So your child has joined 4-H. Now what do you do? Read through this page, browse our website, and download a copy of Idaho 4-H Today. Check out our Tips for choosing a project, and our Top Downloads on the home page.
Still have questions? Call your county office
and ask to speak with a 4-H staff member.
What is a 4-H club?
4-H members come in all shapes, sizes, and ages, so it’s helpful to know what kinds of clubs and activities they can participate in. Most 4-H members belong to community clubs, but there are other ways to participate in 4-H, too.
What happens at a 4-H club meeting?
- 4-H community clubs. Youths enroll in projects and participate in group activities and meetings. The club elects officers and plans an educational program of business, community service, and learning together.
- 4-H single project clubs. A single project club is similar to a community club; the difference is that a single project is the focus. Examples include horse clubs, teen leadership clubs, or photography clubs.
- 4-H Cloverbuds clubs. The 4-H Cloverbuds program is designed to introduce 5 to 7 year olds to a variety of 4-H experiences. Cloverbuds are involved in activities led by an adult. Cloverbuds do not participate in competitive events, but may show their projects at the county fair and participate in animal projects where the animal weighs less than the child.
- 4-H Afterschool. Afterschool clubs meet during or after school and may focus on a single subject such as computers, arts, or robotics, or a enjoy a variety of subjects.
A 4-H Community Club may include any or all of these elements: a business meeting, a program, activities, recreation, and refreshments. Clubs elect officers and often develop committees. An integral part of 4-H Clubs is projects.
Clubs with a single project focus such as a rocketry club or a leadership club may vary slightly from the traditional 4-H community club.
What Can You Do to Help Your Child Succeed in 4-H?
- Club business meetings. Each club holds a monthly business meeting in which the members discuss business. Club meetings may sound boring, but it is here that youths meet others in their club and decide important issues about recreation, fundraising, and service activities. Parliamentary procedure is observed. Parliamentary procedure includes the rules that allow a business meeting to have order and run smoothly. As your child becomes older, these meetings allow him or her to improve leadership skills by becoming an officer.
- Project meetings. 4-H offers dozens projects ranging from aerospace to clothing and foods to leadership. Whatever project your child chooses, he or she is sure to have fun learning with people interested in the same things!
- Club officers. Club officers are members who are learning more about leadership roles. Officers are usually elected in September and serve for one year. Clubs may have some or all of the following officers.
- The president runs the meetings, keeps order, and informs the club of upcoming events.
- The vice president runs the meetings in the absence of the president and is in charge of the program portion of the meeting.
- The secretary keeps a record of all members and keeps minutes of each meeting.
- The treasurer keeps financial records for the club and reports on the financial records at each meeting.
- The recreation leader leads the club in songs and games during the recreation portion of the meetings.
- The reporter writes newspaper articles on what the club is doing and writes a summary for the extension office newsletter.
- The historian collects pictures, newspaper clippings, and other mementos and puts together a scrapbook of club events.
To help you and your 4-H family ease into the first year of membership, we offer some 4-H tips. We hope these tips will help to make the year less confusing and more enjoyable!
- Participation is the key in 4-H. The more that your child does, the more he or she will get out of it and the more friends he or she will be able to make.
- 4-H is about learning by doing. Give your child the freedom to make mistakes and ask others for help.
- Your child will be called upon to give a project demonstration at a project or club meeting. You can help by being a practice audience and giving constructive criticism.
- No one person can do everything. Let your child learn to work as a team to get paperwork in, meet deadlines, and do projects.
- 4-H is a family affair; your child will get the most out of it if your entire family is involved. Parents should be involved and supportive of their child's activities, but not take over the projects. Remember, your child is responsible for his or her own projects.
- Take plenty of photos. Not only will these become nice mementos to remember 4-H, but your child will use them when completing project record books.