Opportunities for Teen Members


Our programs and projects teach young people how to put their heads, hearts, hands and health to work in their own lives and in their communities. Becoming a teen in the 4‑H program opens up a whole new set of opportunities. Read more about the groups and activities available at the club, county, state, and national levels. The 4-H program provides opportunities for youth and their families to participate in positive youth development experiences, below are a list or you can view our 2018  Calendar or glace at our 2018 Highlight Calendar.

Join the 4-H Prep Team for the NJ World Food Prize Youth Institute

NJ 4-H is recruiting a team  of youth in grades 8-12 to participate in the NJ World Food Prize Youth Institute, hosted by Rutgers University on March 2, 2018. Youth members will work with a mentor, along with the prep team, to develop individual research projects addressing global food security is-sues. Projects will be presented at the Youth Institute.

To help prepare for the Youth Institute, we will host four virtual meetings and one in-person meeting at Rutgers, New  Brunswick.  These meetings will focus on topics essential to be-ing successful at the World Food Prize NJ  Youth Institute.  To learn more about participating in the Prep Team, please join us for one of the 30-minute info sessions.  To register, please go to the Registration Page  — once you are registered an email will be sent with instructions for joining the meeting.

Click here for the flyer.

For more information: mblodnik@njaes.rutgers.edu

 4-H Youth Rep Committee

Do you want to meet and connect with other teens? Do you have an idea about Fair? Fundraising?  New programs that could be offered?  Then join the 4-H Youth Rep Committee!

WHO:We are looking for at least one member from every club preferably entering 7th grade and up.
WHAT:  We are looking to connect all of our clubs and connect  them to the 4-H Association and 4-H Program.
WHEN:  December 21st at 7:00 PM (meetings will be the 3rd Thursday of the month)
WHERE: The Large Conference Room

FLYER: Click here.

Teen Winter Camp Weekend

Dates: February 9-11, 2018 (registration due by January 19, 2018)

Type of Event: County

Location: LG Cook Camp

Application: Click here.

Description: Members in grades 8-13 will have lots of fun at LG Cook Camp.  This year, Somerset County will go with teens from Passaic, Sussex & Warren Counties.  This is always a popular event, so get your applications in NOW!  Cost for the whole weekend is only $85.  Scholarships are available.

Contact: Lisa Rothenburger at rothenburger@njaes.rutgers.edu.

National Agri-Science Youth Summit

Dates: January 12-15, 2018 (Application is due October 31, 2017)

 Type of Event: National

Location: National 4-H Youth Conference Center located in Chevy Chase, Maryland (just 1 mile from Washington, D.C.)

Application: Click here

Description:  Today, many young people are generationally and geographically removed from farming and agriculture. Yet, it is vital that these young leaders and future decision makers understand the critical role of agricultural science innovation in addressing the world’s most pressing problems. It is estimated that there will be over 57,000 annual high skilled job openings for those with agricultural college degrees. While the percentage of these opportunities in production agriculture (farming) has declined, 27% of these jobs will be in science and engineering and 47% will be in management and business. A shortfall of graduates for these science and business positions is projected, especially for the anticipated demand in animal and plant biotechnology. These emerging areas of agriculture are addressing some of the world’s most pressing issues related to food security, nutrition, energy, and sustainability.

Program Objectives  

While at the summit, youth and adult teams will:

  • Gain knowledge and skills in agri-science related to the production of food, feed, fuel, and fiber – especially in the rapidly emerging areas of animal and plant sciences and technologies
  • Learn about the challenges facing agriculture, including global food security and sustainability, and how youth can play a role in addressing these challenges today and in their future
  • Interact with agricultural scientists, researchers, leaders, politicians, and advocates
  • Prepare to serve as Champions for Agriculture in their home communities – helping to increase the agricultural literacy of the general public and key local stakeholder groups
  • Increase awareness of career opportunities and pathways in agriculture

Program Details

High school youth (grades 9-12) interested in becoming Champions for Agriculture in their communities (today and in the future) are invited to attend the National Youth Agri-Science Summit, January 12-15, 2018 at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center located in Chevy Chase, Maryland (just 1 mile from Washington, D.C.).


The registration cost (approximately $750) includes lodging at the National 4-H Conference Center, meals, educational programming and tours including a guided night time tour of the monuments and memorials in Washington, DC. All-you-can-eat meals are served at the Clover Cafe at National 4-H Conference Center beginning with dinner on Friday, January 12 and ending with breakfast on Monday, January 15.  The youth will be staying four per room in dorm style hotel accommodations with bunk beds, private bath, TV, clock radio, towels and bedding.

