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The Top 4 Clubs That Teach kids Self-Reliance

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Family vacations, lazy days at the pool and barbecues are what summertime is all about. Like many moms, you want to keep your children busy. Consider involving them in an organization or club that will also teach kids self-reliance.

Many youth organizations are excellent introductions to basic survival and homesteading techniques. Some opportunities presented to your child could also teach them important lessons about teamwork and how to win/lose gracefully.

Below are brief summaries of four children’s organizations that can teach your child important skills while having fun, making friends and developing a sense of accomplishment.

image: young girl showing sheep in a club that teaches kids self-reliance

What is self-reliance for kids?

Self-reliance for kids means having the ability to take care of oneself and make independent decisions. It involves developing skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and responsibility. Self-reliance is important because it helps children to develop confidence and independence, and prepares them for the challenges of adulthood. It enables them to make informed choices, take responsibility for their actions, and adapt to changing circumstances. By learning self-reliance at a young age, children are better equipped to succeed in school, relationships, and their future careers.

Kind of important, right? And it doesn’t hurt to have some help to reinforce the concepts you’re teaching at home, which is where these organizations come in.

(However, if you’re wondering how your child is doing in this regard, take this life skills test for kids.)

4 Clubs that Teach Kids Self-Reliance

These four clubs, 4-H, scouts, boys and girls clubs, and FFA, focus on teaching children self-reliance, along with other important life skills. They provide valuable opportunities for young people to learn and grow, developing skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.

1. Scouting

Scouts emphasizes self-reliance through outdoor activities, leadership opportunities, and character development. Whether it be Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, Trail Life for Boys, or American Heritage Girls organized Scouting programs teach kids many survivalist skills.

Through a reward system of badges, pins, and patches that show others his or her accomplishments, Scouting can teach your child:

  • Camping
  • Personal fitness
  • Fishing
  • First Aid
  • Swimming
  • Archery / Rifle Shooting
  • Cooking
  • Wilderness Survival
  • Environmental Science
  • Pioneering
  • Gardening
  • Trailblazing/Hiking
  • Textiles / Sewing

Scouting organizations generally start accepting members as young as going into kindergarten (Girl Scouts) or finishing kindergarten (Cub Scouts) and continue on through adulthood. The typical Scouting program follows the fall through spring school year with additional outdoor and camping programs over the summer.

2. 4-H

4-H (Head, Heart, Hands, Health) is a youth organization which focuses on practical education and encourages young people to take responsibility for their own learning and development. Children to develop skills by taking on specialized projects over the course of the 4-H year.

Typically, projects are showcased at local fairs in recognition of the child’s hard work and accomplishment. Animal projects are rewarded with the sale of raised livestock by local supporting businesses and individuals.

Some examples of projects that teach several homesteading skills include:

  • Fishing
  • Canning & Freezing
  • Exploring the Outdoors
  • Archery/Guns
  • Gardening
  • Numerous Baking & Cooking projects
  • Tractor Operations
  • Sewing
  • First Aid
  • Staying Healthy

Detailed projects on breeding and raising livestock include:

  • Cattle
  • Goats
  • Hogs
  • Poultry
  • Rabbits
  • Lambs
  • Horses

Children going into the third grade and above can join 4-H, show their projects, and sell their livestock at local fairs. Younger children can join as a Cloverbud member depending on the group but have limitations on what they can present during fair season.

The typical 4-H year follows the calendar year beginning in January or February depending on the area and generally ends after their county fair the end of summer or early fall. Other summer programs and camps are generally offered.

3. Boys & Girls Club

The Boys & Girls Club originally began to provide a safe and positive environment to get boys off the streets. Today, the club still provides a place for both boys and girls to be safe and supervised away from home.

Although the program may not go as far as to teach in-depth survivalist skills, the club does offer many activities to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle. The end game for this organization is to empower young people to become self-sufficient and responsible adults through programs focused on education, leadership, and healthy habits.

Participating in a program that is open to all personalities, ethnicities, and backgrounds requires adaptation on all those involved.  The club is generally open to school-age children but some locations may offer programs for younger children as well. Most facilities are open year-round and hours of operation may vary.

4. National FFA Organization

Future Farmers of America or FFA is an agricultural education program typically available to high school students. Many children even in small-town and rural areas are unaware of the skills needed and traditional methods of successful farming. FFA goes above and beyond teaching kids how to grow their own food. They’ll also learn about leadership and develop self-reliance through hands-on experience and career exploration.

The program teaches students the science beyond farming, the importance and value of agriculture, and its role in feeding the world. The program provides a foundation for many types of careers including biologists, chemists, veterinarians, engineers, and more.

There are many conferences, camps, and other events for furthering agricultural education. Many different awards and incentives are in place for achieving goals, including scholarships.

Final Thoughts on Teaching Self-Reliance to Kids

Not all children’s activities will result in a room full of trophies and shiny medals. The skills learned in the programs above provide a foundation of both basic and detailed survivalist intelligence.

Many other programs exist that can assist in furthering your child’s homesteading dexterity. Some organizations may be localized so be sure to check with area schools, daycares, and other well-known children facilities for programs that introduce survival basics in your area. You could even begin and continue their education using this list of more than 32 survival skills your kids should know.

These four clubs, 4-H, scouts, boys and girls clubs, and FFA, focus on teaching children self-reliance, along with other important life skills. They provide valuable opportunities for young people to learn and grow, developing skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.

How do you think these groups teach kids self-reliance?

Originally published May 27, 2018; updated and revised by Team Survival Mom.

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Brandi is passionate about her faith and family and enjoys the outdoors, reading, writing, and ministering to others.

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