As one of 5 major outcomes we support and encourage through the Iowa 4-H program, leadership is the ability to influence and support others in a positive manner toward a common goal. Leadership takes many forms and youth can learn more about the leadership project on our leadership project page.
Leadership opportunities may include an elected or appointed position, but it can also be serving on a committee or in some other decision-making group. It can include learning about and experiencing something new and sharing that new knowledge with others as well. Seeing the personal growth young people have through leadership opportunities, we hope youth will challenge themselves as they develop and see leadership beyond the local club through some of the following opportunities that are provided through the Iowa 4-H Youth program.
Youth who attend 4-H Camp from day camps to overnights have the opportunity to learn from others and gain new experiences that help with their leadership skills through team challenge course, climbing tower experiences, high ropes course activities, canoeing, and specific camp experiences. In addition, older youth and young adults may go through counselor training and serve as cabin counselors or spend an entire summer at the Iowa 4-H Center as camp staff. Applications and more detailed information about all of these opportunities can be found at the Iowa 4-H Center website.
Youth can also develop leadership skills by securing and administering a Pioneer Grant in their local community. By assessing a community need, recruiting fellow volunteers to meet it and securing funds to support it, youth not only develop leadership skills, but also make a difference in their local community.
Iowa 4-H'ers can make a difference on their county youth councils and possibly regional councils. They can also serve on the Iowa state 4-H council, where they not only represent Iowa 4-H'ers at the state level, they also bring information back to their peers at the local level. You can meet Iowa state 4-H council members and learn about the application for this experience at the state 4-H council website. State 4-H council members serve a one-year term their junior or senior year in high school, applying during their sophomore or junior years.
Iowa youth who serve on the 4-H Tech Team also have a leadership opportunity as they share their skills with others and use technology to help share the 4-H message. Tech Team members are Iowa high school youth who want to learn more about technology and develop their communication skills as they share their knowledge with others. Projects include creating 4-H TV updates during the Iowa State Fair, presenting a highlight video at the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference and teaching seniors about the internet.
Leadership opportunities can also include working with adults in decision-making. This may involve serving on the your local 4-H Youth Committee. Youth can make a difference in their 4-H programs now, not just in the future. Additional leadership opportunities, including youth-adult partnership resources can help you start your adventure as a leader!