Shannon Range is a 4-H Youth Development Educator for the University of Illinois Extension. Her area of service is Grundy and Kankakee Counties. From outdoor skills and adventures, environmental and science education to youth leadership and photography, Shannon challenges youth to make the best better in everything they do. She encourages youth to think about what they love and work towards achieving goals in those area as well as being open minded to trying new skills and adventures – especially outdoors.
The majority of Shannon’s programming focuses on environmental and outdoor education, outdoor skills and adventures, wildlife conservation, emergency preparedness, shooting sports, photography and youth leadership. During the COVID pandemic, Shannon created programs to get youth outdoors, get exercise and enjoy family time while developing new skills in local natural areas. The programs include two-week challenges in geocaching and navigation with a compass. She’s looking forward to creating science education for homeschool youth.
One of Shannon’s goal is to get as many youth as possible involved in outdoor leadership, skills and adventures to include shooting sports as well as media production and journalism. She works with youth to help them develop, implement and run a wide variety of programs in the outdoors as well as become involved with local media outlets to help tell their story and the story of 4-H.
Shannon is originally from Minnesota and has lived in a variety of states for the military and for school. When she’s not working, you can find her with her three kids doing outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, fishing and kayaking. Shannon has a wide variety of animals to include two cats, a turtle, two snakes, a chinchilla, two rats and a tarantula. Several of these she uses for youth programming in the schools, at 4-H clubs meetings and workshops.
To contact Shannon, please email her at SLRange@illinois.edu.
- Zoology focus, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND
- B.A. Film & Media Arts, focus on Photography, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
- M.S. Education, Curriculum & Instruction, focus on Outdoor Education and Environmental Education, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL
Associations, Professional Groups, and Committees
- 2021 Annual Meeting Committee Member
- IEPYE - Illinois Extension Professionals for Youth Education
- Region 1 Director
- Public Relations & Information Committee
- NAE4H - National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals
- "What's your spark? Spring break programs" - poster presentation accepted 2023
"Challenging Youth to Get 'Outside' Their Comfort Zone!" - podium presentation accepted 2023
- State Technology & Communications
Awards and Recognition (4-H)
- Illinois Denise Miller National 4-H Innovator Award (2023, NAE4-HYDP)
- Illinois Excellence in Geospatial Programs Award (2023, NAE4-HYDP)
- Illinois Excellence in Communication and Expressive Arts Award (2023, NAE4-HYDP)
- Excellent in Programming Award - Geospatial Programs
Specialties & Training
- Certified instructor, Ready in the Middle program, National Youth (Emergency) Preparedness and Leadership
- Certified instructor, Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA)
- Science education curriculum development
- Outdoor & environmental education
- Wildlife conservation
- Outdoor skills and adventures
- Shooting sports
- Multimedia - photography and videography
- Youth leadership
- Emergency preparedness
- Army National Guard, 8 years
- Army Reserve, 3 years
- U.S. Army Active Duty, Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom, 18 months