Connor Shannon, Payton Teasley, Olivia Niemeyer, Emily Meyer, Katherine Dixon, Kara Meyer and Katy Horner of Pike County were among the 360 people attending the largest state 4-H Teen Conference in Missouri history, March 29-30, at the University of Missouri in Columbia.
The delegates, ages 11-13, attended workshops to develop belonging, generosity and mastery of new skills, three of the 4-H program’s four “essential elements.” The fourth is independence, and for many delegates teen conference is the first big overnight trip away from home.
Teen conference is led by Missouri’s State 4-H Council, a group of older teens elected annually by their peers, who work for months to plan this annual event. The experience develops the leadership skills of both groups,” said Patty Fisher, Pike County 4-H youth development specialist for MU Extension. “The older teens developing this event build as many leadership skills as the younger ones who attend.”
Delegates attended workshops led by council teens that focused on leadership skills, character education, and parliamentary procedure.
Participants also collected 485 pounds of food for a local food bank and developed materials for MU Extension 4-H LIFE, a program which extends the 4-H experience to families that include a qualified, incarcerated parent.
Missouri 4-H is open to all children ages 8-18. For more information, visit 4h.missouri.edu or contact your local MU Extension center at 573-324-5464.