When it comes to safety, Mindy Hilgenkamp believes in repetition, especially when it comes to young people.
"I don't think you can tell kids how to be safe often enough," Hilgenkamp said.
With that in mind, members of the Future Producers 4-H Club will continue an effort they started last year in the areas of safety and first aid, by hosting a youth safety workshop as part of the club's yearly community service project.
The workshop will begin at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Arlington. The first 150 youth to arrive will receive a free safety kit.
Hilgenkamp said, initially, group leaders were looking for a safety program that their 4-H members could attend. But, after realizing there wasn't anything locally, or close by, they began organizing their own and eventually expanded it to a community-wide event.
"The more we talked about it, the more we realized there are tons of kids in the community that would benefit from a program about safety," Hilgenkamp said.
The workshop is open to all youth and their families.
"Our goal is to make this a family activity," Hilgenkamp said. "The idea is that families will go through it together so the parents can help reinforce what the kids have learned or help explain."
Families attending the workshop will rotate between several presentations. Safety topics will include ATVs, mowers, fuel, chemicals, seat belts and power lines. The presentations are expected to last about an hour-and-a-half, followed by a meal provided by the Washington County Farm Bureau.
Safety tips and demonstrations will be provided by representatives from the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD), Plains Equipment Group, Nebraska Extension, Nutrien Ag Solutions and Knudsen Oil. The Nebraska State Patrol will also be bringing its roll-over simulator to stress the importance of wearing a seat belt and members of the Arlington Volunteer Fire Department will also have equipment on display.
Hilgenkamp said the safety information is important for all youth, not just those who live on a farm, and having experts in the field on hand to provide the information and do demonstrations is beneficial.
"This is an opportunity to teach our kids about safety in situations where we are not always experts and hearing it from someone else — the dangers and how to be safe — sometimes has more impact than hearing it from your own parents," she said.
If the workshop is well-received, Hilgenkamp said the 4-H club may make it an annual event.
"We could branch out with different topics," she said. "There are so many ideas — like wearing sunscreen — that kids need to hear."