Gift learning experiences for Michigan teens this holiday season

Two leadership events are open for registration for the holidays, and they’d make great gifts for teens.

December 20, 2017 - Author: Jackelyn Martin, Michigan State University

Tis the season for holiday gift-giving. In a society driven by consumerism and wrapped packages under a tree, consider the benefits of gifting a learning experience for youth this holiday season. Two Michigan State University Extension programs are open for registration this holiday season and offer meaningful opportunities for growth for Michigan teens.

The Michigan 4-H Youth Leadership and Global Citizenship Spectacular is a weekend program taking place Jan. 27-28, 2018, at the Kettunen Center in Tustin, Michigan. Youth ages 12-19 can choose their own adventure and pick sessions ranging from public speaking to team building to global foods and cultures. The event typically draws over 100 youth from across Michigan and opens the door to additional future leadership experiences sponsored by Michigan 4-H Youth Development.

The cost for the weekend includes four delicious meals, overnight lodging, a variety of workshops and a truly unforgettable experience! Current 4-H members and volunteers pay just $85 thanks to support from the Michigan 4-H Foundation. The event is also open to non-4-H members and volunteers at a price of $160. Online registration is open now until Jan. 7.

4-H Capitol Experience is a four-day program taking place April 15-18, 2018, in Lansing, Michigan. High school-aged youth come to the state’s capitol to learn about state government through visits with legislators and other policy influencers. During the event, youth select a public policy issue area they are interested in and work with a team of other youth to develop a mock legislative bill related to their issue of choice. While observing and learning about the real state government processes, youth mirror that by putting their bills through their own legislative simulation.

The four-day event includes tours of the Michigan State Capitol, meeting with their state legislators and time to find and strengthen their own voice in the legislative process. The cost of the program includes lodging and most meals, and is $350 for 4-H members and $370 for non-4-H members. Online registration is available until March 16.

Instead of wrapping up the latest electronic “must-have” this holiday season, consider ways to provide value-added gifts for youth through Michigan 4-H. These experiences may just spark a passion in youth to pursue new career interests, friendships and more.

To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth leadership, citizenship and service and global and cultural education programs read our 2016 Impact Report: “Developing Civically Engaged Leaders.” Additional impact reports, highlighting even more ways Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H have positively impacted individuals and communities in 2016 can be downloaded from the MSU Extension website.

Tags: 4-h, 4-h capitol experience, citizenship & service, global & cultural education, leadership, life skills, msu extension

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