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4H Wildlife Stewards
 
Bringing Science and Nature Together...one school at a time.


Welcome to the 4-H Urban/Rural Exchange

The 4-H Urban-Rural Natural Resources Exchange is a program designed to help Oregon 7th and 8th grade students gain an understanding of natural resource management issues from both an urban and rural Oregon perspective. The exchange is also designed to help students develop a camaraderie and spirit of friendship between families from rural and urban Oregon. Through a year-long program which includes a series of 3-6 day exchanges, this program is providing middle school youth with a unique opportunity to “walk a mile in the boots” of those across the urban-rural divide and through the process gain a deeper understanding of the environmental, social and economic issues from both an urban and rural perspective.

2014 Promotional Flyers

Rural Exchange - urban to rural

 

Urban Exchange - rural to urban

2013 Program Report

2013 Regards to Rural Conference Presentation

 

Program Video

Crossing the Urban-Rural Divide

Oregon Field Guide Show featuring the 4-H Urban-Rural Exchange

 

2014 Dates and Locations

 

Date Host 4-H Office
March 21-23

Western Heritage Sports Roundup

Salem, OR
March 31 4-H Rural Exchange Youth, Parent and Chaperon Orientation 6-7 pm Teote Restaraunt
February 26-March 2 Multnomah Urban 4-H Exchange Portland
April 3-8

Wallowa County Rural 4-H Exchange

Enterprise

(322 miles)

April 3-8

Grant County Rural 4-H Exchange

John Day

(272 miles)

April 3-8 Wheeler County Rural 4-H Exchange

Mitchell

(193 miles)

April 3-8 Morrow County 4-H Exchange

Hepner

191 miles

 

April 23-27 Multnomah Urban 4-H Exchange

Portland

Youth Application Process

7th grade Youth from Sunnyside Environmental School 4-H program as well as Multnomah 4-H Club members and 4-H middle school youth from Wallowa, Harney, Wheeler, Grant, Union and Klamath County are eligible to apply for this program.

To apply, youth must complete a 4-H Exchange application and submit it to their local 4-H office. The following items must be completed to ensure the application is complete:

4-H Rural Exchange

 

2014 Scholarship Form (for those youth with financial need)

Submit your forms to:4-H office or mail to: 4-H Rural Exchange, 3421 SE Salmon, Portland, OR 97214

4-H Urban Exchange

 

Youth Selection Process

 

A committee of parents, teachers, and older youth review and select the applicants.  Applicants are selected on the quality of their application, school teacher approval and whether this is an opportunity they might not otherwise experience.

Youth who are selected to participate will be asked to write a letter of introduction to their host family. Youth are placed in a host family in groups of two.  Youth are matched with host families based on the needs and interests of both the host family and the participating youth.

See the applications and promotional flyers for deadline dates.

 

Host Families

4-H Host families from each county are recruited, screened, and selected by 4-H Extension Faculty.  To become a 4-H Exchange host family, the host family applicant must complete a 4-H Family profile and participate in an in-home interview with 4-H faculty. Each adult member of the family undergoes a criminal background check before hosting youth in their home. Families are selected for their ability to provide a quality educational experience for their visiting youth.

4-H Exchange Chaperones

Becoming a chaperone for the 4-H Urban-Rural Exchange is a wonderful opportunity to work with youth and learn more about the diversity of Oregon from an urban and rural perspective.

4-H Exchange Chaperones must be at least 21 years of age, be a registered 4-H leader and have completed the 4-H Education and screening process.  In addition, 4-H Chaperones must have a valid driver's license and have completed the on-line Oregon State Van Driving certification program.

4-H Exchange chaperones help drive a van with youth participants to the host county. During their stay in their host county, chaperones are on call to handle any emergencies or problems that may arise.  4-H chaperones stay with a local host family during their stay and participate in scheduled group activities or tours.

NEW 4-H Chaperons:  If you are new to 4-H, all chaperons must complete the 4-H application process

Returning 4-H ChaperonsReturning chaperons must re-enroll each year with 4-H.  To enroll, please complete the following:

 

 

Building Bridges Across the Urban-Rural Divide
One community at at Time

 

Program Overview

In cooperation with the Multnomah, Grant, Wallowa, Harney, Wheeler, Malheur, Morrow, Union and Klamath County 4-H Extension Program, the 4-H Urban-Rural Natural Resources Exchange helps middle school students gain an understanding of the issues on natural resource management from both an urban and rural Oregon perspective. The exchange is also designed to help students develop a camaraderie and spirit of friendship with families from rural Oregon who are involved in ranching, farming and natural resources management.

The program began in 2006 with 20 students from Sunnyside Environmental School and 5 teachers and volunteers. Today the program serves over 100 youth each year.


