University of Vermont

"We must become the change we wish to see in the world" ~ Mahatma Ghandi


Teen & Leadership Programs


    These programs will not be offered in 2018:
  • 4-H Exploration
  • 4-H Exploration Teen Board
  • Leadership Washington Focus
  • National 4-H Conference

TRY for the Environment

Recipient of the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence

TRY stands for Teens Reaching Youth and is an environmental leadership opportunity for students in grades 7-12. It is an environmental education program taught by teens and designed to increase environmental literacy and responsibility in younger youth. TRY for the Environment includes five program areas to connect young people to real-world environmental problems allowing them to be key change agents contributing to real-world solutions.

The Teens Reaching Youth program has allowed our students to become experts on energy and sustainability issues. It has enabled them to become agents of change through education."
- Don Taylor, Main Street Middle School teacher
The TRY program consists of five program areas:

Each program area curriculum includes 6 different one-hour lessons that are fun, hands-on, and easy to teach!

Energy FUNdamentals highlights wind and sun energy engineering. Grades K-3
Climate Change Through Waste Solutions focuses on the 4Rs—reduce, reuse, recycle and rot. Grades K-3
Food Systems explores the food system and the need to protect our soil, seeds, pollinators and climate. Grades 2-4
Forests & Trees investigates the basic concepts of forest and tree stewardship. Grades 2-4
TRY 4-H20 examines the water cycle, watersheds, water quality and health, and aquatic life. Grades 2-4.

TRY Lessons are taught by TRY teams consisting of 2-4 teen teachers and adult mentor who are trained to teach specific lessons to younger students.Teams must apply to the program and be selected.

Important Dates Energy FUNdamentals Climate Change /
Waste Solutions
Food Systems Forests & Trees TRY 4-H20
Training Date
Nov. 28, 2017
(Dec. 8, 2017)
Dec. 7, 2017
(Dec. 8, 2017)
Dec. 12, 2017
(Dec. 19, 2017
Dec. 15, 2017
(Dec. 19, 2017)
Jan. 16, 2018
(Jan. 19, 2018)

TRY teams teach their program lessons to 2 different groups of at least 15 youth. Teams choose who they teach, and where and when they teach. In-school classes, afterschool programs, vacation camps, youth groups, libraries, etc. are all options! This allows a lot of flexibility in where & when you teach. Overall you can expect to spend 12 hours teaching plus another 15 hours on program logistics, preparation and evaluation.

All teaching must be finished by May 25, 2018.

Everything you need to be successful will be given to you, including training, teaching materials and ongoing support.

Who can be a TRY team member?

Any student in grades 7-12 who has an interest in learning and teaching about environmental issues can be a TRY team member. It’s even okay if you don’t have any knowledge of the issues or know how to teach. We will train you!

Your team must be able to complete all program expectations. See the application for more information

Teams must apply to the program and be selected

4-H TRY on Across the Fence
Who can be a TRY team mentor?

Some ideas of people to ask:Teacher, parent, afterschool instructor, community member, college student (21+ years old), 4-H or Scout leader, Green School Energy Challenge advisor, or any caring adult who wants to mentor your team!

Applying to TRY!

Program Partners

Lake Champlain Seagrant Lamoille Regional Solid Waste Management District vermont urban and community forestry vermont forests parks and recreation Vermont Energy Education Program [return to top]

Youth Environmental Summit

November 2, 2017

The Youth Environmental Summit (YES!) is an annual conference for middle and high school students. YES! is an opportunity to learn about environmental issues and get involved in local communities. The mission of YES! is to inspire, encourage, and prepare youth for a life of environmental responsibility, service and leadership by increasing awareness and knowledge of environmental issues and fostering leadership skills.

At YES! participants engage in hands-on workshops, action-inspiring discussions, networking with environmental professionals and like-minded peers, and much, much more!

