Youth ‘get super powers’ during state 4-H conference

Young people can improve leadership and communication skills at the Illinois 4-H Junior Leadership Conference to be held Feb. 8 and 9 in Decatur. The conference, “Saving the World Through Leadership,” is open to 4-H members and their friends currently in seventh and eighth grade.

Cost for the conference is $135 and includes all meals, lodging and conference supplies. Register online at: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/state4h/events/juniorleadership2014.cfm.

“The conference will challenge youth to achieve their potential by setting “SMART” goals,” Deb Stocker, University of Illinois Extension specialist, 4-H youth development, said in a news release. “SMART goals stand for ‘Superheroes. Must. Achieve. Realistic. And Timely. Goals.’”

Throughout the weekend, youth will learn skills to avoid peer pressure and become confident in their individual talents and abilities. One workshop addresses the issue of energy conservation, while another addresses the issue of animal welfare.

“Time is also reserved for informal visiting and making new friends,” Dan Boomgarden, events coordinator for the state 4-H program, said in the release.

Registration is due before Jan. 20. Only 90 registrations are allowed, so youth are encouraged to register early, Boomgarden said. A first-time partial scholarship also is available, first-come first-served, from the Illinois 4-H Foundation. Youth also can contact the local U of I Extension office in their county for more information.