This is a follow-up story with a delayed distribution. The event took place in Columbiana from January 31, 2020 to February 2, 2020. The event was held prior to the coronavirus outbreak, before the discovery of the virus in Alabama, and before any guidelines shared by the CDC.
AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – Teens across the state came out in full force for the Alabama 4-H Midwinter Leadership Retreat. This year’s retreat focused on workforce development, healthy living and independence. The three–day, Hollywood-themed event was held at the Alabama 4-H Center in Columbiana Jan. 31- Feb. 2.
“With an event hosting more than 170 people it takes a lot of preparation and dedication,” said Joy Scott, Alabama Extension 4-H specialist. “From day one of planning to the day of the event, the Alabama 4-H State Ambassadors demonstrated great teamwork and leadership skills. I am beyond proud of the success of Midwinter 2020.”
The retreat provides an opportunity for young people to engage in personal development experiences. These experiences increase the teens knowledge, refine their skills and help them create positive change in their communities.
“I was able to gain leadership skills that I can apply in my local 4-H club and at my school through hands-on activities,” said Leah Kate Owens, Washington County 4-H member. “One of my favorite activities was learning to swing dance because just like in partner dancing, to be a good leader you have to be able to work well with others toward a common goal, and take and give direction.”
The teens participated in several educational workshops while at the retreat. Some of these workshops focused on workforce development topics such as writing, completing applications and interviews. There was also a workshop on life skills for the teens. It focused on transitioning from living with a parent/guardian to living on their own. Additional activities included workshops on art, dance and cooking, a state showcase and an educational program regarding the dangers of vaping.
“Midwinter helped me to get outside my comfort zone and meet new people,” said Lizzie Kirkland, Henry County 4-H member. “It was a fun experience. I especially loved the dance and art classes.”
4-H Leadership Events
Alabama 4-H members have the opportunity to refine their leadership and citizenship skills throughout the year. In addition to the Midwinter Leadership Retreat, National 4-H Conference and Citizenship Washington Focus are two other leadership events 4-H members can participate in.
“I really enjoyed participating in the Midwinter Leadership Retreat again this year,” said Victoria Richardson, Washington County 4-H member. “It was a great experience. I encourage other youth to participate in the future. Lifelong friends are made at Midwinter!”
For more information on all Alabama 4-H citizenship and leadership program offerings, visit www.alabama4h.com.