, held at Camp Sylvester in Pinecrest. The four-day camp has two sessions in June, giving the 4-Hers the chance to stay in cabins and participate in activities such as hiking and archery.
“It’s a great leadership opportunity,” said Bettencourt.
The Turlock Eagles 4-H Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday of every month in room S1 at Turlock Christian High School. Enrollment occurs at the first meeting attended and is $38 per child and $2.50 per family. If you are interested in joining or would like to volunteer as an adult project leader, you may contact the club at firstname.lastname@example.org.