Summer Internship Program: Shenandoah County

Orange County

Primary Program Area Focus: 4-H

1. Describe your plans for this internship.  (i.e. What specifically will the intern be doing?)

The 4-H Intern in Shenandoah County will receive an introduction to Virginia Cooperative Extension, basic skills in working in a professional office environment, and experience in developing, planning, implementing and evaluating experiential educational programs for youth, between the ages of 5-18 in Shenandoah County.  The Intern will work under direction of Carol Nansel, 4-H Extension Agent, but will be able to assist and shadow Agriculture and Natural Resources and Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agents in Planning District 7.

The Intern will work on planned programs, but will be able to customize the internship experience as needed.  Duties include, but are not be limited to:

  • Culpeper-Shenandoah-Rappahannock-Spotsylvania 4-H Junior Camp (June 24-28, 2018 at the Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center in Front Royal)
    • Assisting with camp teen counselor training before camp, planning and implementing camp activities, preparing pre-camp paperwork and materials, assisting with room and class assignments before camp, assisting with a class during camp, supervising campers and teen counselors during camp.
  • Plan and manage one 4-H youth educational program from start to finish, including needs assessment, planning, budgeting, marketing, conducting and evaluating the program. The exact program will be determined, with input from the intern, after the successful candidate is hired, but could be a workshop, day camp, educational resource, etc.  
  • Assist with a three day 4-H Day Camp for Cloverbuds (ages 5-8) in Woodstock during July, including presenting a special program (1 hour or less) which can be based on personal interests as long as it is developmentally appropriate for this age group.
  • Assist with preparing paperwork, doing data entry, creating flyers and signs, and helping with the 4-H/FFA sheep, swine and goat weigh-in (June 1 and 2) at the Shenandoah Co. Fairgrounds. 
  • May also help lead and supervise 4-H/FFA members during a work night at the Fairgrounds (painting, cleaning, etc.)
  • Shadow/assist at least one Agriculture (Animal Science, Horticulture or Crops and Soils) and Family and Consumer Sciences (Food, Nutrition and Health or Financial Management) agent in PD7 prior to and during an educational program and/or farm visits they have planned during the internship time. 
  • Help cover the Extension Office when the UAA is out of the office.
  • Keep a blog of the internship experience, and contribute to the Shenandoah County 4-H blog, website and facebook page.

2. Describe the knowledge / skills you expect the intern to gain from this experience.

The intern will gain skills and knowledge in:

  • Planning and coordinating youth educational programs
  • Records management
  • Decision making, problem solving and conflict resolution
  • Risk Management
  • Using developmentally appropriate resources to work with youth ages 5-18
  • Organizational skills
  • Being prepared, but flexible
  • Youth behavior management
  • Time management
  • Civil Rights compliance
  • Situation Analysis and implications for programming
  • Working independently, and as part of a team
  • Communication skills, including public speaking, written communication and face-to-face contacts
  • Evaluating programs for impacts and future improvement
  • Understanding of the overall Extension program and how Extension is connected to Virginia Tech and Virginia State.

3. How will the intern learn about the breadth of VCE and our various program areas?

The intern will work mainly with the 4-H Agent, but will have the opportunity to assist and shadow other Extension Agents in Planning District 7 as they conduct programs during the summer.  This is a “hands-on” internship.  Agent specialties in PD7 include Animal Science, Horticulture, Crops and Soils, Financial Management and Food, Nutrition and Health.  While spending time in the office, the Intern will be answering phones and assisting walk-in clients and will learn how to find answers to their questions.  The Intern will also attend staff meetings, and other meetings as appropriate, to gain an understanding of the overall scope of the Extension program.  They will be able to participate in and observe a variety of program delivery methods during the internship and the intern will be given an opportunity to explore Extension career options.