Youth attend 4-H Exploration Days at MSU

Julia Baratta, Freelance Writer


Sparty poses with the 4-H Exploration Days welcome sign. The three-day event occurs annually in June at Michigan State University.

Every year for three days in June, young people from throughout the state of Michigan are invited to participate in an event that captures the college experience on the campus of Michigan State University (MSU). The 4-H Exploration Days is open for members ages 11-19 and is a fun way to explore the school with activities, learning sessions and opportunities to meet new people.

The purpose of the annual program is to introduce the members to a life at MSU with schedules, transportation needs, living arrangements, and career choices.

Each participant was offered over 200 sessions to select from during Exploration Days. The classes are designed to mimic a college class with teachers sharing information with the students, interaction between the adults and 4-H members, and hands-on experiences, exposing the children to real jobs for future consideration. There is also the promotion of the various 4-H projects available for the members within the choices they may pick from.

The young people learn how to organize their time and work with a schedule of classes and activities. One of the most important (and sometimes intimidating!) aspects of college life is how to get from point A to point B. The participants will have the option of riding the bus to their class or walking. They will explore the various routes around the campus and transportation options available.

Three MSU dorms are appreciated during the event: Akers, Holmes and Hubbard are used for the attendees to stay in. The participants will experience sharing a room with another 4-H member and learning to work together as they participate in the myriad of activities offered.

The young people will be exposed to a number of learning opportunities where they can develop productive skills for future use. Leadership, responsibility, confidence, accountability, problem-solving, time management, and decision-making are just a few that can be acquired through participation at the MSU Exploration Days. These qualities will assist them in choosing a career in which to pursue through their educational experiences.

Overall, the attendees will walk away from this three-day event with increased knowledge about subjects they are interested in, an idea of what college will be like, and memories, along with friendships, that will last a lifetime.