What do you do at your 4-H event, program, club or project meeting to create a welcoming environment?
A welcoming environment is the foundation to positive youth development. As youth enter your space how they are welcomed sets the tone for the rest of the time they spend with you.
A welcoming environment is important to our youth because it:
- It recognizes them as an individual and makes them feel known.
- Makes positive connections to the group.
- Gives youth ownership of their space.
- Builds rapport with youth
- Creates a respectful climate.
Here are some things to remember to help you create a welcoming environment:
- Make the most authentic first impression you can.
- Reflect on where you are at? Are you preoccupied, upset, enthusiastic
- Make eye contact with each youth as they enter the space. Smile at them and say hi followed by their name.
- Ask youth for ideas on how to make it more welcoming
What other ideas do you have to create a welcoming environment?