Shelby Brawner, Extension Assistant/Grant Manager
4-H MENTORING PROGRAM IN HARDIN COUNTY
Kali Seaton, Extension Agent
The Hardin County OJJDP mentees had spent several months learning about interior design and science during their monthly club meetings. To complete the study, mentors and mentees had the opportunity to take an experiential travel tour to Asheville, North Carolina, Chattanooga and Nashville.
While in Asheville, the group toured the Biltmore Estate. The youth were able to develop a deeper appreciation of American history while learning new information related to architecture, interior design and art from that era. In addition, they had a greater understanding of agricultural principles and techniques from the turn of the century.
The following day, the group traveled to Chattanooga where they toured the Tennessee State Aquarium. Mentees and mentors built an understanding of the aquatic world and the need to preserve it as well as learned the importance of aquatic stewardship. The tour also allowed time to experience hands on activities related to aquatics.
The final stop was Nashville, Tennessee. The time in Nashville was spent participating in several educational opportunities. A visit to the Adventure Science Center allowed youth to learn more about science and space, gain more knowledge on art and participate in the Imagination Lab. Another stop was the Tennessee State Capitol and Tennessee State Museum. There, the group learned more about our state’s government, the state capitol and more about the history and culture of Tennessee. The Nashville experience ended with an educational lecture and tour at the Bicentennial Capital Mall. The ranger’s lecture highlighted the importance of taking care of our environment and preserving Tennessee wildlife. She also educated the group on the history of the park, her role as a park ranger and ended with a walking tour.
In addition to all the tours, one evening was spent with the mentors and 4-H Agent leading a leadership session with the mentees. Mentees learned what being a leader meant, the type of leader they are based on their personalities and how they can become a leader. Mentees also completed journals detailing what they had learned on their trip and had additional time to spend with their mentors.