UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Extension sent two Pennsylvania 4-H members — John Bruner, of Indiana County, and Sawere Truax, of Fulton County — as delegates to the National 4-H Shooting Sports Teen Leadership Institute, held recently at the Southern Nevada 4-H Camp and Learning Center in Alamo, Nevada.
The institute included three days of team-building activities, networking with industry representatives, and sessions on topics such as leadership, communication, public speaking, social media etiquette and developing an ambassador plan.
“One highlight was meeting people from various states and gaining insights into their perspectives on shooting sports, including their training processes and preparations for national competitions,” Truax said.
Bruner said he enjoyed meeting teens from across the country who share a passion for shooting sports. “These friendships will last a lifetime,” he said.
The group also toured the Hoover Dam, a museum for pinball machines called the Pinball Hall of Fame, and the famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign.
Those selected as national 4-H shooting sports ambassadors represent more than 470,000 4-H youth. Ambassadors may meet with donors who are CEOs of companies or organizations. The goal of the program is to provide opportunities for youth to build character and develop their leadership skills.
The National 4-H Shooting Sports Ambassador Program is designed to empower youth to promote 4-H and shooting sports. Ambassadors receive training to advocate for the program locally and nationally. They enhance visibility by providing public relations support at special functions and serving as program spokespeople.
Bruner said the ambassadors will help facilitate the 4-H National Shooting Sports Championships in Grand Island, Nebraska, next year. Part of the job will be to welcome competitors, help the event run smoothly, serve as emcees for the awards programs and plan the annual social event for the teens.
As Pennsylvania ambassadors, Truax and Bruner discussed organizing events to assist 4-H members across the state in learning new disciplines and understanding the related safety protocols, with the goal of inspiring them to participate in national competitions.
The institute offers a venue for 4-H teens to expand their involvement in 4-H shooting sports beyond the shooting skills and competitive events and stay connected with the 4-H shooting sports program as they enter college and adulthood. The National 4-H Shooting Sports Steering Committee General Fund provided lodging, meals, materials and transportation for 4-H members during the event.
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