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The American Spirit Experience

submitted by Tyler Franklin, Bellringers 4-H Club

For nine days after the end of the school year, I traveled with 41 other 4-H youth on the American Spirit Experience as we traveled the east coast of the United States. I had a great time learning about our nation’s history in the New England region.


I especially liked taking the walking tours of Philadelphia and Boston, the hotbeds of the American Revolution; as well as visiting Valley Forge, where George Washington forged the U.S. Army out of the cold and snow into a vaunted military force. In New York City, we saw Ellis Island, where many new immigrants came in; the Statue of Liberty, which was the first thing many immigrants saw as they entered the United States, making it a symbol of freedom around the world; and new this year was the 9-11 memorial and Museum, honoring the more than 3,000 people who lost their lives in the attacks. Being around other people with similar historical interests was a great experience for me and helped me grow and try new things.

The American Spirit Experience is a learning experience supported by the UW-Extention as well as local 4-H leaders. It is open to all 4-H youth between 8th and 10th grades. In this 9-day experience, you get to visit places such as Amish country, Valley Forge, Philadelphia, New York City, Plymouth Plantation, Boston, and Niagra Falls. During this time, you also get to teach about one of these topics to show what you know and to inform others. You get to try new things and expand your horizons by trying real Chinese food and lobster. You will have plenty of options and get to grow as a person. If you are interested, please contact your 4-H Club leaders to find out more information.