Diane Prather: Dispatches from the 20th annual 4-H district retreat

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Each year, 4-H members and their chaperones from Moffat, Routt, Rio Blanco, Grand, Jackson, Eagle and Garfield counties meet to participate in a District 11 Retreat. This year’s retreat was held at the Marriott Residence Inn in Glenwood Springs from March 1 through 3. Some of the activities were held at the recreation center across the street from the hotel.

According to Moffat County Extension Agent JD Sexton, about 150 4-H members attended this year’s 20th annual district retreat.

Attending from Moffat County were 4-H members Lexi Goodnow, Andrea Maneotis, Katia Voloshin, Payton Voloshin, Grody Anson, Mitchell Davidson, Trevor Hume, Samantha Pearce, Seth Morgan, Sarye Morgan and Will Pilgrim. Sexton and Stephanie Pearce were chaperones.

Sexton explained that the retreat is designed to help 4-H members to develop skills in self-motivation and self-improvement.

The retreat was held the evening of March 1 until 9:45 a.m. March 3. During that time, attendees participated in workshops, dot activities and games, the district officer election and other activities.

During the evening of March 1, 4-H members registered and then attended a dinner where Jeff Goodwin, director of Colorado State 4-H, gave the keynote speech. After an hour participating in dot group games, which is a system of using colored dots to divide retreat attendees into groups, attendees listened to district officer candidate speeches, and then it was “lights out” so that everyone could get a good night’s rest for the next day that was packed with activities.

March 2 began with breakfast at 7 a.m., followed by dot group activities. The state 4-H STEM program incorporates science, technology, engineering and mathematics in projects and other activities. So during the retreat, some of the dot group activities were STEM related. For example, 4-Hers dissected sheep eyeballs and participated in robotics problems.

The rest of the morning March 2 was spent in hourlong workshops, following a rotation plan so that everyone got to attend them. Included were: Taste of 4-H; Club Officer Workshop; and What’s Your H? The 4-H program is promoting What’s Your H? this year, encouraging 4-H members to think about the “H” that has meaning for them. During this workshop, participants were videotaped as they talked about what the “H” stands for.

After lunch March 2, retreat attendees were allowed some free time to participate in the many activities at the recreation center. Sexton said there was a rock wall to climb, swimming and more. Especially popular with the 4-Hers was a dance workshop when they learned how to western dance.

After dinner, district officer elections were held. Moffat County 4-H member Mitchell Davidson was elected District 11 vice president.

The evening also included What’s Your H? activities, a dance and choice of games or a movie. The busy day ended at 11 p.m.

In the morning March 3, 4-Hers attended dot group activities and a closing program, and then everyone headed home, eager to share what they learned with other 4-H members at home.

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