Our group is named the Bayside 4-H Club from Alameda County. This is our first year decorating a tree for Christmas In The Park.
Bayside 4-H is a youth organization that focuses on teaching life skills to members, ages 5-19, through community services, 4-H events, and club projects. While 4-H was once recognized as a rural activity that was based on agricultural means, the organization has evolved into suburban areas, therefore advancing the program to include other projects such as Robotics, Technology, Arts, and more. We also keep in harmony with our communities by regular society services, like canned food drives, fundraisers, and litter removal. All in all, the goal of 4-H is to teach our youth about responsibility, leadership, and teamwork.
Our tree was decorated by three adult volunteers, the president of the Bayside 4-H club, a youth who raises poultry for competitive purposes, and two junior members. The decorating of the tree was open to anyone within the club who wanted to come and help.
The main ornaments consisted of photographs showing what we do in 4-H. Mounted and laminated, these pictures depicted members at club events, the Alameda County Fair, community services, or with project items and animals. Other ornaments showed the 4-H emblem, being the four leaf clover which contains an H on each of the leafs. These Hs represent Head, Heart, Hands, and Health, the four areas that are built and exercised while in 4-H. All of our ornaments were handmade, aside from a few donated glass globes.
Once we had finished our tree, we took various photographs around and in front of the tree in order to send them to our local newsletter in order to display our work to the rest of our club. However, during the decoration of the tree, we had our youngest members top the Christmas tree with the 4-H emblem, in honor of their enthusiastic assistance. The gesture made them feel very important, so while this may have been our first time decorating a park tree, we may have found a tradition to carry on next year!
The Bayside 4-H club has always helped the community! Services to citizens are one of the top goals in any 4-H club, and Bayside frequently performs services. Around this holiday time, we sing carols to neighborhoods, homeless shelters, and nursing homes. We also participate in Adopt-A-Family as well, in which we provide gifts and a food basket for a family in need. However, our community service is year-round. We have at least two community services per month, such as school supply donations, animal shelter drives, Viola Blythe fundraisers, book collections, Coastal Clean-Up, and more.