4-H provides youth with numerous opportunities to expand their horizons, have fun, and gain new skills. Browse camps & conferences, contests, councils, scholarships and international travel opportunities below.

National Opportunities

National 4-H Congress – November, Atlanta, GA

national 4-H congress2017-18 Date: November 24-28, 2017

Congress provides an opportunity for 4-H members to participate in workshops designed to develop leadership skills. The event allows youth to meet other extraordinary 4-Hers from around the country and empowers these youth to create positive change through outstanding speakers and entertainers. Youth attendees also participate in a hands-on service learning activity.

Eligibility: Participants must be between 14 and 18 years old and have qualified to participate. Participants qualify by receiving grand champion recognition in various projects at the State Fair.

Western National Roundup – January, Denver, CO

Western National Roundup2017-18 Date: January 4-7, 2018

Roundup provides youth the opportunity to compete nationally while encouraging teamwork and self-confidence. Kids build personal pride and reinforce the benefits of setting goals through award brunches and ceremonies. They develop leadership skills through decision-making, and also develop teamwork skills, critical thinking and independence. They also demonstrate healthy living by participating in workshops, dances and educational tours – including a visit to the National Western Stock Show.

Eligibility: Participants must be between the ages of 14 and 18 and have qualified to participate. Participants qualify by winning a variety of state contests including livestock judging, horse judging, horse bowl, hippology, demonstration, public speaking, consumer bowl, skill-a-thon, parliamentary procedure, meat judging, and livestock quiz bowl.

National 4-H Conference – April, Washington, D.C.

national 4-H conference2017-18 Date: April 7-12, 2018

National 4-H Conference engages 4-H youth in personal development experiences that will increase knowledge, resources and skills. Youth discuss topics affecting youth and 4-H programming nationwide. They also meet with legislators and government agencies to address issues and make change. The camp empowers and mobilizes youth to create positive social change in their communities in a meaningful and genuine way.

Eligibility: Youth ages 14-18 can apply to participate in this conference. Applications will be reviewed and candidates will go through an interview process to determine the Colorado delegates. Applications are typically due in November

Citizenship Washington Focus – June, Washington, D.C.

Citizenship Washington Focus2017-18 Date: June 23- July 1, 2018

Citizenship Washington Focus gives members an opportunity to strengthen their communication, leadership and citizenship skills on a national level. They will learn the importance of civic and social responsibilities as they relate to the development of better citizens and leaders. Youth will exchange ideas, practice respect, and form friendships with other youth from diverse backgrounds, and experience hands-on learning using the historical backdrop of Washington, D.C.

Eligibility: Participants must be between the ages of 14-19 to participate and must apply (typically the application deadline is March 1). The state usually sends one delegate per county to this event.

Leadership Washington Focus – July, Washington, D.C.

lwf2017-18 Date: July 16-20, 2018

Leadership Washington Focus is a 4-H leadership program for youth entering grades 7 through 9. Delegates will build confidence in their ability to motivate and direct others in meaningful action, practice effective communication with others through group discussion and public speaking, work with others to create and accomplish goals, develop an understanding of their own personal leadership style, exchange ideas, practice respect, and form friendships with other 4-H'ers from across the nation.

Eligibility: Participants must be entering grades 7 to 9 to participate.

State Opportunities

Colorado Leadership Conference – November, Glenwood Springs, CO

Colorado Leadership Camp2017-18 Date: November 3-5, 2017

This conference, run by the State 4-H Officer team, lets younger members strengthen their leadership, teamwork, communication and citizenship skills through designed workshops. They also get to form friendships with other youth from diverse backgrounds, and demonstrate healthy living through workshops and dances.

Eligibility: Youth in grades 6th to 9th are eligible to register for this camp.

Leadership Development Conference – January, Denver, CO

Leadership Development Camp2017-18 Date: January 26-28, 2018

This conference helps youth develop leadership, communication, teamwork and citizenship skills and form friendships with youth from all over the state. It features workshops, dances, and think tanks.  Youth also learn about the importance of civic and social responsibilities as they relate to 4-H issues, by participating in 4-H Day at the Capitol.

Eligibility: Youth ages 14-18 are eligible to register for this camp.

Youth Fest – February, Larkspur, CO

Youth Fest2017-18 Date: February 9-11, 2018

This conference for younger members is similar to Leadership Conference in that it helps younger members strengthen their leadership, teamwork, communication and citizenship skills through designed workshops. They also get to form friendships with other youth from diverse backgrounds and demonstrate healthy living through workshops and dances.

Eligibility: Youth ages 9 to 13 are eligible to register for this camp.

State Conference – June, Fort Collins, CO

state conference2017-18 Date: June 19-22, 2018

Participants at State Conference have the opportunity to compete on a state-wide basis while encouraging teamwork and self-confidence. They also will develop leadership skills through decision making, critical thinking, teamwork and independence. Youth elect state officers at this event.. Additionally, they form friendships with youth from all over the state, and participate in educational workshops and fun dances.

Eligibility: Youth ages 14-18 are eligible to register for this conference. Any youth wanting to compete in one of the state contests that are held at this event must qualify locally to participate.

Regional Opportunities

Dare to Be You Camp – November, Pueblo, CO

dare to be you camp2017-18 Date: November 3-5, 2017

At this fun regional camp kids participate in dynamic workshops on a variety of topics, as well as do community service projects. The camp also features lots of recreation and team-building, as well as a dance, and keynote speaker. All of the programming is designed for kids to have fun, and improve their self-esteem and interpersonal skills.

Eligibility: Youth ages 11 to 13 can register to participate in this camp

South Central District Retreat – March, Divide, CO

South Central District Retreat2017-18 Date: March 16-18, 2018

At this fun camp retreat teens stay in the mountains, and participate in workshops on a variety of topics. The camp also features lots of recreation and team-building, as well as dances. South Central District elections are held at this event. Teens can take on leadership responsibilities by running for District office.

