Four Children in the Fields Campaign youth council members participated in an overnight 4-H Leadership Retreat on December 9th and 10th. They attended workshops on a variety of interesting themes including ethics, Robert’s Rule of Order, and leadership. The youth council members remarked that they felt very welcomed and enjoyed the retreat. In fact, they had such a great experience that they have already begun asking when the next event is!
Here are personal testimonies from some of the youth who participated:
“We arrived and ate at a lunchroom and later entered a building and did some icebreakers. The following day we did some workshops and learned about ethics, starting new a business, and business handling. I really liked meeting new people and the welcome they gave us.”
“What I liked about 4-H was the workshops they had, which taught me a lot of things I didn’t know, like information about the Internet. For example, you have to be very careful about what you put on the Internet because if you put information up there about your life people can use that against you or even hurt you.”
“We arrived at Plymouth, NC, and as we arrived to the 4-H retreat, we walked into a big building and went to the lunchroom to eat dinner. We were there first and we felt like we didn’t belong. After dinner, we went to a different building where we did icebreakers. During the icebreakers, we started to feel comfortable around the other participants. The next day we did some workshops and learned about different subjects. One subject that really caught my attention was learning about law, because in the future I want to be an Immigration lawyer. At the end of the day I was upset because we had to go home and I didn’t want to leave any of the wonderful people I had met. I would love to do 4-H activities again!”
This event was also significant as the Children in the Fields Campaign has, at times, been regarded as an initiative aimed at stopping kids from learning about farming and agriculture, which is not the case. We support children learning about agriculture and farming; it just must be done in a way that does not exploit children or require them to work under hazardous, life-threatening conditions. Furthermore, this collaboration provided an important step forward by opening up opportunities for future collaborations and creating a bridge for these farmworker youth to connect with another community of youth involved in agriculture. It also gave them the opportunity to experience and learn about agriculture in a safe and educational environment.
A special thanks to Tara Taylor, Extension Agent & 4-H Youth Development Coordinator with the North Carolina State University College of Agriculture & Life Sciences at the NC Cooperative Extension.