Writer: Elisa French
LAS CRUCES - About 500 4-H members will face their fears of public speaking, vote leaders into office and vie to be the next talent show idol during the 2004 State 4-H Conference July 12-16 at New Mexico State University.
The convention theme, "4-H: Can You Survive," is based on the reality television series "Survivor." The week's events center on challenge courses designed to show members that they can accomplish their goals in spite of obstacles. Participants are senior 4-H members 14 to 19 years old.
"State 4-H Conference provides an opportunity for youth to experience new adventures, learn valuable skills, meet new people and be able to explore all of the future possibilities available for them here at NMSU and with the College of Agriculture and Home Economics," said Amy Zemler state 4-H youth activities specialist.
As a part of a new conference service project, 4-H members will bring children's books to donate to New Mexico Coalition for Literacy.
Talent, fashion review, crops judging and consumer decision making are among the 28 contests in which members can compete for plaques, ribbons and scholarships.
Members will also participate in 14 workshops presented by the state 4-H leadership team, NMSU faculty and guests. Sessions will be offered in digital photography, welding, basketball and floral design.
Convention delegates will elect seven officers to serve on the 2004-2005 state 4-H leadership team. The officers will represent New Mexico at state and national events such as the New Mexico State Fair, Western Regional Team Leadership Conference and visits with state legislators.
Craig Hillier, a motivational speaker from Minnesota, will give a keynote address Monday at 6:30 p.m. The seven outgoing officers will also give retiring speeches.
4-H is the largest youth organization with 6.4 million members. New Mexico has 72,500 members representing 447 clubs. 4-H members participate in contests, service projects, and leadership activities to develop leadership, citizenship and life skills.
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