Carmen G. Burgos, Extension Specialist
If you are looking for fun, engaging training session this is the conference to attend!!! It will be held at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center, near Eatonton, GA. The conference is designed to engage and facilitate the interaction of volunteers and Extension professionals from across the country. Conference evaluations repeatedly tell us that the two primary factors that motivate volunteers to attend conferences are the quality and variety of workshops, and networking opportunities. The conference has been planned meaningfully in order to provide ample opportunity for volunteers to learn, share, and exchange information. The conference has an incredible selection of workshops, activities, and events that are ideal training for volunteers and agents, especially new agents!
You may wonder, “What specifically does the conference offer?” It offers:
- Focused tracks of workshops: Tracks offer 7 sessions concentrated in an area as well as a replicable service project, a curricula activity exploration, and a funshop in that area. Participants who select a track will receive 12 hours of training in that content area and a certificate of participation. The tracks are:
- Connecting with Kids in the Kitchen: Explore new ideas to work with youth in food prep skills. Sessions vary from innovative teaching with culinary arts to fundraising with kids and food. Participants will explore plans to connect foods activities across the program, teaching techniques and even a few new recipes.
- Mastering Plant & Garden Connections: Connecting kids to the outdoors, plants and gardens are the perfect combinations of learning and fun. Spend time exploring everything from Jr Master Gardener experiences to working with school and community gardens. Whether your thumb is as green as clover or you’re just learning, sessions are planned to get you growing in your knowledge of kids, plants, and soils.
Connecting Creative Arts to Purpose: If your passion is creating connecting arts and purpose in 4-H is for you. Sessions include hands-on creative arts from drawing and painting to clay and creations. Along with the creations themselves, participants will explore how to design experiences for all ages that connect learning and the creative process.
- Connecting Health to Better Living: Engage with others as you explore strategies to incorporate healthy living in 4-H activities and events. Learn ideas that explore all aspects of Health as our pledge. From movement to choices, healthy living brings in innovative ideas to add to your existing programs and launch others as well.
- Seeing Science Connections: Connect quickly to the science in our everyday living as participants explore science in all of our 4-H programs. Engaging with ideas of natural, biological, and technical sciences, participants will quickly see science as an exciting component of any 4-H activity.
- Connecting Camp to Learning: 4-H Camp is a rich tradition, and this session explores opportunities to build engaging experiences for whatever camping you enjoy. Activities include those for day and overnight camps, connect with a variety of ages, and engage participants exploration to take your camping experiences to the next level.
- Budget-friendly training opportunity: The conference itself is a bargain at $325. The registration fee includes all of the conference activities, meals (from dinner Thursday to breakfast Sunday) and lodging (2/room). The only additional cost is travel to and from the conference. Additionally, there is part-time registration if that makes more sense for participants.
- Networking and idea generation: This year’s conference includes volunteers from across the nation, and opportunities have been planned to encourage and facilitate networking so participants get to know each other as well as informal sharing that occurs during the exhibit and poster session, meals, and recreational activities.
The Conference website contains a wealth of information about the conference. Please check it out on the National 4-H Volunteer Conference website.
The conference registration site is open to anyone; volunteers may regis- ter individually, on your own. You do not have to register through the state 4-H office, state volun- teer specialist, or your county 4-H Youth Development Agent. Credit cards are accepted. Please let your agent know if you are interested in attending. This information may help all attending from a county for travel arrangements.
Let’s make sure Tennessee is represented. This is the first year the conference will have participants from states outside of the southern region. Agents, this is a great opportunity to strengthen your volunteer team. They will leave with conference motivated, with resources, ideas and ready to offer a variety of opportunities and experiences for youth in the county.
Conference organizers are on Facebook! Like them at 4-H Volunteer Conference of Southern States. If you have been to Rock Eagle before, share some of your experiences on Facebook! There are additional social media modes to connect to on the web site. Visit the National 4-H Volunteer Conference website to connect.
If you have any questions, please contact Carmen.