Register Now for 4-H Maize Retreat May 15-17

Written by Theresa Rose on April 17, 2015

AMES, Iowa – High school youth may register now for the first bilingual and multi-cultural 4-H Maize retreat, May 15-17 at the Iowa 4-H Center in Madrid. Youth who will be entering ninth through 12th grade in the 2015-2016 school year are eligible to participate.

“This retreat is called Maize because what is more Iowan than Corn? Maize (/ˈmeɪz/ MAYZ; Zea mays subsp. mays, from Spanish: maíz after Taíno mahiz), is known in English as corn. Maize was the staple food of most of the pre-Columbian North American, Mesoamerican, South American, and Caribbean Indigenous cultures. For example, many Mesoamerican legends share that humans were created from maize. The symbolism of Corn/Maize will be used throughout the retreat to represent the coming together of Native American, Latino and Iowan traditions, aspirations and cultures.” said John-Paul Chaisson-Cardenas, a 4-H Youth Program Leader with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Maize taps into Latino and Native American culture, history and achievements as a way to explore healthy living, STEM, citizenship and leadership, and communications and the arts – priorities within the ISU Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development program. This three-day retreat will begin on the Iowa State University campus in Ames, with Aztec dancers, a campus tour and hands-on workshops with university departments.

The youth then will travel to the Iowa 4-H Center in Madrid for the remainder of the retreat where they will participate in culture-based workshops, camping experiences, leadership education and development, and evening entertainment of live music and astronomy. On Sunday, youth will return to the Iowa State campus for a reception and departure.

“Maize is free for youth who are enrolled in 4-H and $350 for those who are not 4-H members. However, enrolling in 4-H is easy and there is still plenty of time for youth to enroll,” said Kati Peiffer, a 4-H youth program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Youth may enroll in 4-H and register for Maize online at For more information on getting involved with the Maize retreat, please contact Alyssa Meyer, 515-294-1557,; or Kati Peiffer, 319-385-8126,