4-H coordinator hired for counties

Published 9:08 am Wednesday, November 2, 2011


COURTLAND—A coordinator for 4-H programs in Southampton and Isle of Wight counties has been hired by Cooperative Extension.

Terry Patterson has been taking an “inventory of what’s going on and happening and available for young people.”

Patterson believes 4-H is a wonderful organization.

“But it doesn’t happen by itself,” he said. “It requires volunteers and their desire to work with young people.”

Growing up in a mountainous and rural area provided Patterson the opportunity to participate in 4-H. He’s from Clifton Forge. Twelve years later he went with his parents to nearby Covington, both very close to West Virginia.

“I grew up in 4-H, knew it my entire life, the same with the extension. It was a good fit,” Patterson said about his inspired career choice. “I also did 4-H camping for a long time, and decided to create a greater impact working with it than just a few weeks in the summer.”

To go from volunteering to leading required training. Patterson has a bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation management from West Virginia University and master’s degrees in parks and recreation and tourism management, and public administration, both from North Carolina State.

His first job with 4-H was a camping specialist in North Carolina, which has six centers from Manteo to near Asheville.

“The skills I learned in 4-H served as a catalyst,” Patterson said. “It teaches and works with a lot of different skills such as teamwork and communications, each relating to the 4-Hes.”

Knowing and hearing of a center in Virginia’s Jamestown, and working with 4-H, seemed to him “a pretty good fit.”

After Jamestown, he went to West Virginia for six years before coming to Southampton.

Patterson and his family are living with friends in Williamsburg until they close on a home in Boykins. His wife, Susan, and their children, Samantha, 10; Taylor, 13; and Hope, 16; are involved in 4-H.

To learn more about 4-H, whether to participate or volunteer, contact Patterson at 653-2572.