Youths ride into one-of-a-kind learning experience on 4-H Wagon Train

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Positive youth development programs that are multi-generational, diverse, family-centered and non-competitive are important lifelong learning opportunities not often available in today’s society. To help connect youths with elders and families in a diverse community, Oregon State University Extension 4-H Youth Development staff and volunteers developed 4-H Wagon Train, a residential summer camp that engages underserved, underrepresented youths and families in real-world learning opportunities.

The first 4-H Wagon Train rolled out of Hillsboro, Oregon in the summer of 1982. The 4-H Wagon Train has engaged more than 4,000 youths and families who participated in the life-changing experiences of the program.

Every year, 25 4-H volunteers bring their traditional covered wagons, mules, horses, and support vehicles to provide 60 youths and families with life-long learning opportunities. Each summer for nine days, the train follows segments of the Oregon Trail. Outdoor living, problem-solving, and leadership skills all rise to the surface while learning about Oregon history and gaining a respect for our natural world.

As the only 4-H Wagon Train program in the country, it provides a one-of-a-kind experience, within a safe and structured platform.

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