This month we would like to congratulate the Country Crusaders 4-H Club for being awarded the Nebraska 4-H Club of the Month for April 2016. This 4-H Club from North Platte, NE in Lincoln County has truly made a difference in their community. The club is very dedicated to building strong citizenship and teamwork through various community service activities.

The Country Crusaders 4-H Club has members from 14 Lincoln County 4-H Families. They are a community service minded club, the club host activities annually to help instill the benefits of serving others and the local communities.  This year, is the second year for their Community Service project of planning, planting, and maintenance of a Pollinator Garden in the Hershey Caboose Park.  Members have met with a local Biologists to discuss the importance of Pollinators.  The Village of Hershey is appreciative of this service by the Club.  Throughout 2015, members weeded and cleaned up the area; and planted over 200 perennial wildflowers and grass seedlings.  The members will continue to maintain the Pollinator Garden throughout 2016 and beyond through additional plantings and maintenance.  The Club has also annually assisted with the cleanup of the Sutherland Rodeo Grounds following the July 4th celebration and rodeos.  In June of 2015, the Club voted to donate to the North Platte Bridge of Hope Child Advocacy Center following a workshop by an artist who supports the cause and provided information about the Center to the members.

In May of 2015, 4-H Members took a Day Trip to Valentine Nebraska.  Stops included hiking the Cowboy Trail, exploring Valentine City Park at lunch, tour of Fort Niobrara Wildlife Refuge, and a final stop at Smith Falls where the members explored the water fall and had a cookout before returning home. August of 2015 found members touring a local Power Plant.  Fort Robinson State Park and a day tour of a local wind tunnel are on the schedule for the Country Crusaders in 2016.

Members participate in several projects.  In June, the Club hosted 2 or 3 workshop days for members.  The workshops include activities in the following projects – Design Decisions, Design My Place, Portfolio Pathways, Sketchbook Crossroads, and STEAM Clothing: Beyond the Needle, and Nutrition.  The workshops are led by older 4-H members who have a chance to develop leadership skills. Members learn important skills and learn to work together.  In 2016, meetings will include information on geocaching and the use of GPS.

The Nebraska 4-H Foundation provide the 4-H Club of the Month program to all Nebraska 4-H clubs throughout the state.  Clubs can nominate themselves by telling why their club should be chosen as Club of the Month.  A different club will be chosen each month and will be awarded with a certificate and $50 cash card.  For more information go to the Nebraska 4-H Foundation website at http://www.ne4hfoundation.org/recogonition or e-mail ne4hclubofthemonth@gmail.com. For more information contact the Lincoln County Extension office at (308) 532-2683 or e-mail lincoln-county@unl.edu.