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.

Check out the following programs:

Citizenship Washington Focus (4-H Members Only)

Registration for this event is now closed. Vermont will send participants to CWF again in July 2022.

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.

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

Fundraising ideas for CWF (PDF)

Leadership Washington Focus (4-H Members Only)

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.

Vermont will send participants to LWF in July 2021. Dates to be announced in the Fall 2020. Applications will be due by January 15, 2021.

Natural Resources Management Academy

Natural Resources Management Academy

Are you a youth entering grades 7-12 in the fall who is interested in the environment and ready to explore, in-depth, your passion for Vermont’s natural resources? Learn about a variety of topics from natural resource professionals with daily presentations and at-home activities for those that want to do more. Earn a NRMA certificate by attending all 5 days! See the attached flyer for a list of presenters. (Flyer, PDF)  THIS PROGRAM HAS ENDED. YOU CAN NOW VIEW SESSION RECORDINGS.

View Recordings:

Natural Resources Management Academy 2020 - Session One
Natural Resources Management Academy 2020 - Session Two
Natural Resources Management Academy 2020 - Session Three
Natural Resources Management Academy 2020 - Session Four
Natural Resources Management Academy 2020 - Session Five

Summer of Science

Enjoy a summer filled with science! Join us Wednesdays from 1:00-2:00 pm at our weekly virtual science cafe where you will meet a scientist, learn about their work, and get to ask questions. Open to youth entering grades 7-12 in the Fall; runs June 24 - August 12. See the attached flyer with the schedule of topics. (Flyer, PDF)

August 12: Bacteria and Backyard Chickens - How Much Salmonella Is There? (Flyer, PDF)
Register here for this event!

View previous virtual science cafes:
March 25: Benthic Basics: Biological Indicators?
April 1: 3... 2... 1... Liftoff!: Small Satellite Propulsion Systems
April 8: Is It Syrup Yet? The Science Behind Maple Sugaring
April 15: The Making of a CRISPR Cell Line: A Lab Story
April 22: Cisco Science: Conservation & Restoration of Native Fish in the Great Lakes
April 29: Pandemics: Understanding Virology and Immunology
May 6: Plant Biology - Blueberries, Bees, and a Belowground World - sorry, no recording available
May 13: Give a hoot, don’t pollute: Understanding why people value & protect the environment
May 20: A Day in the Life of a Mental Health Professional
May 27: Guns, Germs & …Cell phones? Threats to Gorilla Conservation
June 3: Playing Games to Prevent Diseases on Farms?!??!
June 10: Your Brain’s Nightlife: The Neuroscience of Sleep and Dreams
June 24th: Fighting COVID-19 with Supercomputers
July 1: Protein Modification: The Fine Tuning for a Proper Cell Division Orchestra
July 8: What Do Pickles, Yogurt, and Soy Sauce Have in Common? How Fermentation Feeds Us
July 22: A Different Kind of Veterinarian: Veterinary Infectious Disease Epidemiology and One Health
July 29: Not Just Neurons - The Brain's Other Cells
August 5: The Importance of Pollinators

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 PDF icon"Helping Students Gain Transferable Skills" (PDF)

Want to know more? Watch our Across the Fence Episode!

TRY 4-H Science

Become a teen teacher!
Flyer (PDF)

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!

Program Partners

UVM Watershed Alliance WebsiteYouth Ag ProjectLamoille Regional Solid Waste Management DistrictVermont Urban & Community Forestry ProgramVermont Forests, Parks & RecreationVermont Energy Education Program

VTeen 4-H Trail Stewards

June - September 2020

Elmore State Park in Elmore; and Little River State Park in Waterbury

We know that young people care about and want to protect our lands. VTeen 4-H Trail Stewards is a partnership with Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, and an integral part of trail maintenance on state lands. Maintain your trails from June 1—October 19, 2019, twice a month (every other week) for approximately 4 hours each visit. Maintain your trails from June 6—September 26, 2020, twice a month (every other week) for approximately 2-4 hours each visit.

Check out a video of last year’s trail stewards at Elmore State Park! 

VTeen Leadership Weekend

This year’s event is November 20-22, 2020. Registration will be available in Fall 2020.

Open to all Vermont teens in grades 7-12. A fun-filled weekend developing important skills and traits that will help you stretch and improve your leadership, communication, problem solving, teamwork and other transferable skills to take back to your club work, school and community.

Space is limited to 50 participants. 


Youth Environmental Summit (YES)

We are already thinking about the 2020 Youth Environmental Summit!

The Youth Environmental Summit (YES) is an annual event for students in grades 6-12 who want to learn about environmental issues and find ways to take action. Last year we had almost 400 participants register for this event, and we hope to have a great turnout again this year!

This year’s Summit will take place virtually with a kick off on Friday, October 30, 2020—Save the Date! While we are sad that we cannot gather for our annual Summit, we have a really cool idea how to bring this day into the virtual world and make sure the sharing, learning, and networking happens!

Will you join us this year and share your work? Workshop presentations will be recorded ahead of time and posted to the YES virtual summit site and should be about 30 minutes long. More details with be available soon. (Please share with others who you think might have a good topic to present.)

We are looking for workshops on a variety of topics and ideas! Topics of interest include but are not limited to:
Climate Change
• Action steps you can take to make a difference
Renewable Energy
• Going green at school / at home, solar projects, wind projects, Green School Challenge
Composting and Waste Management Solutions at School
• How to create a school composting systems, how to eliminate milk cartons in school lunches, how to create a zero waste event, how to successfully sort your school trash
• Citizen science projects, cleaning up rivers & lakes
Farm to School
• Getting local foods into school lunches, school gardens, food systems
Advocacy & Activism
• Youth Rally for the Planet, Teens Reaching Youth for the Environment, how to create a youth summit, why youth voice matters
Using Technology for Environmental Action
• Creating a video to get out your message, is there an App for that?
And Other Topics
• Share something that you, your school or organization is doing, how are you making a difference?

To submit a workshop proposal for the 2020 Youth Environmental Summit, click here.
     (Please submit your proposal by August 15 or contact Lauren Traister if you need more time.)

Want to know more about YES!? Watch our Across the Fence Episode!


4-H TRY on Across the Fence


Lauren Traister

4-H Teen & Leadership Coordinator

Lauren Traister
University of Vermont Extension
29 Sunset Drive, Suite 2
Morissville, Vermont 05661
Telephone: 802-888-4972 x 402
Toll Free in VT: 1-866-260-5603