Despite the pandemic disruption, more than 300 children still registered for the Kansas 4-H Discovery Days, which was held online for the first time this year.
The event, which ran Wednesday through Friday morning, typically hosts hundreds of children across the state for a short summer camp focusing on career and college readiness, community service and hands-on learning. But when the pandemic shut down all on-campus activities through at least the end of summer, Kansas 4-H officials decided to move the event, now in its 96th year, online.
With the move to a virtual format, Discovery Days featured a dozen livestream presentations and other prerecorded sessions, which will all remain available for later viewing at kansas4-h.org. Jill Brown, director of partnerships and placement at Northwest Missouri State University, gave a keynote address Wednesday where she talked about finding a dream job.
Brown encouraged students to pursue activities that interest them and look for opportunities around them, such as job shadowing, mentorships or volunteer opportunities. But in any case, she said it’s alright if they need to take time before figuring out what they’ll do in life.
“There is no reason to know everything you are going to do in the future,” she said. “Curiosity will look different to all of us. Keep a list of what you want to do and make time to go do those things that interest you.”
Dona Ratliff, program coordinator for the Kansas 4-H Youth Development office, said the office reached out to various presenters at K-State, who all delivered on providing sessions to prepare children for the future. She said the event could not have come together without their help and the efforts of staff in the 4-H office.
“This could not have come together without all of our 4-H staff, agents and presenters,” Ratliff said. “I hope that all participants get something positive out of this.”