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11 Crow Wing County 4-H'ers learn to lead at 4-H BLU

In February, more than 500 youths from across Minnesota gathered to participate in annual 4-H Building Leadership and Understanding youth leadership conferences.

Members of the Crow Wing County 4-H pose for a photo at the annual 4-H Building Leadership in February. Back row, left to right: Cole O'Hern, Dalton Schreier, Zach Struffert. Middle row, left to right: Joy McCoy, Abby Schreier, Lindsey Young, Allison Struffert, Noah Crowley. Front row, left to right: Aiden Birch, Thomas Taylor, Les McCoy. (Submitted photo)
Members of the Crow Wing County 4-H pose for a photo at the annual 4-H Building Leadership in February. Back row, left to right: Cole O'Hern, Dalton Schreier, Zach Struffert. Middle row, left to right: Joy McCoy, Abby Schreier, Lindsey Young, Allison Struffert, Noah Crowley. Front row, left to right: Aiden Birch, Thomas Taylor, Les McCoy. (Submitted photo)

In February, more than 500 youths from across Minnesota gathered to participate in annual 4-H Building Leadership and Understanding youth leadership conferences.

The five regional BLU leadership events were filled with activities that help youths learn and practice valuable leadership skills that they will be able to take back with them to their counties and communities, and use throughout their lives.

"Youth who participate at events like BLU have the ability to build bonds and friendships that last well beyond their time in 4-H," said Courtney Johnson, Crow Wing County 4-H program coordinator, in a news release.

This year's conference theme was "Find your Element," which taught participants about their intelligences and challenged them to think about how to apply them to future careers and community work. The topic was selected by the 4-H state ambassadors based on a survey from youths at previous events.

There was also time dedicated to meeting new friends and having fun, with skits, singing, dancing and games designed and facilitated by the ambassadors to help youth participants get to know one another and have a good time.

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"As 4-H members, we want our young people to understand their potential for leadership in their homes, schools, communities and world," said Jacquie Lonning, Extension Youth Development Citizenship and Leadership state program director. "BLU is just one of the many opportunities youth have through 4-H to."

Using a youth-teaching-youth model, the 4-H BLU leadership conferences are developed and led by 4-H State Ambassadors. These ambassadors are Minnesota 4-H youths who have been selected to serve as spokespeople for 4-H and to educate youths and adults about the importance of youth development, leadership, citizenship, service, teamwork, and other invaluable life skills.

A youth development program of the University of Minnesota Extension, 4-H is available for grades kindergarten through first year after high school. And 4-H'ers participate in hands-on learning experiences in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education, citizenship and leadership, animal science, creative arts and more.

Through this unique learn-by-doing process, youths obtain essential life skills such as problem solving, decision making, coping and communicating that help them succeed in their school, college, community and career.

Related Topics: CROW WING COUNTY4-H
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