North Central District 2023 Teen Retreat

— Written By Bobbie McLean
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2023 NCD Teen Retreat

NCD 2023 Teen Retreat participants

Another retreat is in the books for our North Central District 4Hers. The 2023 Teen retreat was held Friday March 31- April 1, 2023 at Betsy Jeff-Penn 4H Camp in Reidsville, NC. This years’ theme was Finding Your Footing in 4H and it proved to live up to the standard of fun! This was an overnight stay, and many were first time attendees. Although it rained outside the spirit and fire of these 4H youth could not be drenched! It did not take these teens long to begin bonding as a 4H family.

Teens participated in leadership team building workshops, district officer elections, a dance with Bigfoot being the guest of honor, a community service project which involved creating camp essentials (toiletries, towels, and a sleeping bag) for a summer camp attendee and enjoying s’mores! The teens enjoyed these activities while also getting to know each other and hanging out with their friends.

Mealtime was an opportunity for collaboration, conversations, and lots of laughter. The teens were able to get to know each other a little more as well as work on their collaboration skills. Teens enjoyed home cooked meals, and no one had to wash dishes! Day 1 evening meal consisted of barbeque chicken mac & cheese, green beans, corn bread, tea/lemonade/water . Day 2 breakfast consisted of pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, and juice options. Lunch served up fried chicken tenders, steak fries, and salad bar options, and tea/lemonade/water. Each meal offered fresh fruit (yogurt for breakfast) and salad bar options.

The main focus of this retreat was to learn how to market themselves and 4-H in creative and practical ways. A large group brainstorm encouraged the group to answer questions like “What is 4-H?”, “What makes you 4-H?”, “Why did you join 4-H?”, and “Why should others join 4-H?”  “What changes would you make in 4H?” “Create a theme and explain how you came about choosing it.” Many said they joined to make friends or they were part of a 4-H family, some used their clubs and interest to describe what makes them 4-H and others talked about 4-H as a community where they can make friends and grow through their passions. Some contributed 4H as a life changer for them, it literally turned their lives around. Themes and ideas were based on future changes they wanted to see in 4H. Ideas surfaced ranged from educating the public on navigating through 4H Online, being more connected to communities, increasing enrollment/membership, offering more club opportunities, and increasing knowledge of culture and diversity in 4H.

2023 NCD Teen Retreat

Emma Langley

After this, teens were given options to participate in hands on crafts workshops and additional outdoor recreational activities. Lastly to end up the retreat, NCD officer election results were announced. Each teen candidate running for an office was required to create a visual and an oral presentation/speech. Teens convened and voted by their individual counties. Congratulations to these youth! A special shout out to our own Emma Langley our new NCD Membership Engagement Officer!

NCD’s 2024 officers are:

President- Brianna Mitchell (Davidson County)

Vice President- Anastasia Smith (Orange County)

Secretary/Treasurer- Marianne Scarlett (Davidson County)

Reporter- Jackson Greer (Davidson County)

Membership Engagement- Emma Langley (Chatham County)

We are looking forward to next year’s Teen Retreat! Hope to see you there!