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Teens Complete Rutgers 4‑H Summer Leadership Program at the Nature Center of Cape May

Cape May, NJ - Fifteen teens successfully completed Rutgers 4‑H Summer Leadership Program on August 16, 2019. The eight-week program, for youth from 7th to 12th grades, ran from June 24th through August 16th at the New Jersey Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May. Teens have been assisting teacher-naturalists and learning leadership skills at the nature center for over 20 years in this unique educational internship program.

The program, which is open to the public, included nine teens from Cape May County this year. Additionally, there were five teens from New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida in the program. Participants included Alexandra Back, Isadora Bosacco, Jordyn Boone, Hope Campbell, Seth Edling, Dave Etgen, Leo Kotler, Max Kotler, Sarah Lofredo, Jakob Pender, Isabella Pruszinski, Ruverlynie Rivera, Emanel Rivera, Yadiel Torres, and Maya Wenger.

As part of the program, the teen leaders mentored some 350 campers who attended the Nature Center of Cape May’s summer camp program and also took part in leadership training sessions with 4‑H Program Coordinator Linda Horner and Teen Leader Program Coordinator Deborah Avicolli. These sessions were designed to build communication and problem solving skills and help teens learn to set and reach goals. As their community service project, the teens staffed an educational marine science touch tank at the Cape May County 4‑H Fair in July.

Linda Horner, 4‑H Program Coordinator, said, “The program proved to be an invaluable leadership opportunity and learning experience for the teens who learned marine and environmental science, enjoyed the outdoors and learned to work with children.” Horner added, “Some of the benefits for the participants included meeting other teens with similar interests, earning valuable community service credits and gaining important work and leadership experience which will be an asset when applying for a job, or college, and scholarships.”

For more information about the 4‑H Youth Development Program, please call (609) 465-5115, ext. 3606 or visit cmc4H.com.

4‑H Youth Development Program is part of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and Rutgers Cooperative Extension. 4‑H educational programs are offered to all youth, grades K–13, on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

Deb Avicolli and group of 4-H teen leaders
4‑H Teen Leader Program Coordinator Deb Avicolli talks to 4‑H teen leaders.