4-H Challenge About Us

Program Contact: Seth Wendzel, Experiential Education Coordinator
509-667-6540 • seth.wendzel@wsu.edu

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4-H Challenge Topics

Our Vision

4-H Challenge Program develops self-directed, healthy and knowledgeable youth through innovative, research-based experiential programs resulting in engaged and productive community members.

Our Mission

The 4-H Challenge Program builds the foundation that enables participant centered life-long learning.

Through collaborative partnerships with students, schools and agencies we build the capacity for:

  • Developing learner centered skill-building processes.
  • Creating fun, safe, stimulating and engaging activities in unique supportive environments that push growing edges through appropriate social, emotional and intellectual risks.ForestryEdRopesCourse2040
  • Utilizing the latest research in youth development, including: adventure-based learning, experiential education, and service-learning models.
  • Accessing tools, training, resources and educational materials.

Our role is more of a capacity building entity and less of an end service provider. It is our goal to provide local community members, agencies and schools with training in all aspects of the educational models we employ, empowering them to utilize and adapt these models within their own groups and organizations. Through this process we:

  • Provide training, mentoring and certification.
  • Provide direct support, consultation.
  • Provide access to university based programs, research and library resources.
  • Provide quality programs designed to meet or exceed the highest industry standards.
  • Provide oversight and evaluation of risk management relative to program activities.

Our Audience

Close-UpFaceUnlike other ropes course programs that only work with a select population in our region, 4-H Challenge collaborates with any local school or agency that is interested in developing life skills though experiential education activities.  Although we are eager to work with all youth groups, traditionally our largest use has been from groups that serve low-income, at-risk and under achieving youths.  A sample of some of the groups we serve in 2004: Cascade High School, Skill Source, Community Action Counsel, Children’s Home Society, and Reachout Expeditions.  Historically, the program has served as many as 1,500 in a single year.

Our Purpose

There are many different kinds of adventure-based experiential education programs. Although on the surface there are similarities between activities, there is a wide spectrum of purposes and philosophies in the adventure-based experiential education field.  Programs can range anywhere from recreational type activities on one end of the spectrum to therapy driven activities on the other.  The 4-H Challenge program falls about in the middle of the spectrum focusing on education and life skills development.  Our programs are designed to be more than just entertainment or recreation.  They help participants learn new concepts and develop or enhance personal and interpersonal skills and behaviors through meaningful and fun experiences.

 


The Statewide Network

4-H Challenge in Chelan/Douglas Counties is part of a Statewide 4-H Challenge network of 13 program sites with WSU-trained facilitators that are available to help youth learn the critical Life Skills that lay the foundation for their success as adults.

The strength of our local program is rooted in the university’s emphasis on quality curriculum, evaluation of outcomes, enforcement of the highest professional standards for facilitator training as well the annual inspection of our course sites and training programs and annual facilitator certification.

These resources are available to schools, church youth groups, scouts and any other organization that wants to help young people be healthy, participating members of their communities.

Special training is available for teachers through the BUILDING SUCCESSFUL LEARNING COMMUNITIES program.

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Washington State University