Participating urban youth will:

  • live with a rural host family for 5 nights (all families are screened and approved by OSU Extension 4-H staff) - two students per family;
  • be expected to help with daily family chores (for some families this is the branding season on the ranch -expect long days!);
  • learn about the history of the area, rural Oregon lifestyle, the economics of ranching and agriculture, logging issues, water rights issues and other natural resources management issues from a rural Oregon perspective;
  • share the natural resources issues facing urban Portlanders with rural families;
  • have the opportunity to exchange letters and photos with the host family prior to arrival;
  • visit local state and regional parks on route to your host county;
  • participate in a mandatory parent orientation meeting; and
  • participate in classes on urban-rural connectedness and dependencies.

Participating rural youth will:

  • live with an urban host family for 4 nights (all families ares screened and approved by OSU Extension 4-H staff) -two students per family;
  • be expected to help with daily family chores;
  • learn about the history of the area, urban Oregon lifestyle, and the economic, social and environmental issues in Portland which impact sustainability;
  • share the natural resources issues facing rural Oregonians with urban families
  • have the opportunity to exchange letters and photos with your host family prior to arrival;
  • visit local and regional parks and urban natural areas; and
  • participate in 4-H meetings to plan for trip.

Program Purpose and Goals

As the effects of urbanization accelerate in many parts of the world, the relationship between urban and rural communities is also changing. The results of these rapidly changing relationships impact mankind's desire to create a more sustainable world. It is increasingly clear that sustainability is complex and entails an array of interacting socioeconomic and ecological factors.

The Oregon 4-H program helps bring rural and urban youth and adults together one community at a time. It is recognized that to increase the involvement of the public in our sustainable future, youth must become aware of the issues and be actively involved in some of the immediate solutions. Youth must also become involved in sustainability issues because the solutions to these problems are long-term and involve changing the ways that we think and live. As the building blocks of society, communities play an essential role in addressing the challenge of sustainability. Yet communities are complex and diverse systems with multiple stakeholders and there are often many interpretations of sustainability and very different ideas about how best to achieve it.

Oregon is no exception. Oregon is a state of great economic, social and geographic diversity. While this diversity brings strength, it also challenges Oregonians to meet the needs of all communities. Nowhere is this divide more deeply felt than in the area of natural resource management. Historically, natural resources were the foundation of Oregon’s economy. However, over the past two decades this has changed dramatically. It is especially pronounced in regards to how youth and adults from both urban and rural Oregon feel their natural resources should be managed. The 4-H Urban-Rural Exchange is helping to bridge this divide.

      Program Goals

  • To assist urban and rural Oregon county youth and families gain a greater understanding of natural resources management from both an urban and rural perspective.
  • To provide an opportunity for youth from both urban and rural Oregon to come together and work collaboratively to understand and respect lifestyles of Oregonians from both sides of the mountains.

2014 Exchange Schedule and Details 

Wallowa County Exchange

Wheeler County Exchange

Grant County Exchange

Morrow County Exchange

Multnomah County Exchange

 

2015 4-H Rural Exchanges

Klamath County Exchange (2015)

Union County Exchange (2015)

Harney County Exchange (2015)

 

What to bring (youth visiting rural counties)

  • Plenty of Warm Clothes (remember: Layers!): It can be VERY cold especially in Eastern Oregon and students will be outside a lot. Temperatures often drop below freezing.
  • hats, gloves
  • NO cotton socks
  • personal toiletries
  • lined Rubber boots
  • work gloves
  • sunglasses
  • chap-stick
  • dessert to share at the potluck for the first night
  • small gift for family
  • sack lunch for first day traveling to site (Wallowand Grant County only)
  • Money for lunch or dinner for the return trip (we will stop at a fast food restaurant)
  • camera
  • journal or notebook for writing thoughts
  • shoebox with 5 items from your home/community that represent the culture of your community (these will be shared with your host family)
  • books or homework to work on while visiting local school (sometimes your classmates may be taking a test or working on an assignment so its good to have things you can work on yourself).

What to bring (youth visiting urban counties)

  • clothing  for school and recreation activities
  • rain gear and clothing for outside activities
  • personal toiletries
  • dessert to share at the potluck for the first night
  • small gift for family
  • sack lunch for first day traveling to site
  • money for lunch or dinner for the return trip
  • camera
  • journal or notebook for writing thoughts
  • cell phone or Phone card for calling home if needed
  • a shoe box with 5 items that represent or symbolize your community or town (to be shared with your host family)

 

Press Releases/Media

Oregon Field Guide

Program Reports

MORE INFORMATION
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4-H Wildlife Stewards, Sunnyside Environmental School, 3421 SE Salmon 1209,
Portland, OR 97214 - 503-916-6074, e-mail: wildifestewards@oregonstate.edu
Copyright 2002-2009. All Rights Reserved.