The 4-H Teen Russian/American International Leadership (T.R.A.I.L.) program began in 2003 as a youth/adult partnership through Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Through the T.R.A.I.L. program, American teens travel with 4-H staff to teach English using adventure activities during a two week overnight summer camp. Camps are located in various locations in Russia, but primarily in the Moscow area and the Altay region of Siberia.

Before leaving the US, teens are trained in 4-H 101, Ages and Stages of Youth Development, the Russian culture, and facilitating adventure activities.

Since its inception, 20 American teens have taught in the former Soviet Union and 4 Russian teens/young adults have volunteered at the Lindley G. Cook 4-H Camp in New Jersey.

T.R.A.I.L. Goals
  • To create an opportunity for Russian youth to visit the U.S and American youth to visit Russia
  • To establish 4-H clubs in Russia that meets the needs of Russian youth
  • To increase awareness and understanding of the two cultures and societies
  • To develop lasting relationships among American and Russian youth
  • To increase leadership skills among teens

  • 4-H Teens:
    American 4-H teens may be eligible to participate in T.R.A.I.L. and travel to the Russian Federation. The teens must be recommended by their 4-H Agent or staff member in their county and be between the ages of 17-19 at the time of travel. Please know that minors under 18 will require letters from both parents stating they are aware the youth is traveling to Russia. Check back on this site for future travel opportunities.

    4-H Professionals:
    Opportunities to form a T.R.A.I.L. team in your state are available for summer and winter camps as requested by our Russian host agencies. This website contains information about forming a successful 4-H T.R.A.I.L team. Please note that dates for camps are not released until approximately 6 months before the date of travel.

    Why Use 4-H Teens to Teach?
    Research conducted in 4 states has shown the youth active in 4-H are:
  • More competent
  • More confident
  • More caring
  • More involved as leaders
  • Looked up to as role models
  • Than youth who do not participate in 4-H.

    In addition, 4-H members:

  • Help others in their communities
  • Perform better in school

  • In short, American 4-H youth are more mature, responsible, and better citizens than American youth who do not participate in 4-H.

    It has been observed that the Russian teens and younger youth look up to the American teens who have taught in Russia. Russian youth have stated that they relate better to the American teens and enjoy socializing with them more so than the American adults. During socialization times, the Russian youth find they must use their English skills in order to communicate.

    Russian youth have stated their English improved dramatically as a result of the interaction with American teens outside of the structured Adventure Activities taught in English.

    Youth Development Resources in Russian
  • Search Institutes Developmental Assets for youth in Russian
  • Rutgers Cooperative Extension Older Youth Evaluation form in Russian

  • Introduction to Character Education in Russian

  • The Six Pillars of Good Character in Russian

  • The 4-H's in Russian

    If you would like to learn more about the 4-H T.R.A.I.L program, email Warren County 4-H Agent, Alayne Torretta or call at (908) 475-6502.