University of Vermont

Cultivating Healthy Communities

Vermont 4-H Congress Gives Teens Taste of College Life

4-H clover

Burlington--The year's Vermont 4-H Teen Congress promises participants plenty of fun while learning. Highlights include a Lake Champlain cruise and dance party, community service project, choice of workshops and a talk by motivational speaker Shannon Oleen.

The June 19-21 conference, which is co-sponsored by UVM Extension 4-H and the Vermont State 4-H Foundation, is open to all youths ages 13 to 19 (as of Jan. 1). Membership in 4-H is not required and non-4-H'ers are especially welcome to attend. It will be held on the UVM campus with accommodations in dormitories.

The all-inclusive cost is $190 (includes a Congress T-shirt). Teens may register online at The deadline for registration or to request a disability-related accommodation is May 24. For the latter, call the UVM Extension Office in Morrisville at (866) 260-5603 (toll-free) or (802) 888-4972.

All participants may sign up for five workshops on topics including public speaking, entrepreneurship, energy and the environment, healthy snacks, youth farm business ownership, car buying tips, introduction to American sign language, wilderness survival, designing and building bottle rockets and bicycle maintenance, among others. Oleen, a former professional National Football League cheerleader, will teach a workshop on the basics of cheer and dance movement.

In addition, on the first night of Congress she will present an inspirational keynote talk on how to achieve goals and dreams through hard work, passion and a positive attitude. Oleen, a Kansas City, Mo., native is a former Missouri 4-H'er and 4-H State Council alumna.

The teens also will participate in a community service project to prepare birthday bags, which contain all the supplies needed for a child's birthday party, to donate to the Vermont Foodbank. Other activities include a Lake Champlain sunset cruise and DJ dance party, an ice cream social and barbecue, swimming and games at Oakledge Park in Burlington.

Funding for this event was provided by the Karlson Family Foundation and the Vermont State 4-H Foundation. For more information, contact Lauren Traister, UVM Extension Teen and Leadership Program Coordinator, at (866) 260-5603 (toll-free) or (802) 888-4972, ext. 402, or