My Facebook friends live in several countries, I am connected with both males and females, and there are youth and adults sharing and reading my posts. Some of these connections are more casual acquaintances, but others are or have become lifelong friends, even though we may live far apart.
This makes me think of one of the many benefits of a 4-H club. Youth meet other young people in a range of ages rather than all the same as in a classroom. There are usually both boys and girls in a club. And every club has at least two caring adults involved with the program. Some of the members may have been friends before they joined the club, but all have the opportunity to expand their friendships...and perhaps make lasting ones. As 4-Hers become adults, some stay with the program as volunteer leaders and others move on. But when they attend the county fair or happen to meet other 4-Hers, right away they discover a common bond--"I was in 4-H!"
In 2012, we celebrated 100 years of 4-H in Pennsylvania. We had 4-H friends come from as far away as California to share their 4-H experiences. Several were in 4-H over 70 years ago--but they still joyfully remembered their clubs, activities, leaders, and friends after all these years apart.
There is a game I like to play with my 4-Hers. It's called, "I'm looking for a friend":
Put chairs in a circle. The person in the middle does not have a chair, but wants to find one. He or she says, “I’m looking for a friend who…” and then inserts a visible characteristic such as “is wearing blue jeans.” All of those meeting the criteria must move to a different seat while the person in the middle tries to sit. Whoever fails to get a seat is now in the middle.
Are you looking for a friend? Why not get (more) involved in 4-H? You just may find a friend who lasts a lifetime!