More than 500 eager 4-H members and volunteers will descend upon Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus June 27-30, 2016, for the 96th annual Virginia 4-H State Congress.

4-H State Congress is the premier 4-H event for outstanding 4-H teens and adult volunteer leaders. Its mission is to provide competitive and noncompetitive educational experiences for Virginia teens to help them develop the life skills and leadership abilities needed to become contributing citizens in their communities.

Each year, participants are offered dozens of workshops, showcases, and competitions to take part in during their time at 4-H State Congress. The activities cover topics such as communication and expressive arts, healthy living, leadership, service learning, animal science, and environmental science and outdoor education. Participants customize their experience by choosing to participate in the activities that most interest them.

Although many of the workshops have civic, educational, or career orientations, 4-H State Congress is not all business. Scheduled events also include a lip sync battle, a welcome picnic, ice cream and pizza socials, the Share-the-Fun talent show, a dance, and a featured performance of Georgia 4-H's performing arts group, Clovers & Co.

“For 96 years Virginia 4-H members have traveled to 4-H State Congress on the campus of Virginia Tech for competitions, workshops, and networking. This premier experience has drawn 4-H members from the mountains to the shore to pursue opportunities for the development of expanded knowledge, leadership, and life skills,” said Jeremy Johnson, the 2016 4-H State Congress coordinator and an associate Extension specialist.

“The 2016 4-H State Congress theme is ‘Tell Your 4-H Story.’ Whether from a dairy farm or an urban neighborhood, 4-H delegates and adult volunteers will share their stories of how 4-H project, club, and camp experiences have made a difference in their lives,” Johnson said.

Johnson is particularly excited for the showcase of Clovers & Co., Monday, June 27, at 4:15 p.m. in Burruss Auditorium. The entire Virginia 4-H family is invited to this special performance. No advance registration is required.

Written by Jenna Sudol, a senior majoring in public relations.

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