Jordan Race, Warren County 4-H Teen Council Member: I went to a summer camp in Russia with my teen council group to teach English at a summer camp for two weeks. What I gained out of the trip was, I think, that it kind of shapes who I am today. 4-H has really helped me discover what kind of leadership skills that I am good at and what I need to improve on and everything for the future. I've learned to be more responsible and I'm definitely more willing to meet new people and try new things.
Eric Thiel, Somerset County NJ 4-H Teen Member: My name is Eric Thiel; I participated in the 4-H TRAIL program, which just took a trip to Russia in June. I worked with children from ages 6 -16; I got to room with a Russian kid who was 16. He was really nice. I do feel I have changed in noticing how other people live compared to how we live and I get a broader view of people half way around the world who are almost exactly the same as kids who live here. It's the same basically that people are still people over there. You have to go to work. They do the same things that we do.
We did all different games, activities, trust building activities, team building activities. We taught them about 4-H. We taught them about what 4-H does in America and how it can help the Russian children succeed in their futures.
Jordan Race: [children speaking Russian in background] the mine field is an activity in which we used for trust building with the kids. They partner up and we set the mine field and the partners have to guide each other through the mine field blindfolded, so it's more of them having fun, they think they are having fun, but also they're gaining each other's trust. You have to trust your partner to get through the field and complete it.
Russian kids are actually a lot like American kids in a lot of ways. They're really eager to learn. They love to learn. They like to move things along when they learn. They don't really like to wait too long; they love to complete tasks. And when they can't complete something, they'll go back to it later to make sure they completed it. That's kind of, I think that is a lot like American (some American) kids.
We didn't work the entire time, we had a day off. We went into Red Square and we went sight seeing so we were learning about the Russian culture. It kind of makes me open my eyes to a broader version of the world, I guess, because I really didn't have any knowledge on Russia before; a background of Russian history and it's always good to know because you get to learn new things about different countries and it's good to know for the future… and it's so interesting to learn about.
It's important to bring 4-H to Russia because it teaches youth conflict resolution, negotiation, problem solving, communication skills. I think I actually gained a lot from being in 4-H. Now I have a deeper appreciation for what I have and I am more confident.
Eric Thiel: Americans going over to meet the Russian kids is very important because the children are going to grow up and their going to remember how that's had an impact on their lives. It can only be beneficial because we each have so much to offer each other and it can only mean good things if we were good friends as countries. I do highly recommend the TRAIL program.
Vanya (Russian youth) Yes, I like 4-H. It's a great idea to make 4-H in Russian country.
Kate (Russian youth) I think it is a wonderful idea to invite the Americans to the camp because it is very useful because we speak the English well and we like very much.
Russian Camp Counselor in Russian: Three four…
Russian youth together: Hello America! We love 4-H.
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