Project Youth Extension Service (YES) Internship Program
Dates: 12-month internship with effective dates of June 2018 – May 2019

Type of Event: State

Application: http://www.projectyouthextension.com (Applications due march 1, 2018)

Description: A partnership between the Cooperative Extension System and the Department of Defense has provided the funding for a national youth and professional development internship program.  Through this initiative, college students have the opportunity to develop professional skills in youth development, small and large group facilitation, critical thinking, and program management and to gain critical hands-on experience working with military children, youth, and families.  This is a 12-month internship with effective dates of June 2018 – May 2019.  Selected interns must participate in the 2018 Project YES intern orientation to be held May 18-26, 2018 at NC State University.

North Jersey 4-H Teen Conference (NJTC)

Dates: March 9-11, 2018 (registration due by January 26, 2018)

Type of Event: State

Location: Best Western Regency Hotel in Pompton Plains, NJ


Description: 4-H members in grades 8-13 are invited to join other 4-H members from around North Jersey at the NJTC.

The theme is The Past, Present, and   Future: Our 4-H Legacy.  This conference is a leadership weekend planned by teens for teens. There are workshops, a field trip, community service and a dance.   Cost is $185pp, $175 for 2nd sibling, but scholarships are available.

You will need to will need to complete and sign the Registration Form and Permission Slip.

Contact: Lisa Rothenburger, rothenburger@njaes.rutgers.edu.


Discover the Leader in You

Dates:  February 17, 2018: Gloucester County 4-H Office, 1200 N. Delsea Drive, Clayton

              March 17, 2018: Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Monmouth County, 4000 Kozloski Road, Freehold

Type of Event: State

Application: Not available at the moment

Description: 4-H member in grades 6-8 are invited to attend this leadership conference.  You will have fun, meet new friends & develop leadership skills that you can utilize at home, in school, in your 4-H club and your community.  The conference will include a guest speaker and interactive workshops. The cost is $35, which includes snacks, lunch and program supplies.

You will need to will need to complete and sign the Registration Form and Permission Slip.

Contact: Jeannette Rea Keywood at 609-898-0928 ext. 11 / reakeywood@njeas.rutgers.edu.


National 4-H Conference

Dates: April 7-12, 2018 (Application due by September 25, 2017)

Type of Event: National

Location: National 4‑H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland

Application: http://www.somersetcounty4h.org/wp-content/uploads/Complete-National-4-H-Conference-application.pdf

Description: National 4‑H Conference is the pinnacle experience in 4‑H Citizenship, providing the opportunity for young people enrolled in Grades 10-12 as of September 2017 and between ages 15 and 19 years old (as of January 1, 2018), to connect, learn, engage, lead and impact their communities, their nation and their world.

Contact: Jeannette Rea-Keywood at 609-898-0928 x11 or reakeywood@njaes.rutgers.edu.

Outstanding 4-Her Application

If you are finishing your junior, senior or 13th year of school this year and meet the criteria below, you could be an Somerset County Outstanding 4-Her.  Please submit an application before June 1, 2018.  In addition to the application, you will need a letter of recommendation from an adult 4-H volunteer.


TOPS Camp Counselors

Dates: June 25-29, 2018 (Application due by April 20, 2018)

Type of Event: County

Location: 4-H Center

Application: Click here.

Description: We are  looking for volunteer counselors for the week.  If you have finished 8th -13th grade, then you should come inspire 1st-5th graders at TOPS Camp!

Contact: Lisa Rothenburger at rothenburger@njaes.rutgers.edu.


NJ 4-H goLEAD Youth Leadership Institute

Dates: June  (Registration due by May  )

Type of Event: State

Location: Rutgers’s University 


Description: The NJ 4‑H goLEAD Youth Leadership Institute for 4‑H members in grades 6-9 will be held in June. While attending the conference, middle school youth will build their leadership skills and learn how to plan and conduct service activities in their community. The registration cost is $115 per person and included one night lodging in Rutgers’s University dormitory (2 people per room); four meals; conference t-shirt; conference materials and snacks.


New Jersey 4-H Prom

Registration Deadline


Type of Event: State


Prom Packet:

Description: This event is being planned by the 2017 National 4-H Conference delegates and is open to 4-H members and their guests who are in grades 8-13. This event will include a service project and a 4‑H Court of Honor will be named to recognize teen 4‑H members who exemplify the four H’s.


Citizenship Washington Focus

Dates: July 8-14, 2018 (registration due by March 1, 2018) 

Type of Event: National

Location : National 4‑H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland

Application: 2018-cwf-application-fillable  or   2018 application (non-fillable)

Description: Citizenship Washington Focus is a citizenship and leadership program conducted by the National 4‑H Council for high school age youth (9-12 grade). It is a working classroom program where delegates learn about the government, citizenship and civic education. New Jersey 4‑H sends 30-40 4‑H members and 3-4 adult advisors to Citizenship Washington Focus each year. The learning takes place through energetic workshops, special appointed committees, appropriate field trips (including visits with congressional representatives) and fun social events.

