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After a two year hiatus of in-person events, Missouri 4-H members returned to Columbia, Missouri in a big way with three positive youth development events centered on developing leadership skills and college/career readiness. The week kicked off with Teen Conference on May 31st- June 1st where 142 Missouri 4-H members ages 11-13 from across the state joined together for a new experience. “This year was the first year that we have been able to host Teen Conference on the MU Campus in it’s entirety, giving members exposure to campus life and dorm living,” shared MU Extension Field Specialist in Youth Development Katie Hogan. Youth participated in leadership workshops, interacted with State Council Members, and participated in fun events like a dance and spirit competition.
June 1st-2nd a group on eight 4-H members ages 14- 18 came to campus for 4-H Explores, a brand new event centered on career and college readiness. In a whirlwind schedule, these members ventured across campus meeting with a variety of different degree programs and checking out many of the career pathways that are available to them through the University of Missouri. To round out the week, a group of 72 4-H members ages 14-18 took their turn on campus participating in leadership workshops, electing the new 4-H State Council members and officers and keeping the good times rolling with a dance and their own spirit competitions.
“Although our participation for Teen Conference and State Congress was smaller than we have had in the past, Missouri 4-H Week was a huge success,” said Katie Hogan, who served as an adult chaperone for Teen Conference and State Congress. “It was important to bring these events back to an in-person format and being able to host all three events on campus added a special element to the experience for our youth. 4-H members who attended are already making plans to come back next year and working on who they want to talk to about coming along with them for the experience,” shares Hogan.
4-H is a youth development program offered through University of Missouri Extension for youth ages 5-18. For more information or to register contact the Clark County Extension Office at (660)727-3339. University of Missouri Extension provides equal opportunity to all participants in extension programs and activities, and for all employees and applicants for employment on the basis of their demonstrated ability and competence without discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.