By BARBARA ADDISON
County Extension Agent
4-H & Youth Development
The history of 4-H is one of the most significant and far-reaching stories in America: a story of youth education, community pride and responsibility, personal leadership and volunteerism. Truly unique — born at the grassroots level and involving special public-private partnerships at the local, state and national levels — it represents the very essence of America's growth.
More than a century since it began, 4-H continues to thrive and expand today as one of America's foremost youth development initiatives. While constantly continuing to change in support of the evolving needs of young people today, most of the original concepts and philosophies — the proven strengths — remain unchanged.
There is no better guide toward our future than to learn from and build upon our past. The primary purpose of this 4-H History Preservation website, www.4hhistorypreservation.com, is to provide a central resource on 4-H history, particularly at the national level.
Lakeside 4-H Camp
What does attending 4-H Camp have to offer youth first-to-third-grade? The camp group offers fun activities for those who like to swim, hike, raft, fish, swing on the big swing, make crafts and food, and, of course, have a campfire, which means there will have to be s'mores!
When is Lakeside 4-H Camp? Thursday and Friday, June 13 and 14, at Lakeside Camp at Scott County Lake. The camp is for youth that are 4-H members and non-members.
To register, call the Finney County Extension Office at 272-3670 or go online for registration information at www.finney.ksu.edu. Registration forms and fee are due May 17. Counselor's applications are also due.
Walk Kansas ends on Saturday. While the benefits from exercise are great, we know that results from any lifestyle change are not immediate. Walk Kansas is a journey, with small steps that lead in a positive direction. By taking these small steps and achieving personal goals, you can define a new version of what is normal for you — a permanent lifestyle change.
Walk Kansas celebration will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. May 14 at the Finney County Fairgrounds Grandstand Meeting Room.
Try 'retro' walking
Walking in both directions gives you a great lower-body workout and promotes balance while adding variety to your fitness routine. Backward walking, also known as retro walking, strengthens your quadriceps and calves. If you have knee problems, you may find retro walking beneficial as it puts less strain on and requires less range of motion from your knee joints.
You will get many of the same benefits from backward running and will burn approximately 30 percent more calories than running forward. Backward running causes less impact on your knees and is considered a safe form of training that also may improve your forward running skills. Start slow and be careful.
If you are willing to give retro walking a try, be very cautious. Obviously, you don't have eyes in the back of your head, and if you twist your head constantly, while moving backward, you could develop some structural problems. Start this activity in a secure location, such as an open field, parking lot or a track that is not busy.
This is a good activity to try with a walking buddy who is moving forward and can alert you to upcoming dangers. If you try this on a treadmill, start slowly to avoid tripping.
The goal for retro walking is to alternate these steps with forward walking. You don't need to go the whole distance while walking backward. Walk forward, then balance briefly on the support leg as the swing leg is reversed. Walk backward for a short time, then use the same technique to change direction.
One more thing to consider is that your shoes will wear out more quickly from backward walking as you land on places not designed for high amounts of wear. Use an older pair of shoes at first to see if retro walking is for you.
Retro walking is easy to do once you get the hang of it. Don't worry about speed at first and just focus on your safety. It will take some time before you feel comfortable walking backward, as this is a new skill.
Lesser Prairie Chicken webinar meeting
The Lesser Prairie Chicken webinar meeting was held April 30 to update landowners on research done on the conservation plan and information on the Lesser Prairie Chicken being endangered.
Video of the webinar meeting to update stakeholders on LPC is online at http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/p.aspx?tabid=275. On this Kansas State Extension, Lesser Prairie Chicken website, the LPC Range-wide Conservation Plan can be downloaded. Kansas focal area maps are also available at this website.
Landowner CRP workshop
The USDA has announced a new sign-up period for the Conservation Reserve Program from May 20 to June 14.
The Finney County workshop is being help at noon Monday (with a meal).
The workshop will help explain options, scoring, payment changes, fire, wildlife and other options for landowners. Appointments can be made with your local Pheasants Forever wildlife biologist or USDA service center, if the workshop times do not work for landowners.