4-H Youth learn valuable life lessons from science

4-H youth learn important life-skills through science education as is demonstrated by youth’s participation in the 4-H Discovery Camp last summer.

This summer, planners of the State 4-H Science Discovery camp found out that youth who are interested in science today are a lot like the kids who were interested in science yesterday. An article in the Business Insider, written by Thea Easterby, “14 Lessons from Benjamin Franklin about Getting What You Want in Life gives more insight.

In her article, Easterby discusses Benjamin Franklin’s amazing ability to get what he wanted out of life. Drawing on his many talents, Franklin was more than a one dimensional character.  In fact, it is quite probable he was a “learn by doing/ life-long learner” (just like many 4-Hers, and volunteers). If they had 4-H back then, Franklin would quite possibly have been a youth leader. Defining his “revolution of responsibility” is more difficult, as he made so many contributions to society. For the intent of this article, his invention of the lightning rod, bifocals and the Franklin stove suffice.

But more than this, what life-skills did Franklin learn along the way that allowed him to continue to contribute throughout his lifetime? Many of these are the same type of “resourcefulness” that counselors noted when working with youth who attended 4-H Discovery Camp this past summer. These kids know how to get things done!

Here’s what Easterby’s article noted about getting what you want out of life and how teen campers of 4-H Science Discovery Camp displayed them:

  • Less talk, more action
    Youth are on the move. 4-H campers started early in the morning and finished late at night – working through important issues from start to finish.
  • Don’t procrastinate
    4-H campers had a goal for each day and met it, whether it was helping to make biodiesel fuel, see the inner workings of a windmill or competing in an alternative energy challenge. They worked to turn their vision into realities.
  • Be prepared
    4-H campers were resourceful and worked with and through their teams to make a plan.
  • Don’t fight change
    4-H campers didn’t fight ideas for change, they met them head on, considering a multitude of possibilities along the way.
  • Get moving
    4-H campers did not wait around to see who else was going to take action; they wanted to be the ones to get things done.
  • Avoid busy-work
    4-H campers wanted their activity to mean something; they weren’t just going through the motions – they were taking action.
  • Permission to make mistakes
    4-H campers were not afraid of making mistakes, nor were they afraid to try new things.
  • Act quickly on opportunities
    4-H campers were quick enough and smart enough to jump on new opportunities that presented themselves.
  • Continue to grow
    4-H campers were not afraid to laugh at themselves, and understood that they will continuously grow as a person.
  • Keep going
    4-H campers were diligent. When they failed, they were quick to pick themselves up and kept on going.
  • Know yourself
    4-H campers had a good understanding and acceptance of who they are.
  • Don’t self-sabotage
    4-H campers didn’t use negative self-talk or indulge in addictive behavior.  
  • Don’t give up
    4-H campers pushed forward, day after day because they believed in themselves and had the determination and strength to back up that belief.
  • Wise up
    4-H campers were aware of the importance of forging a life of purpose, achievement and happiness.

Plans are already underway for 4-H Science Discovery Camp at Michigan State University, which will be held in July of 2013. Organizers are planning for even more fun and innovation!

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