Information for Teens
Becoming a teen in the 4-H program opens up a whole new set of opportunities. Read more below about the groups and activities available at the club, county, state, and national levels.
Teen Leadership Project
A 4-H teen leadership project is for 4-H members in grades 8 and up who enroll in a leadership project as a part of their club project area or through the 4-H Teen/Senior Council in their county. 4-H members work with their 4-H leader and/or county 4-H staff to develop a plan of action for the project. The project, which could range from teaching club members a new skill to training new club officers or planning an event, is evaluated throughout the year and recorded in the Teen Leadership Project Record Book.
4-H Teen/Senior Council
Most counties have a teen group that provides support for county-wide 4-H programming. The group also allows teens to meet and interact with teens from other 4-H clubs from throughout the county.
4-H Ambassador Program
Some counties have 4-H Ambassadors who serve as 4-H member representatives of the 4-H program. They speak on behalf of the larger membership whose purpose is to promote 4-H to youth, parents, potential leaders, donors, and the general public.
North Jersey and South Jersey Teen Conference
Held each spring, the North Jersey and South Jersey 4-H Teen Conference is an annual event which brings 4-H members in grades 8–13 together to practice leadership, citizenship and cooperation and is coordinated by the 4-H Youth Development Program as a youth-adult partnership with youth working directly with 4-H staff to plan and conduct the conference. There is a cost to participate.
Discover the Leader in You! Regional Leadership Conference
The Discover the Leader in You! Regional Leadership Conference for 4-H members in grades 6–8 will be held in March. While attending the conference, middle school youth will have fun, meet new friends, and develop leadership and personal development skills that they can utilize at home, in school, in their 4-H club, and in their community. There are two dates and locations for this conference:
- Discover the Leader in You! Regional Leadership Conference - North
- Discover the Leader in You! Regional Leadership Conference - South
State 4-H Camp Counselor in Training and Camp Volunteer
Individuals who have completed 9th grade may qualify to become Counselors in Training (CIT), which is geared towards preparing young adults for the rigors of the camp counselor position through leadership and personal development experiences. Individuals who have completed 11th grade and are at least 16 years of age and older can apply to be a Camp Volunteer for a week. After volunteer training, individuals are assigned to assist camp staff in a cabin and a course area.
State 4-H goLEAD Youth Leadership Institute
The NJ State 4-H goLEAD Youth Leadership Institute for 4-H members in grades 6–8 will be held in July. While attending the conference, middle school youth will build their leadership skills and learn how to plan and conduct service activities in their community.
State 4-H Public Presentations
State 4-H Public Presentations provide an opportunity for 4-H members to compete on the state level with 4-H members from around New Jersey at Rutgers University each June. Each participant must be a 4-H member enrolled in 8-13th grade and have received an excellent rating on their presentation at the county level.
Youth Representative to the State 4-H Association
The primary purpose of the association is to assist in maintaining and expanding a strong 4-H Youth Development Program in New Jersey. Each year during the North Jersey and South Jersey Teen Conference, two youth representatives are elected to serve on the New Jersey State 4-H Association for one year, attending three meetings.
Citizenship Washington Focus
Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) is a 4-H citizenship and leadership program for youth ages 14–19 who come from across America to the National 4-H Youth Conference Center near Washington, D.C. each summer. This competitive opportunity—youth must apply to be delegates from their state—is a week-long program that enriches young people's lives through activities that broaden their appreciation and respect for themselves and others, including leadership, citizenship and an understanding of the political process. There is a cost to participate, however some counties provide financial support for this event.
Leadership Washington Focus
Leadership Washington Focus (LWF) is a brand new 4-H leadership program for middle school youth. Youth from across the nation will be participating in this event held in mid July at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The program will provide an opportunity for youth to listen to motivational speakers and participate in workshops that will develop communication skills, increase leadership capacity and build lifetime skills.
National 4-H Congress
The National 4-H Congress experience, held in Atlanta, GA each November, provides an opportunity for 4-H members from the across the nation to come together and learn about community involvement, cultural diversity, and service to others while meeting new friends. Youth must apply to be part of their state's delegation. There is a cost to participate, however some counties provide financial support for this event.
National 4-H Conference
National 4-H Conference, held each spring in Chevy Chase, MD at the National 4-H Center, provides an opportunity for 4-H members to become acquainted with government, meet with federal representatives, enhance leadership skills and provide feedback on the 4-H Youth Development Program. Youth must apply to be part of their state's delegation. There is a cost to participate, however some counties provide financial support for this event.