Thriving with Thrive: Steps for planning out your 2013-2014 Thrive Project

Posted: July 31, 2013 in Monday Morning Message

It happens to all of us at least once in our lifetime and for many of us it happens a lot more  than we would care for it to happen.  What am I talking about?  Deadlines! Deadlines can be our biggest friend or our worst nightmare depending on how well prepared we are for them.  For some of the youth we work with we see this most wildly illustrated late on a Friday night when his or her record book is due at 9am on Saturday morning.  One thing is for sure, when a deadline creeps up on us and we are cramming last minute to make it, we do one of two things.  The first is that we simply don’t make our deadline.  The second is that we make it but our best work has been sacrificed and our product isn’t as good as it would have been had we worked on it along the way.

My article this month is to help you succeed in giving your youth the full impact of the thriving principles found in iThrive by giving you some tips to help you get organized and prepared for a fall 2013 launch of your Thrive Leadership Project.  I know that I am writing primarily to staff and Master Trainers and along the way we have picked up some project leaders and friends from outside of 4-H reading these articles on our blog but I know that you all can benefit from these ideas and more importantly, you can pass them along to your project leaders to help them thrive and succeed.  Here are some things that you can do right now to have a successful Thrive Leadership Project launch in the fall of 2013:


Plan a 1 hour Thrive Informational meeting inviting middle and high school youth, their parents and club and project leaders to attend to find out about Thrive.  Have your Master Trainers and staff there as well as any current project leaders and youth to share about their experience with Thrive. 

Have youth sign up to be a part of a Thrive Leadership Project and connect them to the closest club that is offering one.  During this meeting you might want to run through one of the activities from previous years and debrief it to give them a a feel for what iThrive is like.  Having an iThrive alumni (both youth and project leader) share their experiences with iThrive could be a great thing to include to your meeting as well.

Get your Master Trainer Team signed up for the Thrive Regional Training. 

We are offering three regional trainings this year to train Thrive Master Trainers.  For those current Master Trainers wanting to return for another year, you would need to come to the one day update portion of the training (Saturday only).  If you are adding a new Thrive Master Trainer to the team, they would need to stay for both days of the training. Remember that a Thrive Master Trainer is a champion of the principles of thriving who wishes to take the information from the training back to their county and then train project leaders who are going to use the iThrive curriculum in their Jr. and Teen Leadership Projects.   For a full description of what is expected of a Thrive Master Trainer, you can click here.


Set a date for the Thrive Project Leader Training and order educational materials. Using the Thrive Regional Trainings as a guide, secure a date within 3 weeks AFTER your Thrive Master Trainer Training to train your project leaders back in your county.  This way, you can apply your Master Trainer Training immediately while the information is still fresh.


Set the expectation that projects begin no later than October 2013.  

One of the challenges that many counties have faced has been the ability to effectively complete the project by the end of the program year.  This has been primarily due to not beginning the project early enough (starting in January, February etc.).  This has led to less ideal ways to complete the project or in some cases, not completing it at all.

As with anything worth doing, Thrive takes hard work and persistent effort.  Using the summer to prepare for the launch of your iThrive Leadership Projects in the fall will go a long way to maximizing the energy you are putting into it allowing you to facilitate a rich and robust experience for your youth.  As always, I am available to help you strategize and support you as you continue to provide life-changing opportunities for our 4-H youth to reach their full potential.


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