Local 4H club trying to send children to state capitol for government conferences


Scott Turner, KP News

The Cat Tales 4H club may be one of the lesser-known youth groups of Key Peninsula groups, but they’re doing important work.

According to Dianna Calhoun, Cat Tales 4H leader, the club educates young people between the ages of 8-18 in leadership training and other important skills. They meet every Thursday evening in the VFW room at the Key Peninsula Civic Center.

The local club is tied to the Kitsap County 4H group and is part of the national 4H organization that was founded in 1902. Today there are 4H clubs in all 50 states and in 82 countries.

“When we started the Key Peninsula 4H club about six years ago, we looked at how much it would cost to join a Pierce County group and when we factored in bridge tolls, it turned out that it would cost about $200 on top of the regular club fees, so we opted to join the Kitsap County group,”Calhoun said.

The Cat Tales club focuses primarily on how to raise and care for cats, Calhoun, who is also superintendent for cats at the Kitsap County fairgrounds, said. “The kids learn all about grooming, feeding and keeping their cats healthy and they learn to identify different breeds,”she said.

They also learn feline anatomy, genealogy and other basic 4H knowledge.

Currently, the Cat Tales club is raising funds to send seven of its members to Olympia in February for the annual Know Your Government conference.

Of the seven kids who’re attending the conference, five are from the Key Peninsula. The other two are from Kitsap County.

The Know Your Government training is open to all 4H-ers in the state. Calhoun said. “It’s an annual event that goes in four-year cycles.

“The first year, the kids learn how legislation is passed –– how bills are made. The next year the topic is about government and the media. This year is an election year so the training is all about how to hold an election,”she said.

The Cat Tales contingent will select a representative ––a spokesperson ––from among themselves, and then while they’re in Olympia, they’ll meet all the other 4H-ers from all over the state and will learn from stage legislators about how elections are conducted.

The conference takes place Feb. 13 to 16.

But before then the club needs to raise $3,000 to cover the expenses of the seven kids who’ll attend the event. Expenses include registration fees, hotel and program costs. Transportation will be provided by parents of the club members, Calhoun said.

Rather than trying to do a restaurant take-over or something similar, the 4H club has set up an online fundraising account.

To contribute to the Cat Tales 4H Know Your Government trip, visit gofundme.com/kpkids.