Leadership skills development has been a primary focus of the 4-H Program since its inception. Jefferson County 4-H is making strides to ensure that teens within the county have a wide variety of opportunities to develop and hone these skills and become active contributors to their 4-H clubs, schools and communities.
Fourteen members of the Jefferson County 4-H Teen Leader Club recently joined teen leaders from Pulaski County 4-H to participate in the 2013 “Teen Leader Tour” that included a full day of ExCEL programming and a day at the state capitol.
ExCEL is a University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture experiential-based leadership training and development program. The program has two components:
• Ground Ropes – team-building activities focusing on communication, inclusion and critical thinking.
• High Ropes – a series of obstacles suspended thirty feet off the ground, which challenge participants to face fears, build trust and step outside comfort zones to achieve personal and team goals.
The group’s visit to the state capitol included a guided tour of both chambers and lunch with Representative Mike Holcomb. Holcomb talked with the teens about his experience thus far in the state legislature and the importance of being an engaged citizen. He also explained the process of bill-writing and encouraged them to think of issues relevant to youth in which they could play an instrumental role and serve as catalysts for change.
The county delegation included Madison Clark, Ryan Clement, Andrew Fleming, Camry Hall, LaDeja Hall, Tevin Livingston, Rebecca Newby, Timothy Reynolds, Brentney Sargent, Dusty Scallion, Tierra Williams, Ariel Withers, Daniel Withers, Ariana Woods and County 4-H Agent, Pia Woods.
Contact Pia Woods, at 534-1033 for more information about 4-H in Jefferson County, or visit the Extension office at 500 Idaho Street, Pine Bluff.
The 4-H program is open to all youth between the ages of 5 and 19 without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability, or any other legally protected status. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (large print, audiotapes, etc.) should notify the county Extension office as soon as possible prior to the activity.