Terril D. Faul | 4/19/2005 10:28:29 PM
Do you want to become more involved in community service projects, learn about working in groups and develop some leadership skills? "The 4-H Junior Leader Club program or Teen Leader Club may be the club for you," says LSU AgCenter 4-H state leader Terril Faul.
"You never outgrow learning about leadership skills," Faul says, noting, "The Junior Leader Club is designed to help teens learn leadership skills, the kind of skills needed to be productive working as a member of a group."
As teens do more in groups and know more people, they need more skills that help them contribute to groups. The junior leader clubs teach teens how to be effective members of a group and improve their leadership skills.
The clubs consist of 4-H members from 8th to 12th grades. Each parish has a Junior Leader Club that meets monthly with a set of officers and monthly program. Junior leaders are encouraged to develop community service learning programs for their communities. Some of them have included community beautification and collecting food, clothing and other items for needy families, nursing home programs and literary programs. The number and variation of programs vary from each parish.
"Junior leaders have an opportunity to make a difference in their communities and work as partners with community leaders," Faul says, adding, "Several junior leaders have become mentors for younger 4-H members, providing direction for them as they develop life skills through the 4-H program." Most clubs are now involved in community service learning programs that involve commitment for several hours, weeks and months in one project.
"It’s more than just bringing canned goods, it’s learning about the program itself," Faul points out.
Junior leaders learn several important leadership skills through the club program. They include understanding self and developing a positive attitude, communicating, getting along with others, learning to learn, making decisions, managing and working with groups.
Parish Junior Leader clubs also raise funds during the year for an awards trip for the active Parish Junior Leaders. Contacts and friends are established for a lifetime through participation in the 4-H Junior Leader Club Program.
Faul says you may join your Parish Junior Leader club by contacting your parish 4-H agents. For additional information, log on to the 4-H section under the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service at the LSU AgCenter Web site: http://www.lsuagcenter.com/