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Return to the Basics: 4-H 101

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Return to the Basics: 4-H 101

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  1. Return to the Basics: 4-H 101 “Starting and Maintaining 4-H Clubs” CES Staff Development Series Tuesday, November 15, 2005, 9:30-11:30 a.m. IP Video Presentation by Steve McKinley; 765-494-8435

  2. 4-H 101 Series • Effectively Utilizing Volunteers (10/4) • Starting and Maintaining 4-H Clubs (11/15) • Expanding 4-H Opportunities (12/13) • Characteristics of Positive Youth Development & Life Skill Development (1/10) • 4-H Purpose, History, and Structure (2/14) • Conflict Management Techniques (3/14)

  3. Program information… • Disconnected? Contact the AgIT Help Desk at 765-494-8333 • Provide feedback to: Steve at 765-494-8435, or

  4. Starting and Maintaining 4-H Clubs

  5. Objectives: Starting and Maintaining 4-H Clubs • Define characteristics of a 4-H Club. • Identify benefits of 4-H Club participation. • Explain steps to take when starting a 4-H Club. • Describe methods to select 4-H Club Officers and the roles of each office. • Discuss the basic components of a 4-H Club Meeting.

  6. Objectives: Starting and Maintaining 4-H Clubs • Name 9 steps involved with planning a 4-H Club Year. • Describe roles and responsibilities of participants in 4-H Clubs. • Create a marketing plan for a 4-H Club. • Recognize viable options for 4-H Club programs, community service, and fund raising activities.

  7. Objective #1 Define characteristics of a 4-H Club.

  8. Characteristics of a 4-H Club • A primary means of delivering 4-H programming • Organized group of youth • Planned program of activities • Advised by adults • Led by youth officers • Provides opportunities to learn skills • Participates in service projects • Allows youth to gain public speaking skills

  9. Criteria for 4-H Youth Development Programming • USDA/CSREES policies state that 4-H Programming (including 4-H Clubs) should… • Be research-based • Be developmentally-appropriate • Be based on needs of youth and parents • Provide access to Land Grant University resources • Offer membership to all youth

  10. Criteria for 4-H Youth Development Programming • USDA/CSREES policies state that 4-H Programming (including 4-H Clubs) should… • Use experiential learning strategies • Encourage active participation • Rely heavily on adult volunteers • Provide training for adult volunteers • Comply with federal 4-H Name and Emblem policies and policies of State 4-H organization

  11. 4-H Club Basics • 4-H Motto: “To Make the Best Better” • 4-H Symbol: four-leaf clover with an “H” in each leaflet • 4-H Colors: green (nature’s most common color; growth) and white (purity and bright ideals)

  12. 4-H Club Basics cont’d. • 4-H Pledge “I pledge – My HEAD to clearer thinking, My HEART to greater loyalty, My HANDS to larger service, and My HEALTH to better living for my club, my community, my country, and my world.”

  13. Objective #2 Identify benefits of 4-H Club participation.

  14. What are the benefits of 4-H Club participation? • Long-term involvement in a stable setting • Interaction with caring adults • Provides in-depth experiences • Chance to meet life-long friends • Opportunities to develop and practice leadership skills

  15. What are the benefits of 4-H Club participation? • Gain self confidence • Learn by doing • Give back to the community • Build positive connections with others

  16. Objective #3 Explain steps to take when starting a 4-H Club.

  17. Why Start a New 4-H Club? • Members, Parents, Volunteers, and Educators should work together to conduct a needs assessment that will determine if there is a need for a new 4-H Club. • Consider: • Are existing clubs getting too large? • Do additional members need leadership opportunities? • Are there subject areas of interest to a group of members that need to be taught in more detail? • Is there a group of members who are unable to attend meetings of a current club due to scheduling conflicts?

  18. Why Start a New 4-H Club? • Consider: • Will members be expected to attend meetings of this new club in addition to other club meetings? • Could the needs identified be effectively handled through a series of workshops? • Is there sufficient volunteer and parental interest to support a new club? • Is the interest in a new club due to members/parents/volunteers who are dissatisfied with a current club?

