Virtual 4-H Leader Training

Build your knowledge and skills with other adult and youth volunteers from around the region at this FREE training!

Please register HERE


Saturday, October 17 | 9-NOON | Online Training

Select from a variety of workshop sessions to customize your experience to fit your needs and interests. 


This Zoom-based training is open to 4-H volunteers and youth leaders from Boone, DeKalb, Ogle, Lake, McHenry, Carroll, Lee, Whiteside, DuPage, Kane, and Kendall Counties.


Session 1:    9:30-10:15       

Katie Duitsman- Get recognized for your hard work!

Awards & Recognition

Interested in learning more about the Illinois 4-H Awards Program? In this session we will explore the different Illinois 4-H State Award and Scholarship applications. We will also be discussing how to help 4-H members set goals, keep them engaged throughout the year and mentor them through the application process.


Tina Veal- 4-H Fans and Friends

Leveraging and Engaging the 4-H Alumni Community


Learn about the new Illinois 4-H Alumni Association, a community designed to provide increased opportunities for meaningful engagement that can increase awareness, pride, participation, volunteerism, and philanthropic commitment to Illinois 4-H. Through small group discussions, brainstorm ways your club or group can leverage this new alumni network in your clubs, or connect virtually, to alumni near and far.


Mark Becker- Food Access for All

An Introduction to the Food Action Academy

Connect with new curriculum resources focused on engaging Illinois youth in the process of becoming a food advocate in their community. The session will provide an overview of the new curriculum and provide an opportunity for participants to familiarize themselves with its content. The session will wrap up by identifying opportunities for ongoing engagement, including delivering the Food Action Academy curriculum in your own area.



Session 2:   10:20-11:05        

Tony Franklin- United We Stand

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in 4-H

How far are you willing to go to disrupt the status quo toward reaching parity in 4-H? The session will focus on identifying barriers to diversity, equity and inclusion; and explore strategies that will empower leaders to create an inclusive 4-H.


Dan Jennings- Fur, Four Feet and Feathers

4-H Livestock Events and Opportunities

Get an overview of the various livestock-related opportunities and events youth can participate in with Illinois 4-H. In this session, participants will learn about competitions like livestock judging, skill-a-thon and quiz bowls. Explore leadership opportunities like the Livestock Ambassador Team.


Patricia McGlaughlin- 4-H Club Engagement…It’s More than Sitting Around a Table!

Active Club Learning and Leadership

Creating active and engaging 4-H clubs begins with planning meetings that members want to attend! Whether we are meeting face-to-face or virtually, there are tips and tools you can use to move beyond members just sitting at the table, and instead have them speaking up, sharing ideas, and contributing to a fun learning experience. Participants will learn diverse methods of group decision making, gain ideas for active project learning experiences and identify methods to empower club members in taking the lead. Walk away with strategies to build excitement and anticipation among members for their next 4-H club meeting!


Session 3:      11:10 – 12:00   

Katie Duitsman- Choices, Choices!

4-H Leadership

Teen Opportunities- In this session we will explore the endless opportunities for teens available through 4-H! Learn more about state, national and international leadership opportunities, conferences and teams. We will also be discussing the selection process for each of these events and hearing from past Illinois 4-H participants.


Curt Sinclair- The Great Outdoors

4-H Youth Initiatives in Outdoor Recreation and Conservation

Explore a variety of outdoor-related opportunities for 4-H youth in areas like fishing, citizen science, and shooting sports! In this session you’ll build a spinnerbait and explore the aquatic food chain, while learning about upcoming youth fishing opportunities. Participants will also find out what is happening currently in 4-H Shooting Sports; the Illinois 4-H Barred Owl Nest Box Challenge citizen science project; and the renewable energy conservation initiative entitled Junior Solar Sprint model car racing!  


Karla Belzer- Hey Kids, Can we Focus???

Bringing Mindfulness into Your 4-H Club


Have you ever heard the term mindfulness? It’s a technique that can be applied to just about any situation in life and helps us reduce stress and turn our attention to the present moment. This session will feature mindfulness information and activities that you can use in your 4-H club meetings to enhance focus, attention, and awareness while learning techniques that can be beneficial to youth, leaders, and adults in attendance. 


Program Areas