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Extension > Youth Development > Minnesota 4-H > 4-H Events > BLU

Building Leadership & Understanding
BLU 2017

The 4-H Building Leadership and Understanding (BLU) program is an exciting and fun leadership adventure, hosted by the Minnesota 4-H State Ambassadors, that brings together youth from across the state of Minnesota in a leadership workshop. Each retreat uses a youth-teaching-youth model to teach a leadership topic, participate in team-building activities, and meet other youth from their region.

When and where is BLU?

Region Dates Location Deadline to sign up
Feb. 4-5, 2017
1:30 p.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Ironwood Springs Ranch
7291 County 6 Road SW
Stewartville 55976
Jan. 10, 2017
Feb. 11-12, 2017
1:30 p.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Koronis Center
15752 County Road 181
Paynesville 56362
Information and packing list for BLU Central Region participants
Jan. 10, 2017
Northwest Feb. 11-12, 2017
1:30 p.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Castaway Club
51709 County Hwy 31
Detroit Lakes 56501
Jan. 10, 2017
Feb. 25-26, 2017
1:30 p.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Long Lake Conservation Center
28952 438th Lane
Palisade 56469
Feb. 1, 2017
Feb. 25, 2017
9:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Southwest Minnesota State University
1501 State St.
Marshall 56258
Feb. 1, 2017

Pre-event registration is required. See instructions below on how to sign up.

What happens at BLU?

The Minnesota 4-H State Ambassadors work with a regional planning team to plan and facilitate each of the BLU events. The State Ambassadors use a youth-teaching-youth approach to teach their peers about a leadership topic each year and will share the same activities in each region. Regional teams will further engage participants in leadership and service topics important to their region, and activities may vary from one event to the next. All events involve participants in hands-on activities, games, small group discussions, and social activities. Participants are chaperoned by screened adult volunteers. Meals during the event are covered as part of the registration fee. A basic schedule will be posted on this page in late January 2017.

Who can attend?

All youth enrolled in grades 6-12 and college first-year students are welcome to attend. Non-4-H youth are encouraged to participate.

All registrations are contingent on appropriate chaperone (21 years of age and older) coverage, if you are interested in volunteering, or know somebody who is, please contact your County Extension Office.

How much does it cost?

The overnight BLU events are $95 and the one-day BLU in the Southwest is $60. The fee covers all meals, lodging, activities, supplies, and a long-sleeve t-shirt (adult sizes only).  The full program cost is due at the time of registration in order for the registration to be confirmed. Cost should not be a barrier to participation. Please inquire with your county 4-H program about scholarships that may be available, or contact Jacquie at

How do I sign up?

Youth registration

Current 4-H members and volunteers

Preferred: Sign up through your 4HOnline account.

Instructions for signing up in 4HOnline

Sign up


Alternative: Complete and submit a paper registration form.

If you're unable to sign up online, download the appropriate registration form below and submit with payment to the address included on the form.

Not a 4-H member?

If you are not currently a 4-H member, you are welcome to attend! Please contact your county’s 4-H program to ask about enrolling.

Weather cancellation policy: As we know, Minnesota's winter weather can often provide us with many surprises. We will do our best to reschedule any event that is cancelled due to inclement weather. In the event a rescheduling is not possible, a $20 program fee may be deducted from the registration fee to cover actual expenses, though we will work to make this as minimal as possible.

Refunds: Please contact your county program coordinator

Volunteer chaperone registration

Chaperone registration is due one week after the youth registration for the related BLU event. Chaperones must be screened 4-H volunteers, 21 years of age or older. Chaperones can also sign up through the 4HOnline registration system. If interested, contact your local 4-H program for more information!


If you have questions about BLU, please contact Jacquie Lonning, state program director, Citizenship and Leadership,

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