Contact: Jeannette Rea-Keywood at 609-898-0928 x11 or reakeywood@njaes.rutgers.edu.


Leadership Washington Focus

Dates: July 16-20, 2018 (Registration due by November 1, 2017)

Type of Event: National

Location : National 4‑H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland

Application: http://www.somersetcounty4h.org/wp-content/uploads/Complete_LW_2017_-Application.pdf

Description: Leadership Washington Focus is a leadership program conducted by National 4‑H Council for middle school age youth (6-8 grade). The program is a 4-day event held in mid July. The program utilizes Washington, D.C. as a working classroom to learn about leadership and provides hands-on opportunities for our younger teens to promote “Learn to Lead Now – Better Leaders Tomorrow.” New Jersey 4‑H sends 8-15 4‑H members and 2-3 adult advisors to Leadership Washington Focus each year.  The cost for the week is approximately $800, which includes registration, lodging, transportation, all activities and most meals. There are local scholarships available to participants through their county 4‑H program.

Contact: Sharon Kinsey at (856) 216-7130 x 2.


Fair Herdsman

Orientation Dates: July 24 & July 30, 2018 (application due by July 2019)

Fair Dates: August 8, 9 & 10, 2018

Type of Event: County

Orientation Location: 4-H Center at 7 pm


Description: Herdsman are 4-H members (8 grade or older) and adults, who are in good standing that will stay overnight at the Fairgrounds during the Fair.

Contact: Annette Smutko at smutko@co.somerset.nj.us.


Leadership for Life Conference


Type of Event: International

Location : University of Ireland in Maynooth

Overview and Application http://www.somersetcounty4h.org/wp-content/uploads/lifeleader.pdf

Description: We are looking for 4-H members with an interest in leadership and who have a desire to serve 4-H, their school, and their community. We are looking for 4-H members who can set goals, inspire others to action, and lead effectively. We are looking for 4-H members who exhibit strong character and serve as positive role models in their club and community. If this description describes you, then this leadership learning experience may be for you!

Contact: Sharon Kinsey (856) 216-7130 x 2.


4-H State International Exchange

Type of Event: International

Description: States’ 4-H partners with Labo and LEX to offer Japanese youth the chance to stay with an American host family for one month. Participants in this program are both boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 16.

Labo was founded in 1966 with the purpose of building international understanding and awareness among Japanese children through language. Over 60,000 children are involved in Labo activities. States’ 4-H has been partnering with Labo to provide youth with international exchange experiences since 1972.

LEX, the Institute for Language, Experience, Experiment, and Exchange was founded in Japan in 1981. The organization conducts international exchanges between its member organizations all across the world.

How Can I Apply to Host?
The application window to host a student from Japan in 2018 is open! Click on the Apply today button below to find out if your state is participating in this summer’s Japan Short Term Summer Host Program.

Japan Flyer

For more information visit http://www.states4hexchange.org/.


Become a Leader and Help Your Community

Dates: September 2017 – July 2018

Location: Middle Earth, 200 Thompson Ave., Bound Brook, NJ 08805

Description: Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Somerset County 4-H Youth Development Program, partnering with Middle Earth, are among the 10 New Jersey youth-serving organizations awarded a grant from (NJHI), the statewide grant making program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). NJHI: Next Generation Community Leaders is a new initiative intended to harness the energy, knowledge and idealism of young people ages 14-21 across the state, to prepare them as future leaders while learning to address barriers to health in their own communities.

Click here to learn more or to download the application. Applications are due August 18, 2017.


National 4-H Congress

Dates: November 23-27, 2018 (Applications are due April 2018)

Type of Event: National

Location: National 4‑H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland

Application: More information can be found at: http://nj4h.rutgers.edu/leadership/nat4congress

Description:  National 4‑H Congress is a unique leadership opportunity for 4‑H members from all 50 states. The event focuses on leadership, youth empowerment, community service, career development, and cultural diversity. The event brings over 1000 4‑H members to Atlanta over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. There are many outstanding workshops along with keynote addresses that round out the experience. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for 4‑H members.

New Jersey sends approximately 20 4‑H members and two adult chaperones to the event each year. One to three delegates are nominated from each county and then final delegates are selected through a state interview process. The cost of the event is approximately $950-$1,000 and includes air transportation, registration, lodging, and most meals. All interested 4‑H members must be in the grades 10-12 at the time applications are due (April); complete an application and go through a county and state selection process. Participants can only attend this event one time during their 4‑H career.

Contact: Jeannette Rea-Keywood, 609-898-0928 x11 or reakeywood@njaes.rutgers.edu.