Eligibility: Youth ages 13 to 18 can register to participate in this camp

County Councils

county councilAlamosa, Rio Grande and Saguache counties have county councils. These councils help ensure that clubs, members and staff are communicating and sharing knowledge. Councils help with event planning and provide guidance on how to improve the San Luis Valley 4-H program. Serving on the councils is a great way for kids to gain leadership skills and serve as officers. Councils also frequently support kids in the valley who attend camps and events by providing reimbursement. If kids do not participate in the councils this funding will not be available. Please encourage your club members to attend council meetings. Each club should have at least one representative at their county council meetings. Clubs containing more than 11 members should send at least 2 representatives. Members are invited to give club reports at these meetings. Check the latest newsletter for meeting dates. Contact the office for additional information.

District 8 Council

district8District 8 Council helps provide guidance to the Extension Office and helps plan various events, including Achievement Night. It’s a great leadership opportunity for youth. The District President serves on the State Officer Team. Each county council should designate 2 representatives to attend the District 8 meetings.  Other interested members are invited to attend as well.

The state offers a variety of contests during the summer. Many of these contests serve as qualifying events for participation in other events like Western National Roundup (*see starred contests). They are great opportunities for San Luis Valley youth. Contact the office for more information on the listed contests.

State Conference Contests

  • Consumer Choices Contest* - Contestants judge various consumer item classes and give reasons for their placement of the items.
  • Consumer Bowl* - Teams participate in a quiz bowl on topics related to consumerism.
  • FCS Skill-a-Thon* - Teams identify family consumer science-related items, judge classes and complete a life skills oral presentation.
  • Hippology Contest* - Teams demonstrate their equine science and management knowledge through an exam, stations, judging and team problem.
  • Horse Bowl* - Teams participate in a quiz bowl on equine topics.
  • Horse Demonstration Contest* - Individuals or teams present demonstrations or illustrated talks relating to the horse industry.
  • Horse Judging Contest*  - Teams judge horse classes and give oral reasons.
  • Horse Public Speaking Contest* - Individuals present speeches relating to the horse industry.
  • Impromptu Speaking Contest* - Individuals present impromptu speeches from 3 to 5 minutes in duration on topics related to today's youth.
  • Livestock Quiz Bowl* - Teams participate in a quiz bowl on livestock topics.
  • Livestock Judging Contest* - Teams judge livestock classes and give oral reasons.
  • Prepared Speaking Contest* - Individuals present speeches on topics related to today's youth and 4-H
  • Parliamentary Procedure Contest* - Teams present a model meeting incorporating items and business and motions from a provided problem, and answer judge questions on parliamentary procedure.

For complete information on these contests visit the Colorado 4-H State Conference website. If you are interested in competing in one of these contests, contact the SLV Extension Office.

State Fair Contests

  • Cake Decorating Contest - Contestants demonstrate their cake decorating skills at an on-site competition.
  • Creative Cooks Contest - Contestants plan a menu, table setting and food item for an on-site competition.
  • Public Presentations Contest* - Youth prepare and deliver demonstrations, illustrated talks, or interpretive readings at an on-site competition.
  • Fashion Revue Contest* - Youth model garments made as part of their clothing construction and artistic clothing projects.
  • 4-H Performing Arts Contest - Youth perform in a variety of talent areas, including theater, vocal performance, music/instrumental performance and dance.
  • Colorado 4-H Photo Contest - Youth submit photos taken in Colorado in this state-wide competition.
  • Robotics Challenge Tournament - Robotics teams compete in a competition to design, build and program a robot to face a themed challenge.
  • Rocket Fly Day Contest - Kids launch model rockets for accuracy and performance. Youth knowledge of rockets is also tested.

For complete information on these contests view the Colorado State Fair 4-H Contest Requirements. If you are interested in competing in one of these contests, contact the SLV Extension Office.

Other Contests

Various projects also offer state contests, such as dog and horse shows, shooting sports shoots, and a meat judging contests. Counties around the state frequently offer contests in various project areas, including livestock. The SLV office typically posts info about these events on their Facebook page.

4-H Scholarships

The Colorado 4-H Foundation offers a variety of scholarships for 4-Hers! Typically applications are due April 1. Browse opportunities at their website.

The Rio Grande County 4-H Council offers scholarships to Rio Grande members each year, funds permitting. Attend Rio Grande County Council meetings and check the SLV 4-H Newsletter for details.

Other Scholarship Opportunities

Adams State Scholarships

Daniels Fund Scholarship

Boettcher Fund Scholarship

Ski Hi Stampede Scholarship

National Western Scholarship

Monte Vista Coop Scholarship

Summer Exchange Programs

Every year the state office offers various Teen Exchange programs. Youth ages 12 to 19 who are not college students are invited to participate in these programs. Participants gain a greater appreciation of the world and being a global citizen by traveling to a foreign country and living with a local host family. Countries change yearly. Programs take place in the summer and vary in length from 2 weeks to a month. Information on this program is typically available in October and applications are due in November. Look for info on yearly offerings in the San Luis Valley newsletter.

International Foreign Youth Exchange (IFYE)

Participants, ages 19-30, visit a foreign country for three to six months. The delegate lives and works with host families, gaining a unique perspective about another culture. Representatives have the opportunity to visit countries in: Africa, Asia, Australia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Western Europe. Upon return to the U.S., the IFYE participant travels to Colorado communities to share experiences and broaden awareness. The Colorado 4-H Youth Fund offers two full scholarships each year (personal spending money excluded). Applications are typically due November 1. Learn the basics on the program website.