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young man demonstrating how to cook a recipe

This young man is demonstrating how to cook a healthy recipe

What is County Events?

4-H County Events (also known as County Showcase) is an opportunity for 4-H youth to demonstrate the skills and knowledge they have mastered as part of their 4-H experience. Youth can share what they have learned through several contests, from public speaking, to demonstrations, visual arts, and theater arts. While fairs offer experiences to exhibit what a young person has grown or created, 4-H County Events is an opportunity for youth to demonstrate what they have learned and accomplished because of their project work.

Why does it Matter?

One of the Essential Elements of positive youth development is for youth to have opportunities to master new skills and knowledge. Competitive events provide ways for youth to demonstrate mastery and are part of the Florida 4-H Recognition Model. County Events is also a safe space for youth to get constructive feedback and build confidence and capacity for communication skills.

How to Prepare:

young lady holding awards and ribbons

County Events gives youth an opportunity to practice communication skills, demonstrate mastery, and receive recognition

First, become familiar with the different contests and rules.  Some counties may be offering in-person, virtual or hybrid competitions this year. Check with your local UF IFAS Extension Office for details about your county contest.

Second, host a workshop!  Many 4-H programs offer a day to help youth develop and perfect their presentations. If your local office isn’t providing a workshop this year, you can host one in your club. Here are my top 5 resources I like to use when I teach a workshop for youth:

  1. Public Presentation Guidebook from Escambia County 4-H (tips for prepared public speaking, demonstrations and illustrated talks)
  2. How to prepare visual aids
  3. Clever Clover Communications (games you can play in your club to practice communication skills)
  4. Grab Bag Demonstrations (grab a bag and do an impromptu demonstration for your club)
  5. County Events Virtual Volunteer Leader Academy webinar (January 2020)

Finally, practice, practice, practice!  Practice in front of the mirror, in front of your family, or friends. Clubs will often have a practice day where members give feedback to each other on how to improve.

Heather Kent
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