Delaware 4-H Exchange Programs

4-H Youth at Dover DownsThis summer all three counties in Delaware participated in an inter-state exchange program with states from across the country. Each had a unique experience that they will treasure for years to come. New Castle County finished up their second year exchange with Flathead County, Montana. The 4 youth and 2 adults from Flathead County arrived at the Philadelphia airport June 23 and left on June 30. The exchange was started with a family day on Sunday where some families got together for a BBQ, some went to Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island, while others went shopping at the Christina Mall. Monday the group headed to Hershey Park for the day to experience amusement park rides, food, tour of Hershey and more! Tuesday started off at Dover Downs with a tour of the Monster mile, then a trip over to the Dover Air Force museum for lunch and a guided tour. On the way down to the beach the group stopped at Hopkins creamery for some ice cream before arriving at the Virden center to check into rooms for the night. An enjoyable evening was spent in Rehoboth Beach for dinner, shopping and rides. On Wednesday everyone went swimming and played disk golf at Cape Henlopen State park. Thursday was an early morning off to Washington D.C. for a capital tour and a visit to the Holocaust museum. Friday ended the week with a family day in the morning and an afternoon farewell party, where everyone played games and enjoyed their last days together. Saturday morning came early and goodbyes were said before Montana headed off to the airport.

Seven Kent County 4-H’ers exchanged with Simpson County, Kentucky. The Kentucky youth arrived in Delaware June 24 where the Kent County hosts met them in Washington D.C. and took the group on a boat ride on the Potomac River. After the river boat ride they did some shopping in Alexandria, Virginia. The remainder of the week was spent in Delaware, where they toured the Dover Air Mobility Museum, had a historical Dover tour, scavenger hunt and Governor’s Mansion tour, experienced harness racing at the Harrington Raceway, went crabbing and clamming in the Delaware bay and swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, went wild at Go Ape in Lums Pond State Park, and enjoyed ice cream at the UD Creamery. Everyone enjoyed spending time with their new 4-H friends before their departure on June 29.

4-H youth in Washington, DCWhile Kent and New Castle Counties were ending their second year with their partners, Sussex County was starting their two-year exchange. From June 30-July 7, Sussex County hosted 12 teens and 3 chaperones from Stillwater County, Montana. The first night was spent at the National 4-H Center followed by a tour of Washington D.C. on Sunday where they visited monuments, museums and other traditional sites to see. On Monday the group ventured to the Indian River inlet to enjoy the sun and sand. While there they enjoyed the work of a professional sandcastle designer who taught them how to make awesome sandcastles. The group ended the day with a visit to Rehoboth Beach for dinner, rides at Funland and strolling the boardwalk. Tuesday was Kent County Day, where the group visited Dover Downs Speedway and Legislative Hall. Wednesday, July 4th was Family Day. Some families spent time by the pool while others traveled to see fireworks or took a ride on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. Thursday was New Castle County Day where the group visited Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island and Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. Friday was Farm to Table Day and everyone visited Poultry Extension Agent, Georgie Cartanza’s, Poultry Farm and learned a lot about how chickens are raised. They also toured Fifer Orchards in Camden and visited The Frozen Farmer ice cream shop in Bridgeville. Saturday was a family morning and then the group gathered at Vanderwende’s Creamery before heading back to the airport. Everyone in Sussex enjoyed their time hosting Montana and look forward to traveling there to see their new 4-H friends next year!4-H Youth at Fort Delaware

Overall the exchange experience was enjoyed by all and each county is looking forward to doing another exchange next year or finishing out their exchange with their new friends in 4-H!