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WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION 4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT 
4-H Project Changes 
Veterans and Teen’s Lives 
“Engaging Youth, Serving Community” 
in the Port Orchard/Retsil Area 
Background 
In late 2010, Kitsap County 4-H was awarded funding to complete a project proposed for the Port Orchard area as part of the Engaging Youth, Serving Community (EYSC) initiative within the USDA Rural Youth Development Grants Program in collaboration with the National 4-H Council. Jan Klein, Washington State University (WSU) adolescent leadership specialist, and Dale Larson, WSU 4-H Youth & Families Extension educator, developed the grant application as an opportunity for local participants to complete the national objectives for EYSC: 
1. Youth will gain the life skills and experience needed to emerge as effective leaders and contributing members of society. 
2. Youth and adults will develop more positive attitudes toward the roles of youth in communities. 
3. Youth and adults will learn to collaborate with diverse community members to identify and address local issues. 
In January 2011, 8 youth and 3 adults attended training conducted by the Washington State leadership team at the Norm Dicks Government Center in Bremerton. The initial local team learned about meeting facilitation and issue identification in the context of healthy youth-adult partnerships. 
By April 2011, the leadership team decided to focus on the nearby unincorporated community of Retsil because it met the maximum population requirement of less than 10,000 inhabitants in addition to the risk factors of poverty and educational achievement. 
Local Program Focus 
Given the proximity (about 10 miles) and apparent economic dependence of Retsil on the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, strengthening connections between both military and civilian Department of Defense employees and their neighbors quickly emerged as an area where human and social capital could be enriched. Similarly, the Washington Veterans Home in Retsil was recognized as a likely catalyst for community involvement. 
In May 2011, the youth team members convened a public forum they called “Take a Seat for Our Veterans” at the veterans home. Brief presentations on the local economy and issues of concern were made by military and elected officials, followed by the 4-H’ers leading the assembled group of 60 citizens in the process of determining and prioritizing ways to make a difference. At the top of the list by the day’s end was enhancing an outdoor gathering space on the grounds of the veterans home with views of the Sinclair Inlet, shipyard, Bremerton/Seattle ferry, and Olympic Mountains.
Plan Implementation and Revision 
During the summer and fall of 2011, the Retsil EYSC team renovated a smoking gazebo into a dining canopy with a barbeque, added five raised beds with a variety of ornamental and edible plants, cleared brush along a hilltop fence line, purchased and set up two picnic tables and five viewing benches, and improved the path to the Sinclair Inlet overlook. 
In 2012 the youth took a more personal interest in the residents of the veterans home by visiting, playing games, and organizing social events to which they invited members of the surrounding community. A byproduct of the efforts this year was the collection and mailing of holiday care packages to active duty personnel. 
In 2013, the final year of the EYSC project, 4-H members added more tables, benches, and garden beds to the veteran’s home grounds to better cover the needs of residents and guests. 
Community Impact 
The initial improvements to the outdoor gathering space at the Washington Veterans Home resulted in so much increased use by residents and guests that additional furniture was needed. Game nights and social events resulted in youth getting to know the veterans as individuals and forming caring relationships with them. Ben Case, a 17-year-old 4-H’er from Bremerton, calls the experience an “eye-opener for kids my age” that has allowed him to understand the selflessness of veterans. 
Over the course of the project, Case and his fellow team members observed a change from a facility with an empty parking lot and little interaction among the residents to a lively place where parking can be hard to find and residents are often found visiting in common areas indoors and out. It was a rewarding demonstration of increased human and social capital. According to Case, “it’s very fulfilling to do this. I’m coming back as an adult and building relationships for a lifetime.” 
This EYSC project was made possible by the Rural Youth Development Grant Awards 2005-45201-03332, 2008-45201-04715, and 2011-45201-31092 provided by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture through the National 4-H Council. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect USDA views. 
EXTENSION 
WSU Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local WSU Extension office. 
Project Information 
• Jan Klein, 509-358-7937, jlklein@wsu.edu 
• Dale Larson, 509-962-7507, dale.larson@wsu.edu 
• Shannon Harkness, 360-337-7170, sharknes@co.kitsap.wa.us 
Return on Investment 
In three years the grant provided $6,500 in support of the EYSC Retsil project. Youth, adults, community groups, and local businesses donated in-kind gifts of time and materials valued at $55,181 during the same period. For each $1 contributed by the USDA, $8.49 was added to the effort as a result of the leadership demonstrated by the youth involved.

