American Spirit East

The opportunity to register for 2022 4-H American Spirit is now open in 4-H Online 2.0. In order to register you will need to log into and have an approved profile/enrollment in https://v2.4honline.com/ and follow the attached directions.

About American Spirit East – June 3-12, 10-19 or 17-26, 2022

Experience history & heritage by immersing in a 10-day bus journey to the East Coast — Youth-led content throughout the experience — Increase knowledge of American history while experiencing where it occurred — Dynamic exposure to diverse cultural experiences and perspectives of the foundation of our nation.

The Program has the Following Objectives for its Participants:

  • Increase knowledge and understanding of America’s heritage
  • Build awareness of the many steps taken to gain U.S. independence and freedom
  • Further develop skills in leadership and personal expression of values
  • Increase awareness of self in relationship to others
  • Share what was learned with others in your club and county

Highlighted Location(s):

  • Maumee, Ohio
  • Philadelphia,  Pennsylvania
  • New York City, New York
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Lexington/Concord, Massachusetts
  • Gloucester, Massachusetts
  • Niagara Falls, New York

Participant Elgibility

  • All youth grades 8-10 (Youth in 11th -12th grade eligible for 2022 dates ONLY)
  • Pre-Registration in 4-H Online 2.0 is open starting January 3-14, 2022. Youth and their parent/guardian must complete the online registration together; it includes questions for the youth participant to answer!
  • Each experience is limited to 44 youth, decisions about who is selected to travel are based on the following factors: first-come-first-serve registrants, # of youth per experience, full rooms by identified gender, ages of youth traveling together, eligibility to participate in future years.
  • Estimated Cost of Experience = $1,650

Questions? Contact Sarah Tarjeson at 920-459-5915 or sarah.tarjeson@wisc.edu

American Spirit East Timeline

January 3, 2022-Registration for American Spirit Experience Open to ALL in 4-H Online. Sarah Tarjeson to send out communication through 4-H Online.

January 14, 2022    Registration for American Spirit Experience Closes in 4-H Online. Sarah and other staff will finalize rosters for each of the three dates of travel based on the appropriate number of participants, room assignments by gender, space on each bus, age of participants, dates selected by registration.

January 28, 2022    Communication Regarding Participants Selected/Able to Travel E-mailed Sarah Tarjeson will send this out directly to participants and to staff.

February 20, 2022    Payment Deadline from Counties/Participants – Payable to 4-H American Spirit, 5 University Drive, Sheboygan, WI 53081; It is strongly preferred that participants pay their counties directly (Leaders Council/Association or another fiscal agent) and the county submits payment for all participants made payable to 4-H American Spirit and mailed to 5 University Drive, Sheboygan, WI 53081. Please direct questions regarding payment to Sarah Tarjeson at 920-459-5915 or sarah.tarjeson@wisc.edu.

Registration

Registration

Registration will be done through 4HOnline and registration dates are January 3-14, 2022. Registration for travel week preference will be done on a first come, first serve basis. There will be a wait list created for each week in case of cancellations. If you need help registering through 4HOnline, please consult the registering for an event page here. You will be sent additional details after registration with more information on American Spirit and the orientation. Payment is due February 20th. Counties will be invoiced through the State office.

Participant Orientation dates will be announced at a later time. Adult advisors are required to attend one of the orientations.

Questions on registration? Contact Justin Lieck at 608-263-5971 or justin.lieck@wisc.edu.

COVID-19 Protocol for American Spirit East

Pre-travel COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements 

Due to the COVID Policies we are receiving as we make reservations and the nature of the educational experience, participants will be required to be fully vaccinated prior to travel. Fully vaccinated means that two weeks have passed since the second dose of a two-dose vaccine, or since a single-dose vaccine prior to your travel departure date. Approved Vaccines include: Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca/SK Bioscience, Serum Institute of India/COVISHIELD, Vaxzevria, Sinopharm, and Sinovac. Youth will be expected to carry their own vaccination card as well as have uploaded a copy of this card for our chaperones reference.

In our research and preparation for the experience, we have found that there are city-wide mandates throughout New York City and Private Sector requirements in places like the Empire State Building, the 911 Museum, Ellis Island, and many, many other stops throughout the experience. Providing a medical or religious exception and/or negative COVID test results will not be sufficient according to their policies. The following are some links to more information regarding various policies and requirements:

In addition, the American Spirit Experience is designed as an educational experience where all 50 participants experience everything together; educational tours, museums, meals, and lodging.  This is to ensure the safety of all and to ensure all participants are able to meet the educational objectives of the experience.  As much as we would like to be flexible, we are not able to accommodate varied schedules for some participants that require chaperones to have alternative plans throughout the experience.

I know this is a tough decision.  While it may not have been anticipated when this experience began more than 20 years ago, learning how to navigate travel amidst or post-pandemic will be a part of the learning experience for our youth participants going forward.   Even as we started planning for this year’s experience, we had not anticipated needing to require vaccinations.  We had hoped that we would be able to travel with testing and other safety protocols in place.  As we have made reservations, it has become most apparent that the places we are traveling to will require and ask for proof of vaccination.

Pre-travel COVID-19 Testing 

In addition to requiring vaccinations, proof of a negative COVID Rapid Antigen and/or PCR based on a nasopharyngeal swab and having been conducted at an approved laboratory will be required within 5 days prior to travel. There will be some accommodations (TBD) for those who have tested positive within the previous 90 days, have recovered from COVID-19 and have not had symptoms for the recommended amount of time.

