The McPherson County 4-H Ambassador Team takes the 4-H pledge to a whole new level.

The team is committed to sharing the benefits of 4-H with those who aren't familiar with the program while maximizing the growth and experience of current members.

"They are the voice of 4-H in the county," said Lindsey Friesen, 4-H youth development agent of the McPherson County Extension Office.

This past weekend, the ambassador team traveled to Rock Springs to attend the Kansas 4-H Ambassador Training event in order to expand their knowledge in the 4-H world.

"We learn a lot at state 4-H events in general; and especially at state ambassador training, alongside meeting friends and making connections with other leaders from around the state. The training hosted a number of keynote speakers and interactive workshops," said Max Harman, a third-year Mac County 4-H ambassador member. "Workshops ranged from addressing leadership directly, identifying different personalities how to work with different styles of leadership and even how to make quality video clips for promoting 4-H."

From meeting new friends that share similar interests to learning valuable skills in life, the workshops provide many benefits for the team.

"Learning with and from others around the state is a huge advantage from just staying in your own county. It was great to see our ambassadors meet others from around the state and learn about what they do in their 4-H ambassador programs. Bringing in presenters and speakers is something we could not afford to do with just our small county group," Friesen explained.

"I try to encourage everyone I can to attend all state 4-H events that they can. The most valuable piece that participants can gain are the friends and connections they leave with and the discovery of a community bigger than themselves and their schools," Harman added.

While the events may be fun to meet other 4-H members, it brings the team closer together as a whole, as they often have to work together to bring in other members.

"I think the training really helps build memories and camaraderie with other members of the team. Many of the workshops can help build skills that are directly applicable in the work we do as ambassadors. Whenever we host day camps or share about 4-H to the public, we really need those communication and leadership skills that we learn and grow at these trainings," Harman noted.

Friesen keeps her ambassador team busy as they often attend many events and meet 10 times a year to promote their 4-H team.

Currently, the team is working on creating presentations for area schools about the excitement 4-H has to offer, along with promoting donations to the McPherson 4-H endowment.

"This year, I taught a class called ‘Portable Leadership Challenges,’ which helped take leadership activities to another step. Instead of playing a game or doing an activity, youth were encouraged to take it a step further or squeeze more juice out of the lemon if you will," Friesen added. "Debriefing and applying concepts in an activity are important to the learning process and is easy to do. We use the experiential learning model a lot in 4-H, (do, reflect, apply), which helps expand thinking and solidifies learning."

For more information, call the Extension Office at 620-241-1523 or visit their website at http://mcpherson.k-state.edu.

Contact Brooke Haas by email at bhaas@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.