4-H Impact May 2024

Sarah Tarjeson, 4-H Youth Development Educator

A training session was held for adult chaperones planning and leading the 4-H American Spirit Experience. Extension staff facilitated discussions on logistics and emergency procedures, built a supportive advisor team, and reviewed the Wisconsin 4-H Policy to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for youth.

Over a third of U.S. high school students lack a basic understanding of democratic citizenship and government, hindering their ability to participate as informed citizens. Lack of civic knowledge also decreases community engagement (Van Camp, 2016). Each summer, high school students nationwide visit Washington, D.C., for Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) to learn about citizenship and leadership. Wisconsin youth additionally benefit from the 4-H American Spirit Experience, which fosters citizenship knowledge and skills through historical education.

Sherrod (2003) emphasizes that national identity is key to developing citizenship and promoting political participation. The 4-H American Spirit Experience immerses youth in historic sites of national significance, fostering a sense of national citizenship and providing civic role models, which enhances personal development opportunities.

  • The 4-H American Spirit Experience committee aims to:
  • Increase knowledge of America‚Äôs heritage
  • Build awareness of the steps to U.S. independence and freedom
  • Develop leadership and personal expression skills
  • Enhance self-awareness in relation to others
  • Encourage sharing learned knowledge within the community

The adult advisor team must work collaboratively to create a safe environment to meet these goals.

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