  19. Enrolling as an Official 4-H Club • At least 5 youth (in grades K-12) wish to join the club (from 2 or more families) • At least one adult is screened and trained as an official 4-H Volunteer • A meeting place is secured • An official club name is chosen • The purpose and type of the 4-H Club is defined

  20. Enrolling as an Official 4-H Club • Club rules are established (may be in the form of by-laws) • Youth officers are selected to organize the club’s activities with the advice of the Adult Volunteer • A program of activities is set and communicated with the local CES Office • A 4-H Charter is obtained from the State 4-H Office

  21. USDA 4-H Charter • Authorizes use of the official 4-H Name and Emblem. • Includes the unit under the federal Tax-Exemption Group Ruling for 4-H. • Charters should be obtained for each 4-H unit – club, committee, etc. – submit list of units to State 4-H Office. • For more information on charters, visit:

  22. 4-H Charter

  23. Enrolling 4-H Members • 4-H members enroll in 4-H Clubs annually • Counties have enrollment policies that govern their local program, determined by the local 4-H governing board with advice from the 4-H Youth Extension Educator • Enrollment policies should be inclusive to all who are interested in joining • Typically, a member will complete a 4-H Membership Card provided by the County CES Office, turn it in to the 4-H Club Adult Volunteer Leader, who will submit it to the County CES Office

  24. Enrolling 4-H Members • Enrollment forms may include the following: • General demographic information • Options of projects/activities for members to select • Parent/legal guardian behavioral statement (see p. 4, General Terms & Conditions, Indiana 4-H Youth Program Policies & Procedures) • Member behavioral statement • Photo policy statement • Activities release form - required for Horse & Pony, Shooting Sports, and ATV (see p. 2, Risk Management, and p. 2, Risk Management Forms - Policies & Procedures)

  25. Enrolling Volunteers • All adults who wish to volunteer with the 4-H Program must complete the 4-H Adult Volunteer Application and Screening process (discussed in previous 4-H 101 program) • See Volunteer Management and Volunteer Management Forms sections in Indiana 4-H Youth Program Policies and Procedures notebook for additional information.

  26. Securing a Meeting Place • Select location that is easily accessible, safe, and that provides a good learning environment (space, A/V needs, lighting, etc.) • Consider requirements associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) • Convenient for parents and members • Should not be in a private home • Common options include: community buildings, schools, churches, libraries, fairgrounds, etc.

  27. Choosing a 4-H Club Name • Allow 4-H Club members to choose the name of their 4-H Club with the advice of the Adult Volunteer. • Be creative • Hold contest among members • Be representative • What is the 4-H Club’s major activities? • Be inclusive • Avoid references to gender, race, and religion

  28. Selecting a Type of 4-H Club • Allow members and parents to help select the type and structure of the new 4-H Club. • How can this club meet the needs of those who will be participating? • How can this club fill a gap in the services currently offered by other 4-H Clubs in the County? Try to avoid unnecessary duplication. How will this club be unique? • Most important consideration: choose the type of club that will best contribute to the positive development of the youth who will be involved.

  29. Selecting a Type of 4-H Club • Options include: • Neighborhood – formed by youth and families within the same neighborhood • Community/Township – youth/families who live in a community or township • Project/Activity – include youth interested in learning about the same educational project or participating in the same activities • Mini/Exploring – youth in grades K-2 who are interested in learning about and participating in various non-competitive activities • After School – youth who attend club meetings at the end of the school day, typically at their school

  30. Establishing 4-H Club Rules • 4-H Club rules help define the expectations and responsibilities of all who are participating • Rules create structure and framework for the operation of the club • Provide members with the opportunities to set and approve rules. • Can be done with an initial brainstorming session. Ask the members… • What rules do you think we should have in this club? • What do you expect of the other members in this club? • What do you expect of the leaders in this club?

