Twenty-two teens, six adults, five days, four presentations: that sums up Ohio 4-H’s sixth year at the National 4-H Healthy Living Summit, an event attended by 227 teens and 105 adults from 30 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. But the experience of attending this event is so much more than numbers.
The Ohio 4-H Health Heroes took the national stage before the entire summit delegation, debuting their “Vape Busters” skit created to highlight their efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of vaping. The script, written by third-year Health Hero Madelyn Smith from Franklin County, used humor to address a serious issue affecting teens across the country. In addition to presentations on vaping, Health Heroes taught sessions on how to address the stigma associated with mental health. They also shared ways to reduce sodium intake using the new “Sodium Shakedown” teaching kit, which they used for presentations to club and school audiences.
“I loved going to all the workshops and meeting new people,” said Virginia Porter from Delaware County, a first-time summit attendee. Sydney Fannin from Warren County added that she likes listening to the variety of speakers.
Another important part of the summit is time set aside for action planning. Teens begin preparing their plans several months in advance, according to Theresa Ferrari, 4-H Specialist who advises the Health Heroes group. They continue working on their plans, and leave the summit prepared to implement their ideas once they return to Ohio. These efforts will help them live out the fourth H of the 4-H pledge -- “health to better living.”
This trip was made possible by generous donors who contributed during the Ohio 4-H Foundation’s Celebration of Youth and the Healthy Habits grant from the Walmart Foundation.