4-H Urban-Rural Exchange

Welcome to the 4-H Urban/Rural Exchange




The 4-H Urban-Rural Natural Resources Exchange is a program designed to help Oregon 7th grade (and select 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.

Program Video 

Crossing the Urban-Rural Divide

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

2017-18 Program Dates 

Date

Event

4-H Exchange Training Location

Saturday, March 10th
(9:00 am- 3:00 pm) 
Mandatory youth orientation for 4-H Rural Exchange 
Portland 4-H Office
3880 SE 8th Ave
Suite 160
Portland, OR 97202
Saturday, March 10th
(2-3 pm)
Mandatory parent orientation for 4-H Rural Exchange
Portland 4-H Office
3880 SE 8th Ave
Suite 160
Portland, OR 97202

March 14-18, 2018

Urban 4-H Exchange (rural youth visit Portland)
Portland 4-H Office
3880 SE 8th Ave
Suite 160
Portland, OR 97202

April 5-10, 2018

Rural 4-H Exchange (urban youth visit rural Oregon)

multiple locations

4-H Rural to Urban Exchange

March 14-18, 2018

Youth Application Process (Rural to Urban)

STEP 1: Complete the online application (opens November 20, 2017)

STEP 2: Applications will be reviewed, and applicants will be notified of acceptance by your county agent.

  • Letter to Host Family--Include in your letter:
  1. Your name, age and grade in school
  2. Describe your personality
  3. Describe your hobbies and interests
  4. Describe your family
  5. Describe your neighborhood and/or community
  6. Why are you interested in participating in this exchange?
  7. What do you hope to learn from this experience?
  8. What do you think will be most challenging about this trip?
  9. Any other information you about yourself you would like to share with your host family

  • Photograph-- 

         STEP 3 : Pay online or by check (OSU Extension 4-H), and submit to your county office.  .

Scholarships are available for those with financial need, and a scholarship form will be made available and can be submitted during STEP 3.

Youth Application Process (Urban to Rural)

7th (and select 8th) graders from 4-H Partner schools and active Multnomah 4-H Members from Multnomah County are eligible to apply for this program.

STEP 1: ONLINE APPLICATION and $50 deposit (registration opens November 20th)

STEP 2: Applications will be reviewed, and applicants will be notified of acceptance by TBA.

Youth Forms to be completed and bring to training on March 10, 2018:

  • Liability & Risk Waiver
  • to Host Family---ideally, this can be sent electronically to Courtney, or hard copy (can be brought to training.)  Include in your letter:
  1. Your name, age and grade in school
  2. Describe your personality
  3. Describe your hobbies and interests
  4. Describe your family
  5. Describe your neighborhood and/or community
  6. Why are you interested in participating in this exchange?
  7. What do you hope to learn from this experience?
  8. What do you think will be most challenging about this trip?
  9. Any other information you about yourself you would like to share with your host family

  • Photograph--ideally, this can be  uploaded on your registration page, sent electronically to Courtney, or hard copy (can be brought to training.)

         STEP 3 (March 2018): Pay online or pay by check (OSU Extension 4-H), $170.00 balance.

Scholarships are available for those with financial need, and a scholarship form will be made available and can be submitted during STEP 3.

Selection Process:

A committee of 4-H staff and Exchange Club Leaders will 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. First priority will be givien to the child(ren) of 4-H Exchange Chaperons.

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.

Youth Expectations (This varies county by county, check with your county agent)

Youth who are selected to participate in the 4-H Urban to Rural Exchange must commit to the following expectations:

  • be in good standing in school attendance and grades with approval from classroom teacher
  • attend five meetings/trainings on the 2nd Sunday of the month, beginning Dec. 11th, 3 - 5pm
  • be a good role model and ambassador representing the your county's 4-H Youth program
  • submit a letter of introduction and photo for your host family
  • be willing to participate in all activities and events by your host family and assist with host family chores
  • be open and willing to learn about the culture, history and lifestyle of the urban/metro area
  • be open and willing to learn about the social, economic and environmental issues in urban/metro area
  • attend a debrief meeting following the trip
  • document your experience with photos and videos to share with others back home
  • submit an educational poster in collaboration with 3-4 other youth to the county fair.

4-H Exchange Chaperons

Becoming a chaperon 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.  There are NO FEES for 4-H Chaperons.

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

4-H Exchange chaperons help drive a van with youth participants to the host county. During their stay in their host county, chaperons are on call to handle any emergencies or problems that may arise.  4-H chaperons stay with a local host family (separate from youth participants) 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 full 4-H application process.

STEP 1:  Complete the Online Application (contact your county agent)

STEP 2:  Visit your local DMV office to request your DMV records to be faxed to OSU as part of your OSU Background check.

STEP 3:   Complete the online training to drive a 12 passenger van Oregon Driver Safety on-line training

STEP 4:   Fill out the following forms (the link will be included in the above instructions) and return to Courtney Lobo via email or hard copy to:  OSU Ext. 4-H, 3880 SE 8th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202 or contact your county agent.

STEP 5:   Attend a chaperon training/orientation session--we will work to find a time that works for most.

RETURNING 4-H Chaperons: 

Returning chaperons must re-enroll each year with 4-H, and make sure that their background check is still current.  To RE-enroll, please complete the following:

STEP 1:  Complete the Online Application (opens NOVEMBER 20, 2017)

STEP 2:  Visit your local DMV office to request your DMV records to be faxed to OSU as part of your OSU Background check.

STEP 3:   Fill out the following forms and return to Courtney Lobo via email or hard copy to:  OSU Ext. 4-H, 3880 SE 8th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202

STEP 4:   Attend a chaperon training/orientation session--we will try to find a time that works for most.

 

Program Overview

In cooperation with the Multnomah, Grant, Wallowa, Wheeler, Gilliam, and Baker 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. Since the program began, over 600 urban youth and adult chaperons have participated in the program, and 120 families from rural Oregon have hosted urban 4-H youth and chaperons.

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 a mandatory youth orientation meeting. 

Participating rural youth will:

  • live with an urban host family for 4 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
  • 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
  • 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.

2018 Exchange Schedule and Details

What to Pack

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  or drink 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).

Wallowa County Exchange

Wheeler County Exchange

Grant County Exchange

Morrow County Exchange

Multnomah County Exchange (below is info. from past year, stay tuned for updated info.)

Media and Reports

Press Releases/Media

Program Reports

Assignments

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