Please reach out if you have any questions, I’ll do my best to help answer them.  We understand that the COVID situation continues to change and evolve.  Our committee is doing our best to be responsive and flexible, and we as we plan for over 130 youth and adults traveling this summer, we have found that we have to make some decisions now in order for youth and families to make the best decisions for their families.

Qualifications

  • 4-H member in 8-10th grades when registering.
  • Delegates register through 4HOnline.
  • Delegates carry county approval through the experience.
  • Delegates must not have attended American Spirit East in the past.

Experience Timeline

  • January 3-14 – Registration will be open on 4HOnline
  • February 20th – Payment Due
  • Spring – Participants attend American Spirit Orientation
  • 3 Travel weeks – Friday – Sunday in June/July

Itineraries will be given closer to the experience.

What Should Delegates Expect?

  • Participation in a delegate orientation session 1-2 months prior to departure.
  • Conduct family heritage research to be completed prior to departure for Ellis Island Simulation
  • Experience high temperatures with summer humidity in the East Coast, therefore plan to pack light, appropriate clothing.
  • Time on the road completing activities, connecting with other youth, and learning through youth led ‘Teachable Moments’.
  • Learn about our country’s vast history through many historic cities.
  • Experience landmarks, monuments, and museums across New England.
  • Identify ways that you can make a positive impact in your home community from the tools you gained during the American Spirit Experience.

Adult Advisor Info

What are the expectations of Adult Advisors?

  • Applicants must be in good physical condition to withstand rigors associated with the program. Expect much walking on hard surfaces, handling luggage, and sharing a sleeping room. Sleep deficit is common.
  • American Spirit leaders can expect long bus rides.
  • Participants usually experience high temperatures with humidity in the East Coast.
  • Public speaking is required.
  • Adult leaders must work cooperatively with fellow Adult Advisor Team Members and remain with the delegation at all times during the program.
  • Adult leaders are required to submit a report and evaluation upon completion of the program.
  • Participation at scheduled teleconference or in-person orientations is mandatory.

How do I apply?

Applications are done online through your 4HOnline profile on the events page under “Educational Programs Adult Advisor Application”.

A complete application must be submitted to WI State 4-H by 4:30pm February 15. A reference is required, you can find a copy of the reference form here. A phone interview may also be conducted. All applicants will be notified of their status in early March (except for National Congress, notified in July). If you would like a paper copy of the application, please contact Justin at justin.lieck@wisc.edu or 608-263-5971.

Each program has a different focus with different desired attributes for leaders. If someone doesn’t fit into one position, they might be great elsewhere. If you are not selected this year, please don’t be discouraged! Apply again next year!

More information can be found on the Adult Advisor Page.

FAQ for American Spirit East

  1. Will the scholarship that my child was offered in the past still be available? There is no guarantee for this and these scholarships are offered at the county level. You will need to check with your local extension educator and/or Leaders Group to determine if there is funding available for these scholarships.
  2. Does the receipt of a local scholarship guarantee a spot for my child on the experience? The short answer is no.
  3. What is the process for chaperoning this experience? American Spirit is a bit different than the other experiences in that 80% of the planning and leading is done by the volunteer committee and we believe that it is really important for those who travel to be a part of the planning…too many details to just jump in and travel. There are monthly meetings in addition to helping lead and plan orientation events. If you are interested in chaperoning the first step is to complete an application and perhaps join one of the next committee meetings. Please contact sarah.tarjeson@wisc.edu if you would like to apply.
  4. Do I need to let anyone else know about my registration? Not really, but it would be VERY helpful if you called or e-mailed your local Extension office and 4-H staff person. I will be waiting for their approval in 4-H Online for your registration and a timely approval would be helpful.
  5. What about my payment? Please work with your county educator to determine if a payment will be sent by your county extension office, your local 4-H leader’s group, or by individual families. Once selections take place (January 28, 2022) and participants are assigned we will send out an invoice with additional details.
  6. Will a COVID vaccination be required? Due to the COVID Policies we are receiving as we make reservations and the nature of the educational experience, participants will be required to be fully vaccinated prior to travel. Fully vaccinated means that two weeks have passed since the second dose of a two-dose vaccine, or since a single-dose vaccine prior to your travel departure date. Approved Vaccines include: Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca/SK Bioscience, Serum Institute of India/COVISHIELD, Vaxzevria, Sinopharm, and Sinovac. Youth will be expected to carry their own vaccination card as well as have uploaded a copy of this card for our chaperones reference.
  7. Will COVID testing be required? In addition to requiring vaccinations, proof of a negative COVID Rapid Antigen and/or PCR based on a nasopharyngeal swab and having been conducted at an approved laboratory will be required within 5 days prior to travel. There will be some accommodations (TBD) for those who have tested positive within the previous 90 days, have recovered from COVID-19 and have not had symptoms for the recommended amount of time.
  8. Will my child need a passport? The 2022 American Spirit Experience will NOT include travel into Canada and therefore a passport will NOT be necessary.
  9. If my child tests positive for COVID prior to travel, can we expect a full reimbursement? It is our intention to have a list of students on a wait list ready to travel. As long as we can fill the students spot families can expect a full reimbursement. Expenses are incurred regardless of late cancellation or not.

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