4-H Middlesex Advisory Council

For the 4-H community of Middlesex County, Massachusetts

FFA/4-H Teen Leadership Conference    January 4-5, 2013

This year was my first year attending the 4-H/FFA Teen Leadership Camp. Based on the activities we did and what I learned, I would love to go again next year. We focused on five essential areas of our wellbeing. Career, Social, Community, Financial and Physical. Now, these may not seem like “leadership” when you first look at the words, but when you look into them a little bit deeper, there is more meaning. Social for example, you need to have good skills for talking to people you don't know and interacting with them if you want to lead a group. We did an activity which everyone came up with a few questions that we would ask someone when we first met them so we could get to know them better. Or you could also try get to know someone better even if you have known them for a while but haven't gotten together outside of a 4-H meeting or another activity. One of the biggest things I personally took out of the camp was that If you don't know how to lead yourself or how to support yourself, you are going to have a hard time leading a group or helping others. So, before you go out and try to lead other people, make sure you know how to lead yourself. Things will come to you quicker when you know who you are and how you govern yourself.
Emma Kraus

Thank you for funding for my trip to the leadership conference. I learned a lot about becoming a leader, and I know it will help me throughout then rest of my years in 4-H.
Samantha Trabucco

Thank you for funding my trip to the leadership conference last weekend. I had a lot of fun and I met a lot of new people. Becoming a leader is going to take courage and a lot of patience and I know this will help me in the rest of my 4h years and moving on to bigger things in life. Thank you again.
Kaela Trabucco

National 4-H Congress     November 25-29, 2011

4-H means so much to both of us and without people like you, these conferences and many other 4-H gatherings would never be possible.   Shannon Donahue and Emily Oneschuk

FFA/4-H Teen Leadership Conference   January 7-8, 2011

Thank you for the money for the leadership camp.  I was pleasantly surprised by how well the weekend was put together.  I enjoyed getting to meet FFA teens as well as other 4-H teens.  I learned the importance of delegating tasks when I am the person leading the project.  The whole weekend was a blast!   Theresa Lewis

I really didn’t want to go to the Leadership Camp at first… I had no idea how well it would be set up and I really wasn’t looking forward to sleeping in a cabin with a lot of girls who I had never met before. I was, however, forced to go by my 4-H leader, Elaine, and I am very glad I did. Everyone at the camp was so nice it was unbelievable. I never felt uncomfortable there and everyone was very talkative and engaging. Later I learned that most everyone knew each other there (it being mostly FFA kids) but I never felt excluded with my 4-H friends. The whole camp was also run very nicely, I loved that it was put on by FFA members themselves. They did a terrific job organizing the entire thing and by watching them demonstrate what the entire camp was about, leadership, really inspired me that what they have accomplished could really be done: to practice leadership the way they taught us. All in all, this camp was wonderful and even though I did go to it with a very closed mind, I came out very glad that my wonderful 4-H leader twisted my arm to make me go.     Anja Gibbs

Northeast Regional 4-H Volunteer Forum  November 4-7, 2010

What a great time I had in Deleware at the regional US forum.  Volunteers, staff and teens from Maine to West Virginia represented our Eastern area while having a great time at workshops, going on tours, meeting old friends again, sharing 4-H experiences, laughing at those going into the ocean in November, and gaining insite into how 4-H is done in other states.  The Deleware committee members were gracious hosts as we gathered together at the Sands Hotel on Rehoboth Beach.  I especially enjoyed the Bubble Machine workshop, silk screening a 4-H t-shirt, and the fundraising and putting nature in your meetings workshops.  We also enjoyed an evening of dancing to the 60's, 70's, and 80's along with a walk for cancer honoring those who have suffered this disease.  Thank you MIddlesex for helping to make this trip possible.        Joanne Brown

Passport to Success  June 25-27, 2010

On June 25-27, I participated in a teen conference on the University of Connecticut campus with three other girls from Massachusetts, we learned about college life, careers that meet our individual interests, budgeting, and qualities of a good employee through engaging workshops and activities. The conference started on Friday with opening ceremonies, an ice cream social, and very loud get-to-know-you games that gave everyone a chance to relax and make friends before the next two days. Saturday morning started early with our first conference meal and went on to the three workshops signed up for previously. Each workshop had fantastic speakers who talked about the education needed to excel in that career, their experience with the career, and other jobs relating to their field. Saturday ended with a dance and games. On Sunday morning, with everyone tired but enthusiastic, we went to three shorter workshops about the many different available careers, qualities of successful employees, and interviewing (everyone did a practice interview). After lunch we went on to the last activity where we were put in the shoes of a 25 year old. Everyone got a pretend job, apartment, and a hopelessly small salary. It was quite a challenge to stretch our small incomes. The conference ended with an auction using fake money we had collected over the weekend. All together, the conference was a great experience and I’m excited for anyone who got to attend.
Emma Steele

