4-H Outdoor Wilderness Leadership and Service (OWLS) Program
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The 4-H Outdoor Wilderness Leadership and Service (OWLS) Program is an adventure-based program designed to provide youth in grades 9-11 with intensive hands-on exploration in an area of interest associated with the outdoors.
Deepen their knowledge about the outdoors.
Explore career opportunities in the outdoor industry.
Learn outdoor leadership and wilderness skills.
Be able to plan and lead conservation efforts at a local level.
In the first year, youth will meet through webinars, retreats and a 4-day summer trip to learn about their chosen field of interest and other outdoor adventures. In the second year, youth will take the skills learned and implement a service-learning conservation project in their local area. Youth will have the option to showcase their project at the Minnesota 4-H Shooting Sports and Wildlife Invitational in 2020.
Applicants must be in grades 9-11 at the time they apply. Youth new to 4-H will be enrolled in 4-H after applying for OWLS.
We are no longer accepting applications for 2019.
Youth must be able to commit to these 2019-2020 scheduled events to maximize their experience in the program:
Webinar, Jan. 15 at 8 p.m.
Retreat, Feb. 16-17, Camp Koronis, Paynesville.
Webinar, March 21 at 8 p.m.
Retreat, April 27-28, SCALE Facility, Jordan.
Webinar, May 20 at 8 p.m.
Summer Capstone Trip, June 19-22, northern Minnesota.
Webinar, Aug. 13 at 8 p.m.
Service-learning conservation project, Fall 2019-Spring 2020.
Youth will choose a Track of Knowledge to be instructed by professionals and volunteers that share their passion for the outdoors and are experts in the field.
2019 4-H OWLS offerings
- Game birds and their habitat: Youth will focus on Minnesota game birds such as turkey, grouse, pheasants and their habitats.
- Wildlife photography and telling your story: Youth will be instructed on basic photography elements, capturing wildlife in their natural settings and the art of telling a story.
- Forestry and land management: Youth will learn tree identification, basic forestry concepts and land conservation.
- Track of Knowledge learning.
- Opportunities for team building and personal growth.
- Outdoor skills building (camping, GPS, orienteering, first aid, campfire cooking).
- Exposure to professionals in the outdoor industry.
- Creative reflection activities.
- Ethical and responsible instruction in the outdoors principles.
- Introduction to 4-H OWLS and the learning experience.
- Preparing for the retreats and the summer trip.
- Service learning and conservation project planning.
- Additional resources and outdoor instruction.