Vermont 4-H offers a wide variety of opportunities which enable teens to develop knowledge, skills, attitudes, and aspirations needed for success in the 21st century. Teens can participate in programs focused on LEADERSHIP, CITIZENSHIP, and LIFESKILLS, through exploring a variety of topics.
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 youth in grades 7-12. It is a teen-led environmental education program with an embedded service learning component designed to teach environmental literacy and responsibility to younger youth. TRY for the Environment includes five program areas—energy FUNdamentals, waste solutions, food systems, forest and trees and TRY 4-H20 —to connect young people to real-world environmental problems in which they can be key change agents helping to create 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 1-3
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 3-4.
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.
Information and application for 2019-2020 is available! (End of this article)
TRY teams commit to teaching their program curriculum to 2 different groups of at least 15 youth.
Teams choose who they teach, and where and when they teach. This allows a lot of flexibility in how to fulfill your commitment of teaching two programs.
All programs must be concluded by May 24, 2019. Vacation camps, afterschool programs, libraries, in-school, weekends and summer programming are all options!
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?
Team members must be in grades 7-12 and should have an interest in learning and teaching about renewable energy, waste solutions or food systems. It's 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 commit to teaching the program to two different groups. That's a minimum 12-hour commitment (plus your preparation time).
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!
Youth Environmental Summit (YES)
Information below on the 2019 Summit
Speak Out. Act Up. Be the Change. Attend the 2019 Youth Environmental Summit at the Barre Civic Center, Barre, Vt.
YES is an annual event for students in grades 6‐12 who want to learn about environmental issues and find ways to take action. 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. All young people in grades 6-12 are eligible to attend.
Want to know more about YES!? Watch our Across the Fence Episode!
Citizenship Washington Focus
For over 50 years, thousands of 4-H youth between the ages of 14-19 have traveled to Washington, DC and stayed at the National 4-H Center to participate in CWF, a life-changing week that empowers 4-H’ers to take their leadership skills to the next level for themselves, their communities, and their world.
Print the application form and submit it no later than January 15, 2020 with a $650 non-refundable deposit.
Cost will be approximately $2000, and your county 4-H Foundation may provide partial scholarships. Make sure to talk with your 4-H Educator! The cost is approximate as there are still some expenses not yet secured and may vary. This cost covers transportation by bus from Springfield, MA to Washington, DC, housing at the National 4-H Center, program activities and most meals. Please note: It is your responsibility to get to and from Springfield, MA. More information about the program can be found at 4-H.org.
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" (PDF)
Want to know more? Watch our Across the Fence Episode!
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.
VTeen 4-H Science Pathways Café
It is a free, fun way for teens to explore science, engineering and technology with local scientists, engineers and technology experts. Teens participate in informal discussions and hands-on activities to learn about different topics. And, there is always free food! Planned and run by teens for teens. Save the dates! Future Cafés (PDF)
February 8, 2020 - Mapping the Earth from Above
Register for the event here!
- All in the Genes
- How Energy Storage Works & Why It Matters
- The Science of Stress
- Astrobiology: Life Among the Stars
- Proteins - It's Not Just for Dinner!
- Infectious Diseases - How Do We Combat Them?
- Between a Rock and a Soil Place
- Fibers, Fragments, Films and Foams: Beyond the Bead - Microplastics in Lake Champlain
- What’s Buzzing in Entomology?