Leadership, as defined by Alan Keith, is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen. Preparing young people for their roles as contributing citizens in the great state of Louisiana is one of the Louisiana 4-H Youth Development Program’s most fundamental goals. In Louisiana 4-H, young adults have access to the following 4-H teen leadership development programs:
LEADERSHIP: PART OF ALL 4-H PROJECTS
The Louisiana 4-H Youth Development Program encourages all 4-H members to be involved in at least one of the more than 100 projects offered through Louisiana 4-H. Every project includes leadership development, citizenship development and career preparation. Through 4-H projects, youth learn how to assume leadership roles through teaching others, how to engage in the decision-making process and life skills such as decision making, getting along with others, communicating with others, planning and organizing, and responsibility.
4-H Leadership Project Books Available:
- Step Up to Leadership - My Portfolio and Step Up To Leadership -- My Journal
- All activities offer a cross-cultural perspective. Young children & teens can lead in many ways -- at home and in clubs, youth groups, school and the community. The fun continues with an interactive website to enhance and support leadership.
- Leadership - Mentor Guide 2
- Mentor guides include background information, interactive activities and real-life experiences in relationship building, communication, group process, planning and organizing.
4-H JUNIOR LEADERSHIP PROGRAMS
The purpose of the junior leadership project is to teach youth the importance of understanding themselves as leaders and how to apply leadership skills in a team setting. This project also supports them in identifying opportunities to practice their leadership skills. Youth involved in Jr. Leader clubs learn the value of cooperation, collaboration, goal setting and decision making. Jr. leaders practice true service-learning and become engaged in their communities. Most parishes within Louisiana offer some type of teen leadership program. Check with your local Extension office for more information.
4-H CAMP COUNSELOR OPPORTUNITIES
The LSU AgCenter and the Louisiana 4-H Youth Development Program take seriously their responsibility of providing a safe, positive environment for youth. Teen leaders play a critical role in supporting educational experiences that develop life skills and character traits. They serve as positive role models and provided invaluable assistance to youth and adults in planning, implementing and evaluating educational experiences.
The camp counselor is a very important role in the 4-H program. Once prepared to serve in this important leadership role, many opportunities ranging from 4-H camp counselor, day counselor and field trip counselor to presenting educational workshops will be available to you. Through this training you will learn and develop individually and in turn help to teach and guide others.
Counselors are under the supervision of all Extension personnel and other adults helping with the events. Camp counselor responsibilities include:
- Helping campers get to know each other.
- Helping campers feel a sense of belonging to the group.
- Making time to listen to campers’ problems and concerns.
- Setting a good leadership example for the campers and understanding that serving as a counselor will take all of the available time at camp.
- Encouraging all campers to participate in all camping activities.
- Assisting the 4-H faculty, volunteer leaders and camp staff with other tasks as required.
4-H TEEN BOARD MEMBERS
The Louisiana 4-H Youth Development Program is committed to developing leadership skills in youth by providing opportunities for youth voice. One of the methods in which leadership skills are developed and enhanced is through the State 4-H Leadership Board experience. There are currently six boards on which youth can serve: Shooting Sport Ambassadors; Fashion Board; Food and Fitness Board; Citizenship Board; Science, Engineering, and Technology Board; and State 4-H Executive Board. These Leadership Boards give youth the opportunity to work together on a common focus, develop leadership skills and enhance statewide 4-H programs. Six statewide youth boards engage 135 youth on an annual basis as well as numerous adult volunteers and professional 4-H faculty members. Program evaluations indicate that 100% of participants were able to think independently and have a positive feeling about their future. Ninety-seven percent (97%) increased their subject matter knowledge related to the board they served on, mastered leadership skills and improved their ability to communicate with others. Contact your local Extension office to receive more information on how to apply for state leadership boards.
State Leadership Boards give youth the opportunity to work together on a common focus while developing leadership for statewide programs. The youth serving on these boards are given the opportunity to openly express themselves and provide valuable leadership and guidance to the positive direction of the Louisiana 4-H Youth Development Program. Overarching program goals and objectives of the five boards are:
- To increase the leadership skills of teens from across the state.
- To promote the development of character building.
- To expand technical, subject matter knowledge relative to the respective board.
- To apply the leadership skills learned on the boards to enhance local 4-H programs and communities.
- To increase youth voice in the state 4-H program.
- To increase communication skills.
- To increase engagement and retention of teens in the 4-H program.
4-H JR. LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
4-H Junior Leadership Conference provides the opportunity for diverse groups of youth who are currently engaged in significant leadership and/or service-learning activities to come together while further learning and developing their leadership and teamwork skills. The educational objective of the Junior Leadership Conference is to increase the leadership skills and knowledge of youth across Louisiana. The conference features a variety of workshops focused on leadership development, communication, teamwork, service-learning, youth-adult partnerships and time management. A key element of the Louisiana 4-H Junior Leadership Conference is youth-driven focus. Youth decide what's offered, preside over the sessions and teach all the educational workshops. At the Louisiana 4-H Junior Leadership Conference, youth participants aren't only learning about leadership, they are practicing leadership.
- All parishes are encouraged to send a delegation to JLC.
- The conference is open to all Junior Leaders 14 years old and older.
- This conference is targeted for 4-H members who are considered to be potential leaders in their parishes.
- Each parish may send a maximum of eight delegates.
SOUTHERN REGION 4-H TEEN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
The Southern Region Teen Leadership Conference is a first-of-its-kind, multi-state 4-H conference created to bring together 4-H teens and adults to empower and inspire them to make a positive change across the southern region through youth-adult partnerships. The conference takes place in October and is held in Crossville, Tennessee.
NATIONAL 4-H CONFERENCE AND NATIONAL 4-H CONGRESS
This conference is one of the most important opportunities teens can experience. They will be part of a team formed to plan and implement changes in the 4-H program across the nation. Louisiana 4-H members complete an application and are chosen to be interviewed during 4-H University to determine the four participants who will accept this challenge. 4-H members travel to Washington, D.C., to represent the Louisiana 4-H Youth Development Program. While in Washington, they tour the city, meet with legislators and meet new and interesting teens from across the nation. Applicants must be sophomores in high school.
National 4-H Conference Website
This trip is reserved for winners of contests from 4-H University and records. Participants spend their Thanksgiving holiday taking part in workshops, tours and other educational activities. They have an opportunity to meet teens from across the nation and spend time together in a casual, social setting. Also, participants have the opportunity to hear nationally known motivational speakers and meet Olympic athletes, corporate CEOs and Miss America.
National 4-H Congress Web site
A statewide 4-H event held the third week of June on the Louisiana State University campus. 4-H members 13 years of age and older compete in more than 36 contests. Delegates are awarded trips and cash awards. Night programs include motivational speakers and social activities. A variety of educational programs is also offered through Clover College for all participants during 4-H University. These programs are offered while 4-H members are not participating in their contests. All of the programs are interactive, ranging from exercises in Shaping Up to a tour of LSU athletic facilities. Community service programs are also offered as part of the educational programs, including a visit to a local hospital, local nursing home and pets.
For more information on Clover College, visit our Clover College website.