Dog Camp   May 21-23, 2010

Dog camp was fun this year though a bit crazy.  The cabin I was in had eight dogs and ten people.  Extraordinarily we still had two beds left!  Talk about crazy.  During the course of the day every camper and dog pair goes to four workshops.  Mine were t-shirts, dog massage, recognizing symptoms and emergency first aid.  I had dog massage first.  Now my dog Shane is a collie.  He likes to bark incessantly and he is only really calm when at home (our cabin functions as "home" to him.)  Consequently, he was alomost the only hyper dog there.  He paced for the entire session (and barked.)  Next I went to emergency first aid.  It was very interesting.  Then everyone had lunch.  Afterward the whole camp went to the amphitheatre for a talk about herding breeds (that's the group that the Big E will be focusing on) and a tack box demonstration.  I think the tack box would've worked better as a display.  For my next workshop I had t-shirts.  This is a fun activity I do every year.  Then I went to the recognizing symptoms workshop.  Like emergency first aid this was interesting and informative.  After that everyone had free time with their dogs.  My cabin group went to the field and ran our dogs around.  Then it was back to the amphitheatre for the camp fire.  Everyone then went to bed.  Thanks, Lillie McGary

FFA/4-H Teen Leadership Conference  January 9-10, 2009

I recently attended the FFA/4-H Teen Leadership Conference on January 9 and 10, 2009.  I had a fun-filled weekend learning about the character qualities that make a good teen leader.  These qualities are integrity, excellence, and caring.  I found it very interesting to meet other teen leaders from across the state.  I also made many friends during the group activities.  I look forward to putting these skills to use in 4-H club work and in my service and leadrship to my community, country, and my world.  Thank you for your support.  Jennifer Couture

Northeast Regional Volunteer Leader Forum October 23-26, 2008

I would like to thank the Middlesex Advisory Council for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the 2008 Northeast Volunteer Leader Forum in Manchester, NH.  Without the financial support of the council I would not have been able to go.  This was a wonderful experience meeting with volunteers from all over the eastern part of the US from Virginia and north.  The workshops were well done, the leadership and speakers inspiring, and sites lots of fun.  I think the workshop I most enjoyed and have already starting putting into practice was the one on the eight essential elements of a 4-H club.  I encourage others to take advantage of the opportunity in 2010.  Joanne Brown, Nifty Needles 4-H club leader

4-H Veterinary Camp, UMass Amherst July 26-27, 2008

I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend the University of Massachusetts Veterinary Science Camp in Amhert.  It was two information packed days covering a variety of animal science and veterinarian related topics.  Dr. Stephen Purrdy, a veterinarian and UMass professor, discussed the courses and requirements of being a major in the animal science department.  He along with many  other veterinarians explained the typical day as a small and large animal veterinarian.  All of the veterinarians emphasized the need for listening to the owner, examining the animal and doing something to treat the animal.  We also heard from students that have just recently got accepted to Vet School from UMass Amherst.  The highlight of the weekend was getting to work with the animals.  We were able to take livestock and Camelid vitals, and ultrasound of  a horse, learned about colic in horses, did an equine physical and observed fecal floats under a microscope.  From the experience I gained from this weekend I learned I am interested in the animal science program that UMass Amherst has to offer.  Jennifer Couture, 7/29/08

My daughter Annika (Anja) Gibbs and I went to the Large Animal Vet Camp last weekend at UMass Amherst and had a great time!  8/1/08


            This yearís 4-H Teen Leadership Conference was held at the University of Rhode Islandís main campus.  This yearís theme was ďletís connectĒ with teens from Rhode Island and Massachusetts working together on leadership activities for three days.  The conference was August ninth to the eleventh, filled with many great workshops and fun activities.  Teens shared a dorm room with either one or two other teens from across the two states.  Besides being a great way to meet new people we also got to help a local charity.  All teens were asked to bring juice boxes, granola bars and bug spray.  Then on the first night we decorated brown paper bags with inspirational messages.  The bags were filled with the supplies and given to the Johnny Cake Center, a local support group to help children receive after-school snacks.  While this was happening the teens got to enjoy ice-cream sundaes and learn about each other.  Workshops concentrated on team work, role models, meeting activities, and a fun one about making balloon-animals.  All then dressed up for a formal banquet with a dance following on Friday night.  Another cool part of the conference was the secret pals program.  Each teen had a secret friend that they had to meet and learn about.  We then wrote a letter to that person about experiences over the weekend with that person.  It was really cool to get a letter to remember about some of the things that went on that werenít always planned.  Over all it was a great experience and I canít wait to go back next year!