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4-H Port Orchard Report3[1]

  • 1. WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION 4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT 4-H Project Changes Veterans and Teen’s Lives “Engaging Youth, Serving Community” in the Port Orchard/Retsil Area Background In late 2010, Kitsap County 4-H was awarded funding to complete a project proposed for the Port Orchard area as part of the Engaging Youth, Serving Community (EYSC) initiative within the USDA Rural Youth Development Grants Program in collaboration with the National 4-H Council. Jan Klein, Washington State University (WSU) adolescent leadership specialist, and Dale Larson, WSU 4-H Youth & Families Extension educator, developed the grant application as an opportunity for local participants to complete the national objectives for EYSC: 1. Youth will gain the life skills and experience needed to emerge as effective leaders and contributing members of society. 2. Youth and adults will develop more positive attitudes toward the roles of youth in communities. 3. Youth and adults will learn to collaborate with diverse community members to identify and address local issues. In January 2011, 8 youth and 3 adults attended training conducted by the Washington State leadership team at the Norm Dicks Government Center in Bremerton. The initial local team learned about meeting facilitation and issue identification in the context of healthy youth-adult partnerships. By April 2011, the leadership team decided to focus on the nearby unincorporated community of Retsil because it met the maximum population requirement of less than 10,000 inhabitants in addition to the risk factors of poverty and educational achievement. Local Program Focus Given the proximity (about 10 miles) and apparent economic dependence of Retsil on the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, strengthening connections between both military and civilian Department of Defense employees and their neighbors quickly emerged as an area where human and social capital could be enriched. Similarly, the Washington Veterans Home in Retsil was recognized as a likely catalyst for community involvement. In May 2011, the youth team members convened a public forum they called “Take a Seat for Our Veterans” at the veterans home. Brief presentations on the local economy and issues of concern were made by military and elected officials, followed by the 4-H’ers leading the assembled group of 60 citizens in the process of determining and prioritizing ways to make a difference. At the top of the list by the day’s end was enhancing an outdoor gathering space on the grounds of the veterans home with views of the Sinclair Inlet, shipyard, Bremerton/Seattle ferry, and Olympic Mountains.
  • 2. Plan Implementation and Revision During the summer and fall of 2011, the Retsil EYSC team renovated a smoking gazebo into a dining canopy with a barbeque, added five raised beds with a variety of ornamental and edible plants, cleared brush along a hilltop fence line, purchased and set up two picnic tables and five viewing benches, and improved the path to the Sinclair Inlet overlook. In 2012 the youth took a more personal interest in the residents of the veterans home by visiting, playing games, and organizing social events to which they invited members of the surrounding community. A byproduct of the efforts this year was the collection and mailing of holiday care packages to active duty personnel. In 2013, the final year of the EYSC project, 4-H members added more tables, benches, and garden beds to the veteran’s home grounds to better cover the needs of residents and guests. Community Impact The initial improvements to the outdoor gathering space at the Washington Veterans Home resulted in so much increased use by residents and guests that additional furniture was needed. Game nights and social events resulted in youth getting to know the veterans as individuals and forming caring relationships with them. Ben Case, a 17-year-old 4-H’er from Bremerton, calls the experience an “eye-opener for kids my age” that has allowed him to understand the selflessness of veterans. Over the course of the project, Case and his fellow team members observed a change from a facility with an empty parking lot and little interaction among the residents to a lively place where parking can be hard to find and residents are often found visiting in common areas indoors and out. It was a rewarding demonstration of increased human and social capital. According to Case, “it’s very fulfilling to do this. I’m coming back as an adult and building relationships for a lifetime.” This EYSC project was made possible by the Rural Youth Development Grant Awards 2005-45201-03332, 2008-45201-04715, and 2011-45201-31092 provided by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture through the National 4-H Council. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect USDA views. EXTENSION WSU Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local WSU Extension office. Project Information • Jan Klein, 509-358-7937, jlklein@wsu.edu • Dale Larson, 509-962-7507, dale.larson@wsu.edu • Shannon Harkness, 360-337-7170, sharknes@co.kitsap.wa.us Return on Investment In three years the grant provided $6,500 in support of the EYSC Retsil project. Youth, adults, community groups, and local businesses donated in-kind gifts of time and materials valued at $55,181 during the same period. For each $1 contributed by the USDA, $8.49 was added to the effort as a result of the leadership demonstrated by the youth involved.