Don't miss out - YES! is Vermont's premier environmental conference for young people. This year's event is November 2, 2017 at the Barre Civic Center in Barre, Vermont. All young people in grades 7-12 are eligible to attend.

Want to know more about YES!? Watch our Across the Fence Episode! [return to top]

Natural Resources Management Academy

NRMA is a program for youth who are passionate about the environment and are ready to explore Vermont's natural resources in-depth. Experts from around Vermont lead workshops and skill-building activities.

July 7-9, 2017 Flyer | Register Online

Article in UVM Extension's 2012 Annual Report. [return to top]

Leadership Conference / Transferable Skills Workshop

What are transferable skills? And how do students recognize these skills in themselves? The 4-H program has been doing this for over 100 years, though we call them life skills. Help your students gain these critical skills by participating in a customized workshop through experiential learning activities. Students will have a fun and safe way to build skills and recognize ways to use these skills in real world situations. Download the "Helping Students Gain Transferable Skills" brochure.

Want to know more? Watch our Across the Fence Episode! [return to top]

Leadership Development Class

Taught using the experiential learning model, your students will participate in a minimum of six classes, one hour each, that will help develop leadership, teamwork, communication, critical thinking, problem solving, goal setting and other important life skills. [return to top]


LEAD stands for Leaders Emerging And Developing. 4-H is all about developing leadership skills in young people and giving opportunities to use these skills in meaningful ways. 4-H LEAD is a series of different programs to learn and practice leadership skills throughout the year.

Download the Brochure

Individual Event Brochures 2017

[return to top]

Leadership Washington Focus

Leadership Washington Focus (LWF) is the only national leadership development experience exclusively designed for 4-H'ers entering grades 7-9. Participants ​will ​be ​immersed ​in ​the ​culture ​and ​history ​of ​our ​nation ​through ​on-site ​workshops ​at ​D.C.'s ​most ​spectacular ​sites. ​ This program will take place at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland, just 1 mile from Washington, D.C.

This event is not being offered this year.

TRY 4-H!

TRY 4-H! is our newest leadership opportunity for 4-H members ages 13-18. It is a teen-led program specifically designed to help grow the Vermont 4-H program. Through fun, hand-on activities TRY 4-H! teens will engage with younger youth and get them excited to join 4-H. This program is looking to tap into the passion, knowledge and experience with 4-H that we know our older members have and love to share!

TRY stands for Teens Reaching Youth, and the TRY program model is an excellent way to engage 4- teens in their communities throuhg volunteerism and service, to develop leadership and life skills, and to help reach new youth that currently are not involved with 4-H.

[return to top]

TRY Science Café

The first meeting will be October 14 from 10:00am-2:00pm at the University of Vermont.

Informational Packet and Leadership Team Applications

The Science Café is a free and fun way for students grades 9-12 to explore science and technology with local scientists and engineers, over free food!

We are now accepting applications for the Teen Leadership Team for TRY Science Café. Application materials can be found in the Informational Packet and are due by October 1st.

[return to top]

Teen Leadership Weekend

November 17-19, 2017 Teen Leadership Weekend is an exciting, activity-filled weekend for 4-H members ages 13 –18 (as of January 1, 2018). You will learn valuable leadership skills and engage in fun team building games. And, you will have the opportunity to meet new friends from around the state.

Space is limited to 50 participants. Register Online by October 15 for early bird pricing. Regular registration rates continue until November 1.

Informatonal Flyer and Application Information

Citizenship Washington Focus [return to list]

This program will take place June 30- July 7, 2018.

Register Online or Download the information packet and application

Fundraising Ideas for CWF

A dynamic week long program at the National 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland - just minutes from downtown Washington, D.C. Workshops, debates, and discussions are complemented by field trips and visits to the capitol's historic and cultural sites, as well as the opportunity to meet with Vermont's Congressional delegation.

Visit the National 4-H Youth Conference Webpage or watch the CWF 2013 YouTube video to learn more.

Last modified October 03 2017 10:31 AM