Military Teen Leadership Summits seek adult volunteers

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Georgia 4-H is searching for adult volunteer leaders for this summer’s 2019 Military Teen Summits coordinated by the Georgia 4-H Military Partnership.

The Military Teen Summits are dedicated to military teens with parents serving in the uniformed services. The summits offer leadership workshops, outdoor adventure and environmental education. In addition, youth have the opportunity to connect and learn with other military teens, adult military service-member volunteer leaders, 4-H counselors and staff, and other outstanding volunteers while participating in camp activities.

This year, the summits will occur in Jekyll Island, Georgia, Dahlonega, Georgia, and Estes Park, Colorado, through funding provided by several entities. The camps begin in June and conclude in early-August.

“Since 2008, the Military Teen Summits have brought military teens together to develop a sense of belonging not found in other locations,” said Casey Mull, Extension 4-H specialist for military programs. “Adult leaders volunteering their time are critical to creating this environment.”

Summit staff has found that not only do the mentors and adult leaders provide leadership skills to those selected, but they also provide younger teens with role models in a similar lifestyle.

In 2018, more than 80 individuals, mostly military members or spouses, volunteered to serve as adult leaders during the weeks of camp. Volunteers provide support to teens in cabins and during class instruction and recreational activities. 

“Adult volunteer leaders often report that they learn more than the youth,” Mull said. “They leave the camp reinvigorated for the future of our country and dedicated to their military service.”

As an adult leader, volunteers must be available for the entirety of the seven-day camp and be willing to manage teens at the airport on travel days, chaperone teens assigned to their cabins, participate in activities and supervise kitchen duty, night recreation and sports activities, among other duties. 4-H center staff teach the outdoor education classes and oversee adventure activities, such as rock wall climbing, hiking, kayaking, river rafting, snorkeling, swimming, biking and dancing. However, adult leaders are asked to participate in all activities, as well as lead small mentoring sessions, assist in workshops, supervise flag raising/lowering ceremonies and serve as chaperones on buses during travel for activities.

Georgia 4-H and other partners provide airfare, lodging and meal expenses for adult leaders. Travel to and from the airport is not provided. For each summit, adult leaders arrive one day prior to youth to meet other leaders and staff and to attend training.

Applications are due May 1. Interested adults should complete all forms with a wet or digital signature to be considered. To download the packet, visit Georgia4H.org/militaryvolunteer. The application packets include the 2019 Adult Leaders Application, UGA Application for Screening and UGA Volunteer Agreement. Completed application packets can be emailed to milcamps@uga.edu or faxed to (706) 542-4373. All adult leaders are subject to a background check.

For more information on Georgia 4-H and Military Programs, visit Georgia4H.org.

Cristina deRevere is the public relations coordinator for Georgia 4-H.
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