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Five Cass County youth learn to lead at 4-H BLU

In February and March, more than 450 youth from across Minnesota gathered to participate in the annual 4-H Building Leadership and Understanding (BLU) youth leadership conferences, including Cass County 4-H members Katie Hanson and Veronica Hulke of Pine River, and Mary Sarah Sauber, Mikayla Sauber and Rosie Sirucek of Motley.

The five regional two-day BLU leadership events were filled with activities that help youth learn and practice valuable leadership skills that they will be able to take back with them to their counties and communities, and use throughout their lives.

This year’s conference theme was, “The Diamond Within,” which the 4-H ambassadors selected because they believe one of the most important things youth can do is to learn about themselves. Fun and engaging activities guided participants in exploring self-awareness, learning about their personalities, how this insight can help youth work with others more effectively, and healthy ways to deal with the stresses they face in their daily lives.

There was also plenty of time dedicated to meeting new friends and having fun with skits, singing, dancing and games designed and facilitated by the ambassadors to help youth participants get to know one another and have a good time.

Mikayla Sauber said, “BLU was a fun experience. We learned about stress and how to deal with it.”

Using a youth-teaching-youth model, the 4-H BLU leadership conferences are developed and led by 4-H state ambassadors, Minnesota 4-H youth who have been selected to serve as spokespeople for 4-H and to educate youth and adults about the importance of youth development, leadership, citizenship, service, teamwork and other invaluable life skills.

Local youth felt they benefited from the experience.

Mary Sarah Sauber said, “BLU was a great leadership camp. Everyone learned a lot about stress management and leadership within the clubs.”

Rosie Sirucek said, “BLU is a great way to meet kids from around the state. I had a blast, looking forward to next year.”

To learn more about 4-H in Cass County, contact Marcy Cordova at 218-587-8280 and visit the website at

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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