AMES, Iowa -- Every June, more than 1,000 teenagers converge on the campus of Iowa State University for three days full of speakers, workshops, mixers, dances, a banquet and community service activities.
The 2008 Iowa 4-H Youth Conference, titled Ignite the Flame will begin June 24 and continue through June 26.
Although the theme coordinates with the Beijing, China, Olympics this year, "we decided we liked the idea of igniting the flame within yourself and getting your fire going,” said conference co-chair and state 4-H council member Amy Peyton.
A variety of workshops are scheduled each day to spark the many interests of the youth. These workshops range from scavenger hunts, shopping tips and teen psychology to campfire cooking, engineering and farming.
The workshops aren’t the only points of interest at the conference though. Each day, a different speaker will address the attendees about leadership and good decisions for the future.
This year’s speakers come from a variety of backgrounds, but all have used a mixture of motivation and humor to reach thousands of people across the United States. They also share enthusiasm for tomorrow’s leaders.
Gaye Hanson, from Eagan, Minn., will bring her personal theme Igniting the Winner Within You, hoping to illustrate to the conference delegates that within each of them, there is a spark which can be lighted and explode into growth and success.
Rick Metzger, of Monclova, Ohio, also will bring a long list of credentials and more than 15 years of speaking experience. Using the lessons learned from growing up on a family farm, he has been the past president of the Ohio and National Alumni Associations, a professional athlete, a gold medal power lifter and a high school athletic coach. Metzger claims to use up to 80 percent humor for a variety of programs, depending on the audience age.
Lastly, Rick Minniefield, who touts Big Man, Big Heart, Big Smile, Big Life Changes on his Web site, hopes to inspire youth with his message. Coming from Menifee, Calif., Minniefield brings with him experience as a Supervising Health Education Specialist and an offensive line coach for Butte Community College. He is also an active member of the Neighborhood Watch programs and Friday Night Life program, an organization dedicated to proving opportunities for youth to prevent problem behaviors and drop-outs and encourage them in their post high school plans.
For more information about the 4-H Youth Conference, visit the ISU Extension 4-H Youth Develpoment Web site.
Laura Sternweis, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-0775, firstname.lastname@example.org