Kaylee September 17, 20074-H Teen Leadership Conference

Hi, my name is Julia , I am 10 years old. Iím going on my second year in 4H. I am a member of the Middlesex Mustangs 4H group. I received a scholarship award of $50.00 towards my tuition of attendance to Camp Marshall.

My experience at camp Marshall was fun and full of excitement. I road a little Haflinger pony called Ginger. She was a very sweet mare. While at Camp Marshall I learned how to do my half seat without stirrups and how to

Jump a pony that did not want to jump. I would have to say that my week at Camp Marshall contributed to my much improved riding! The experience also was a lot of work and dedication and showed me what it would be like to have a horse (since I do not own one). 

I also made many friends and my cot in my cabin was really comfortable, believe-or-notÖ The counselors were really nice and I learned way to many camp songs (ha ha just kidding), Iím still singing them! At the end of the week I was tired, but I loved it. Iím looking forward to going back next year.


My experiences this year at Teen Leadership Conference (formerly New England Teen Leadership Conference) were phenomenal. Though attendance was down slightly from the last couple years (there were about thirty delegates), the enthusiasm and energy of the conference more than made up for any lack of numbers. This year was my second as a member of the Planning Committee and was particularly interesting because I got to run a workshop. My workshop was on role models: what they are, and the qualities that they have. Iíd never planned and run a workshop before and I was a bit nervous about it; however, it went really well and Iím hoping to use some of the activities I came up with in the future. One more skill learned through 4-H! TLC this year focused on Teens, Talent, Teamwork, and Trust, with activities build around these four concepts. One of the best workshops ran the first night and focused on problem solving in small groups with a number of different activities to facilitate communication.  I know that a lot of delegates (myself included) brought home those activities to share with their clubs.

            This was my fourth year at conference and I had helped plan it, so I knew (as much as anyone can know anything in 4-H) what to expect. I knew that 4-Hers are friendly, and that whatever happens, delegates (and planning committee members and chaperons) have fun. So my favorite part of conference this year was during reflections when people new to the conference said that they almost didnít come, or were scared to come, because they didnít know anyone going to TLC, and didnít know if  other delegates would be friendly. Every one of those delegates said that in the end, they were glad they had come, because everyone was so friendly and inclusive. And, really, that is the point of 4-H.


Shameless Advertisement: I encourage anyone and everyone fourteen years and older to go to TLC, or FFA/4-H Winter Conference, or National 4-H Conference or Congress! And if you can find any other 4-H conference, go to those also (horse people- there are national horse events). My opinion is that 4-H conferences are one of the greatest untapped resources in 4-H: they teach leadership,  let you travel, let you meet other 4-Hers from all over the state and country, and give you new ideas to bring back to your club(s). Conferences are yet another 4-H opportunity: take it!


            Last weekend, December 8th, 9th, and 10th, I attended the 4-H/FFA Leadership Conference with many other people from neighboring counties and agricultural schools. The conference was designed to teach us useful skills in communications, leadership, decision-making and problem solving. Through the combined effort of 4-H, the FFA and the Made For Excellence members, the conference achieved its proposed goal. Through the many workshops, every person learned valuable skills that they would be able to take back to their clubs and chapters and educate others on the same skills. But learning new skills was not all we did at the conference. It gave us a chance to meet new people, from other 4-H clubs and people from the local FFA chapters and agricultural schools. Not only did I meet new people, I also learned about their interests and how their 4-H Club or FFA Chapter functioned.  Most of all, the entire conference was fun. It was not a conference where you would sit around listening to a speaker drone on and on. It was a conference where the speaker would involve all the attending members and try to make their presentation as interesting as possible. Overall, the conference was a fun and positive learning experience. I would highly recommend this conference for any member of 4-H or FFA.



Thank you to Middlesex County 4H Advisory Council,

      I had an amazing time at Nationals in Kentucky. It was a great experience. I appreciate your generous gift, Thank you for all of your help and support. Leanne

Thank you very much for supporting me and my trip to Kentucky. I'm very excited to go down and compete! After placing 1st at regionals we might even place  at Nationals. Thanks again! Meghan