By Pat Melgares, K-State Research and Extension news service


MANHATTAN, Kan. – The registration deadline is May 1 for an event that one Kansas 4-H official has called “one of those shining stars programs” for the state’s largest youth organization.


4-H Discovery Days is scheduled for June 1-3 on the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan. Discovery Days is one of K-State’s longest running traditions, now in its 98th year. More than 400 youth are expected as the event – which focuses on preparing youth for college and careers — returns to in-person learning this year.


All youth ages 13-18 are invited to attend. The cost is $195, which includes meals and lodging.


“Discovery Days is a great opportunity to try things out,” said Shane Potter, a 4-H Youth Development specialist. “We’re helping youth explore careers, look at different educational paths and engage with caring faculty that want to help them succeed.”


This year’s Discovery Days schedule, which can be viewed online, includes an afternoon of breakout sessions that include such topics as exploring health careers, geotrooping, unlocking agricultural innovations, making Japanese friends and more.


On June 2, youth will select a full day focused on one topic, which might include an in-depth study of the United States’ largest wetland (Kansas’ Cheyenne Bottoms), a Farm-to-Fashion Mini Camp, careers in energy and stability and many others.


“In Kansas 4-H, we are good at helping youth explore their options: What could they do and how are they going to choose opportunities and experiences that will help them be successful once they find their passion area,” Potter said.


He added that another benefit of 4-H Discovery Days is that youth get a feel for life on a college campus, and – in many cases – receive instruction from university faculty.


“They are making connections,” Potter said. “That’s part of the great things that are happening; they can put a face to a name and understand how the functions work within a university so that when they eventually come to campus (as a student), they already know some faculty and understand the system. They are better prepared to succeed.”


More information about Discovery Days is available online from the Kansas 4-H Youth Development program. Interested persons can also contact their local extension office.