A major aspect of the 2011 National 4-H Congress was an emphasis on teamwork and leadership. Each delegate attended both a leadership and a teamwork workshop filled with various activities. The leadership began with an introduction of each member of the color group. Before diving into the workshop, each member stated their name, state, and what their favorite 4-H project area was and then played a 4-H version of Simon says.
Each group was then given a specific topic to talk about amongst three to four other delegates, topics included traits of a successful leader, traits of an unsuccessful leader, and how anyone can improve their leadership abilities. Members were then asked to describe a leader who they emulate within their communities as a Shark, a turtle, a fox, or an owl and give specific reasons to support why they chose that animal to represent that leader.
Following that activity, delegates were given a brown paper sack. The contents of this bag were unknown. The workshop leader asked for three volunteers from each group to step forward. While the remaining group learned that the bag was filled with PVC pipe and that their task was to make the tallest structure out of the piping, the three volunteers were briefed on their assignment, which was to observe the group putting the structure together and note any major leadership strengths and weaknesses. After constructing the tallest structure possible, the group rejoined and reflected on how building the structure went and how each member can improve his or her leadership abilities.
Written By: Sarah Tow--Senior at Elk Point-Jefferson High School; National 4-H Congress delegate