Polk and Pinellas County 4-H brings you an exciting opportunity to ‘Pledge your Hands to Larger Service’ by becoming an Eco Warrior.
Who are Eco Warriors?
Do you know a youth between 14 and 18 years old that wants to change the world for the better? The 4-H Eco Warriors Special Interest (SPIN) Club may be the right place for them to get started!
This September and October, 4-H, natural resources, and sustainability agents and staff from UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas and Polk counties will provide an exciting eight-week online club experience! This club, especially for youth ages 14-18 years , will explore sustainability and the connections between food, energy, and water, and what those connections mean for the future of people all over the world.
Why be an Eco Warrior?
Sustainability education includes a wide range of topics important in today’s global society Eco Warriors club members will learn how systems thinking, a powerful tool for understanding how our behaviors impact natural ecosystems. Applying a system thinking approach to sustainability enables us to see the long-term impacts of consumerism and avoid unintended consequences to our health, our communities, our economy, and our environment.
According to the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY: https://www.un.org/development/desa/youth/world-programme-of-action-for-youth.html), youth participation is crucial in adopting these sustainability approaches and supporting youth participation and engagement in understanding sustainability requires a well-rounded and inclusive approach. Youth are willing to take the lead to meaningfully engage in the protection and conservation of the environment at local, national, and global levels. 4-H echoes the same ideologies of treating youth as equal partners in decision making. As a result of this Youth Adult partnership, 4-H not only strives to create and offer relevant programs and opportunities of youth engagement but helps young people the essential life skills that will make them successful in life.
Where did Eco Warriors Come From?
The 4-H Eco Warriors youth program is modeled after the highly successful Sustainable Floridians curriculum, a sustainability education series for adults developed by the University of Florida IFAS Extension. Eco Warriors will spark a sense of purpose and commitment to tackle complex world issues from a solutions-oriented perspective. The club experience will be based on the 4-H principles of Belonging, Mastery, Independence, and Generosity (https://4-h.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/TheEssentialElementsof4HYouthDevelopment.pdf). The curriculum will focus on 21st Century challenges and opportunities by including activities related to citizenship, healthy living, and science.
The eight weeks of club meetings include eight lessons that explore the connections between food, energy, and water, while providing an understanding of sustainability and how to support change through action. Each lesson is grounded in the 4-H principles of developing life skills through hands-on learn-by-doing opportunities.
What Will Eco Warriors Learn?
In eight interactive virtual sessions, 4-H Eco Warriors SPIN Club members will explore: What is Sustainability, Global Food Systems, Water Conservation, Water Conservation, Renewable Energy & Conservation, Consumerism & Waste Management, Waste Reduction, Composting, & Recycling, and Community and Civic Engagement.
The 4-H Eco Warriors SPIN Club would conclude with a Pitch Fest, a concept similar to Gator pit, where each youth will present either on 1) What and how they plan to implement a concept from the Eco Warrior’s curriculum at a local level? Or 2) A community or civic engagement project incorporating their learnings on the sessions learned in the club. Each pitch should be no less than 3 and no more than 7 minutes in length.
Registration and SPIN Club Information:
Please register by using this link https://forms.gle/bqzTRHV7F9xanRN66. We will send you a Zoom link to attend camp the week prior to the club starting.
For further information, please contact: Shreemoyee Ghosh, 4-H Agent| UF/ IFAS Extension Polk County at firstname.lastname@example.org or Alyssa Bowers, 4-H Agent| UF/ IFAS Extension Pinellas County at email@example.com
Come join our Eco Warrior Team this fall and become an environmental ambassador for your club, community, country and the world!