  31. Establishing 4-H Club Rules • Adult Volunteers can offer advice and suggestions during this process to keep the focus on positive youth development and to ensure that county, state, and federal 4-H policies are maintained. • Keep these notes in mind… • Rules should not be exclusive or overly restrictive. • Rules should not limit positive youth development. • Avoid attendance/participation requirements related to completion and/or exhibition of 4-H projects.

  32. 4-H Club By-Laws • Not a requirement for 4-H Clubs, but may be helpful in certain situations • A formal written agreement of the 4-H Club’s rules and guidelines • Approved by all of the club’s members • Can lessen the chances that conflicts will arise and will assist in handling disagreements that occur during the year • Kept on file in the local CES office • Are reviewed and approved by the 4-H Youth Educator to ensure that guidelines included are reasonable and inclusive (especially with regards to membership and attendance requirements)

  33. By-Laws Components • Name of 4-H Club • Purpose of 4-H Club • Policies regarding number of meetings held and process to make decisions • Membership • Officers, Elections, and Duties • Committees • Club Reports and Forms • Procedure to make amendments in by-laws

  34. Objective #4 Describe methods to select 4-H Club Officers and the roles of each office.

  35. Selecting 4-H Club Officers • Officers are the members responsible for the operation of the 4-H Club. • Officers should be given the freedom and responsibility by their Adult Advisors to develop their leadership skills and to learn from their mistakes. • Typically officers are selected by their peers. • Officers may be selected at the beginning or end of a 4-H year.

  36. Selecting 4-H Club Officers • Methods to identify officer candidates include: • Member applications – those interested in an office complete an application detailing their interest and qualifications • Open nominations – during the election meeting, members may nominate themselves or their peers to serve as an officer • Slate of officers – typically prepared by the current officer group or nominating committee, the slate includes one nominee for each office. Nominees should be contacted in advance of the presentation of the slate.

  37. Selecting 4-H Club Officers • Officers are typically selected by a vote of their peers. • Officer candidates may be given the opportunity to present their qualifications in front of the club (good for developing public speaking skills). • Club members may vote on paper ballot (more secretive) or by show of hands (possibly with eyes covered).

  38. 4-H Club Officer Duties • 4-H Club Officers may include: • President – presides over business portion of meeting • Vice-President – presides in absence of President; chairs all committees • Secretary – records all club business; maintains membership records • Treasurer – keeps all financial records • Historian – keeps records of club activities; photographs activities; compiles scrapbook

  39. 4-H Club Officer Duties • Health & Safety Reporter – presents information to club related to their health and safety • Publicity/News Reporter – writes articles related to club activities for the local print and/or broadcast media • Recreation Leader – plans and leads recreation activities for each meeting • Song Leader – plans and leads songs for each meeting

  40. Training 4-H Club Officers • Many 4-H members will have little or no experience as a 4-H Club Officer. Thus, it is important to offer resources to train the members in their officer duties. • Options include… • County 4-H Club Officer Training Workshop • Led by Jr. Leaders, Adult Leaders, Collegiate 4-H Club members, etc. • 4-H Club Officer Guides – web-based resources available for each office (4-H 448-455) • Ideally the training will be conducted early in the club year so that the officers will have the knowledge they need to be effective in their roles

  41. Objective #5 Discuss the basic components of a 4-H Club Meeting.

  42. Planning the 4-H Club Meeting • Typical Club Meeting Formula • Business – 15-20 minutes • Education Program – 30-45 minutes • Recreation – 15-30 minutes • Total Meeting time: 60-90 minutes • Suggestion: plan a pre-meeting activity to give something for the early-arrivers to do before the meeting officially starts.

  43. Business Portion of Meeting • Time to discuss future plans, receive updates on activities, discuss financial situation • Should not become overriding focus of meeting • Allow members to learn to practice democracy and to speak in front of a group • Follow basic parliamentary procedure to reach decisions

  44. Sample Business Meeting Agenda • Call to Order • Pledges: American and 4-H • Roll Call (answer in a way decided by the group or Secretary) • Introduction of guests • Minutes of previous meeting • Treasurer’s Report • Committee Reports • Leader’s Report • