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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI 4-H to host leadership training conference Oct. 11-14
400 volunteers from 12 states attending

KINGSTON, R.I. -- October 9, 2001 -- The University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Program will play host to the Northeast regional 4-H Volunteer Forum, a four-day leadership training program designed to build leadership skills and knowledge among the region’s 4-H volunteers.

Beginning October 11 nearly 400 volunteers from Maine to West Virginia will participate in hands-on workshops and share ideas on youth development at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick.

"We’re going to learn by doing. That’s the whole idea of 4-H," said Shirley Hutchings, URI Cooperative Extension educator and the Rhode Island 4-H coordinator. "The purpose of the event is to bring volunteers together to learn how best to work with young people."

The 60 workshops planned during the conference focus on leadership, youth development, science and technology, foods and nutrition, recreation and creative arts, communication skills, gardening and horticulture, community service, environmental education, and animal science.

Motivational speaker Dan Clark, a best selling author and the primary contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, will address the group on Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. Clark has made presentations to 2.5 million people and is recognized as one of the top 10 public speakers in the world.

The conference was organized by a volunteer steering committee led by East Greenwich resident Lorrie Wright. "This event was a huge undertaking for our little state," said Hutchings.

4-H is a national youth-serving organization that offers hands-on learning activities for young people so they might become productive citizens. Based at URI, the Rhode Island 4-H program supports 98 clubs with 1,000 youth members and 300 adult volunteers.

For more information about the 4-H Volunteer Forum, contact Shirley Hutchings at 277-5258 or visit the 4-H website at

Note to Editors: Two workshops will be especially appealing for photography. "Introduction to Dog Mushing" will be held on Oct. 12 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel’s Tiverton Room (and will conclude with a demonstrations outside) from 10:15 to 11:45 a.m. "Learning about Fish and Aquatic Invertebrates" is on Oct. 13 from 8:30 to 11:45 a.m. at the Carolina Trout Hatchery, Route 112, Charlestown.

For Information: Shirley Hutchings 277-5258, Todd McLeish 874-7892

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