Educational Travel Opportunities and 4-H Key Award

 (Last updated 2/28/24)

Columbia County 4-H Award and Educational Travel Opportunities

The Columbia County 4-H Leader’s Association invites you to apply for one or more of the educational travel opportunities or the 4-H Key Award this year. The 4-H Leader’s Association sponsors these opportunities and awards which are available only to 4-H youth in grades 6-12.  Currently, per the Columbia County 4-H Leader’s Association Standing Rules, the organization will pay ½ the registration cost of one educational travel opportunity per member annually.  Members may attend each experience only one time with 4-H Leader’s Association support.  An exception will be made for a member nominated and then selected to be part of the state’s National 4-H Conference delegation.  In that case, the 4-H Leader’s Association will pay ½ of the member’s registration cost for National 4-H Conference and the member may choose to attend one other trip, with 4-H Leader’s Association support, in the year they are selected to be part of the state’s National 4-H Conference delegation.

All eligible Columbia County 4-H members MUST complete the following:

  • an Award and Educational Travel Opportunity Selection Form;
  • a Cover Letter; and
  • a Resume.

You will not know how far you could have gone or what you could have done until you try!

Members who have questions, should contact Becky Pfile at 608-742-9685 or

Cover Letter, Resume and Selection Form Due: April 1st

Send to:  Columbia County Extension 112 E. Edgewater St., Room 212, Portage, WI 53901
Email to:

Interview Dates: April 8, 2024

Guide To Apply For Award & Educational Travel Ops 2024 (PDF)

Selection Form April 2024 (PDF)

(Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Award & Educational Travel Ops FAQ (PDF, 1 page)

Travel Opportunities Sponsored by Columbia County 4-H Leaders Association

Note: Youth may register and attend without 4-H Leaders Association sponsorship as well.

Citizenship Washington Focus2 Youth – Estimated Cost:  $1,600.00.  Selected youth attend a weeklong program to learn about citizenship and government, along with opportunities to observe the attractions of Washington D.C.  Exact dates TBD. Participants must be in grades 10-12 at time of registration in fall-winter with minimum age of 15 during program.

National 4-H Congress 2024– 2 Youth – Estimated Cost:  $1,350.  Delegates participate in self-development seminars, tours and a service project, while exchanging ideas with 1,300 youth from across the country.  Participants must be in grades 10-12 at time of participation with maximum age of 18 on January 1 of the year of travel.

National 4-H Conference – 1 Youth, with highest interview and application scores, is nominated to apply following the Columbia County 4-H interview process – Estimated Cost:  $1,300. The State 4-H committee selects 8 – 10 delegates from nominee applications. Each participant selects an issue and works with other youth from across the country to develop plans that help direct future 4-H programming.  Delegates spend the majority of their time contributing to stimulating, task oriented groups.  Participants must be in grades 10-12 during the program with minimum age of 15 and maximum 18 on Jan. 1 of program year.

American Spirit East – 1 Youth – Estimated Cost:  $1400.  Delegates must be in grades 8 – 10 at the time of registration. Dates of Event will be June 14-23, June 21-30, July 5-14, 2024. There will be 3 travel weeks in June / July. In addition, participants attend a Spring American Spirit orientation. Youth learn about America’s heritage and build awareness of the many steps taken to gain U.S. independence and freedom by visiting historical sites in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and more. Youth register via 4-HOnline starting October 1st.

4-H Key Award – 2 Youth.  The Wisconsin 4-H Key Award Program recognizes a select group of 4-H participants who’ve demonstrated consistent growth in their 4-H involvement, developed and applied leadership skills, and actively participated in the functions of their 4-H club and community. Selection of 4-H Key Award recipients is based on an evaluation of the candidate’s total 4-H record. To be eligible, candidates must be in 9th grade or above and must have completed at least three years of 4-H and one year of youth leadership. The quota of award recipients is determined by county 4-H enrollment of youth ages 14 years and older. Quotas are 2% of that population or a minimum of two per county. This award is only given once.

Summer Academy  – Madison, WI. Estimated Cost: $400. Delegates must be in grades 7 – 10 at registration from April 1 – 30. Dates are tentatively in June 2024. This new Positive Youth Development program will help you discover pathways to your future. Signup to learn what it takes to have a career, or a hobby in several SPARK areas including agriculture, STEM, service, leadership, arts, trades, and many more. There will be fun opportunities to build networks and friendships with folks from all over the state of WI.

Space Camp – Huntsville, AL.  Estimated Cost: $900. Delegates must be in grades 6 – 10; max age of 15 at time of program. Dates are April 18 – 22, 2024.


 All 4-H members applying for an award or educational travel opportunity will be interviewed.

Members should be prepared to answer the following questions in their interview:

 Interview Questions (Word, 1 page, 13 KB)