From Club to County
We encourage youth from a young age to practice their public speaking skills and serve as club officers and decision-makers. By the time most 4-H youth are teen-agers they are comfortable enough in these roles that they can often model and teach them to younger program youth.
Teens are often interested in finding out more about the world beyond their family. Club participation has helped nurture that curiosity, and affirmed that there is a community beyond the club that is ready for their leadership.
County 4-H Teen Programs can help connect teens from various clubs through planned service events that focus on developing 4-H club leadership in younger members. Traditional “skill building workshop” experiences that are teen-planned and teen-led can provide diverse teens the opportunity to meet, make new friends, and build stronger group skills while helping benefit the 4-H Program. Two of the more frequently requested teen-led workshops are for building public speaking skills and club officer skills.
Teens that excel in county leadership opportunities may also have the opportunity to engage in local effort that is tied to State or National 4-H Program objectives. Programs such as YA4-H, Healthy Habits for Youth and 4-H Tech Changemakers give teens the opportunity to demonstrate their leadership and influence other youth to promote positive community change. (See State Opportunities)
From County to Region
When there is sustained teen interest in 4-H programs, the opportunities for regional events emerge. Regional events are typically shared between several adjoining county 4-H programs, and they may be some of the teen’s first 4-H events that include camp-style experiences, large group activities and overnight stays.
These events place more emphasis on developing youth-adult partnerships and encourage teens to work at a regional level, planning and delivering leadership events for other 4-H members. Regional events usually enlist several adult teen advisers and some 4-H program staff to help teens navigate locational rentals, meal planning and other outside agreements.
Regional teen events are also typically the recruiting grounds for State Teen Ambassadors and other State 4-H Committees and Leadership groups. Teens who are demonstrating regional leadership may be encouraged to apply for statewide leadership positions.