The Rambling Travelers is a group of adventurous Doniphan County 4-H members, ages 13-18, who enjoy traveling to visit new places and see new things!
What is a County 4-H Exchange?
An Interstate Exchange program is an exciting opportunity for teenage youth. Exchange programs are a series of learning experiences in which individuals from a club, community, or county visit in the homes of 4-H members in another geographical area, and are visited by them in return. Counties usually host a group one year and return to visit the homes of their guests the following year.
Exchange participants must be at least age 13 by June 1 of the current year & no older than 19 by January 1 of the current year. Members are expected to commit for a two-year exchange (one year home, one year away with the same county).
Why have exchanges?
Exchanges provide opportunities to travel, sightsee, meet new people, make new friends, explore expanding interests, experience how others live and see other 4-H members in action. Exchange programs, properly planned and conducted, can be an important educational experience for 4-H teens. Exchange programs can give youth and chaperons a chance to experience a culture different from their own. All exchange programs should help participants recognize value and celebrate diversity.
How long are exchanges?
An exchange takes place over two years, with the partner county visiting us one year and with us visiting them the other. Members are expected to commit to both years. Most exchange trips are approximately 4-5 days in length.
For more information on exchanges and expectations, see this guide from Harper County 4-H.
Interested in Joining Rambling Travelers?
Contact Kathy or Margaret at the extension office to join RT and to learn about upcoming trips and fundraisers. We will be starting a new 2-year exchange for 2019-2020. Fundraisers are scattered throughout the year and RT members are expected to participate to help defray trip costs. Our trips are typically in August, after the fair but before school.
Why Travel With 4-H?
- Expanding your horizons
- Personal growth occurs when we look beyond our own backyard to see what lies on the other side of our fence. There is a wide, wonderful world to get to know! Having the opportunity to travel and the courage to use that opportunity is a very good thing.
- We grow up step by step, moment by moment. When youth have the opportunity to travel and bravely accept that opportunity, they take steps to personal growth.
- 4-H provides travel opportunities with a safety net firmly in place. What a wonderful way to begin a love of adventure! From within a safe and fun group, a 4-H youth can grow in experience of the world next door, whether that door is the next county over or maybe the next state over!
- To understand the "bigger picture" is to stand up and go look at it! Learning how to be adventurous is to start with the first adventure and experience it firsthand.
- Museums offer a wealth of education and insight! Take advantage of the opportunity to expand knowledge - be willing to learn new things!
- Different places, different landscapes, different lifestyles - who knew there are so many wonderful things to learn about!
- Traveling safely
- Learning about safe travel is an ongoing process for all of us. Whether or not you subscribe to the "perils of the road" theory, we need to know how to travel with informed, thoughtful insights.
- Always wear a safety belt. Not only is this the law, but we can all name someone who was in an auto accident and had their lives changed within seconds. Be proactive!
- Know the road conditions. Stay informed of weather and travel conditions to the best of your ability. Delays and detours cannot always be helped, but increased travel time should be expected.
- Respect the driver. Be a helpful and respectful passenger. Loud or disruptive noises and behaviors can impair the driver's ability to pay attention to traffic. Do your part to be an enjoyable passenger, while ensuring a happy atmosphere.
- Be aware of your surroundings. While you may not be the driver, it is still a good idea to be aware of where you are and what is going on in the environment around you.
- Be on time. When there are time tables, do your part and don't be late. It takes more time to travel as part of a group. Allow extra time to get to where you are going. Don't make others wait on you.
- Rule of thumb: To be early is to be on time. To be on time is to be late. To be late is to be left!
- If you have trash from snacks or other sources, throw it away at the earliest convenience. Do not leave your trash in the vehicle.
- Do not over- or under-pack. Carefully think through your visit and what apparel you will need. Unnecessary clothing or comfort items can increase the clutter of the vehicle.
- Carry enough money for unexpected expenses. You will reduce your anxiety if you have adequate funds to cover an unplanned expense. What may be the price of a meal or item near home could be more expensive in another state.
- If you have a cell phone, have it fully charged when you leave for a trip. Don't forget your charger!
- Being a polite guest
- Treat others' houses and property better than if it was your own. Remember your manners and be on best behavior. Respect others' property while you are being hosted.
- Accept that things will be different. Your habits and preferences may not be the same as your host family's. Part of traveling and the exchange program is to learn and try new things!
- Being a gracious host/hostess
- Be welcoming and accommodating. Your guests may be nervous or anxious or uncomfortable away from their home. Ask if there are things you can do, such as providing lights or lamps or keeping pets from their room, that might make them more comfortable. Ask what foods or beverages or activities they like, and try and be flexible on things like mealtimes or bedtimes if theirs are far different from yours.
- Be inclusive. Invite your guests to take part in your normal routine and to be a part of everyday family activities.
- Be respectful. Your guests may need some time on their own - allow them to carve out some time for their own routines.