Practitioner Tip Tuesday

By Guest Blogger Virginia Bourdeau, Oregon State 4-H Camping Specialist

What does it mean to design a 4-H Staff & Counselor in Training (CIT) program through the lens of the 4-H Thriving Model? This post describes one simple method that can operationalize frontline practices to improve 4-H camps alignment with the model.

An important theory supporting development of openness to challenge and adventure is “growth mindset.”  Dr. Carol Dweck defines a growth mindset as the belief that traits or skills are malleable and can be changed with effort. In contrast, a fixed mindset is the belief that traits or skills are innate and unchangeable.  Camp is certainly a place that offers many challenges such as making friends, resolving conflicts or learning to cast at the fishing pond. Continue reading

Anyone who knows me at all knows of my life-long passion of riding. Most people smile somewhat indulgently when I speak of how important riding is to my everyday health and well being. Others “get it” immediately and ask me how I have managed to keep alive a deep interest in a sport that takes so much dedication when I am so equally dedicated to my work and other aspects of my life. And the truthful answer to that question? I don’t know. I really don’t. All I know is that riding is an foundational part of everything else that I do. It is the one place where time stops. Continue reading

On Tuesday this week I had the opportunity to share the 4-H Thriving Model with our 4-H educators in Nebraska via a Zoom webinar. I have been teaching via webinars for quite some time now, and over the years I have worked out most of the basic kinks. I have also developed loads of strategies for handling all the technological curveballs that invariably happen when trying to teach from a distance. At this point I feel pretty comfortable with all that. What I remain very much uncomfortable with is the feeling that I am talking to a blank wall. Continue reading

On the Process of Thriving

Most of my serious writing is done in my branch office at Starbucks; I find the steady drum of conversation and the occasional hiss of an espresso machine to be just the right background noise for transferring my thoughts to paper. Most of my serious thinking, however, is done in my mobile office, on the back of my horse where my mind is calm and clarity and connections come more easily. We just had one of those glorious autumn weekends in Oregon, with cool nights and sunny warm days- perfect for a lot of riding and a lot of thinking.

I especially welcomed the chance to be outside after spending seven full days in Ohio at the NAE4-HA conference. While this conference is always busy, I found it especially so this year as considerable buzz about the 4-H Thriving Model begins to makes its way around the Continue reading

Not sunflowers trying to thrive in the Ohio autumn heat.

On Creating a Place to Thrive

As I write this I am at the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NAE4-HA) conference in Columbus, Ohio. The day outside is hot and humid, very different from the cool rainy weather that I left last Friday in Oregon. Right before I left I was tending my garden, getting it ready for winter, and I was struck by the beauty of the now-drooping sunflowers I worked so hard to grow. Continue reading