For the past two weeks we have had nine 4-H’ers training to be Junior Teen Leaders for the upcoming school year. During that time we were also training two current Junior Teen Leaders to be Senior Teen Leaders next year at the high school.
The students all took a leadership style survey to determine what kind of leaders they are. There are BOLD leaders who are good at visualizing big picture ideas and finding practical solutions to problems. They have to work at being good listeners, and not just good talkers. The EXPRESSIVE leaders are natural communicators because they relate their presentations to their audience. They are good at persuading others, so they have to remember that a correct message is better than a popular message.
The SYMPATHETIC leaders are quiet and calm communicators who are good listeners. They are good at encouraging others to join into group activities, but they have to be persuaded to accept changes in routine. TECHNICAL leaders are orderly and logical. They are good at focusing on the details that make a big idea work. They like to follow procedures in an orderly manner, but they have to remember that sometimes "good enough"’ is good enough. We have a great mixture of all leadership types in our group.
The Junior Teen Leaders also learned how to lead activities for a group. They learned some 4-H songs and group games to keep 4-H’ers occupied. Their favorite game was Mingle, Mingle, Mingle. The leader calls out a question like “What is your favorite color?” Then everyone yells out their answer and tries to link up arms with anyone else yelling out the same answer. When the leader calls out “Stop!”, if everyone with the same answer is linked together, they stay in. If there are two different groups not linked, but with the same answer, they are all out. Then you play another round with a different question, and keep going until everyone is out or you want to start over.
The Junior Teen Leaders participated in small group competitions and team building activities, such as Puzzle Race and Snowball Fight. And since there is a food component to any great teen activity, our older 4-H’ers instructed the younger ones in how to assemble an Edible Campfire. This involves explaining the safe way to build a campfire while arranging marshmallows, Cheerios, pretzel sticks, candy corn and more, to look like all the steps in building a campfire. Then, of course, you eat it.
The school year is beginning to wind down. The Davis 4th-graders are almost finished compiling their science project presentations. We can’t wait to hear them in May! The Dade Elementary 4th- and 5th-graders are completing their career presentations. Some students have already presented their career presentations to the class, and they did a great job!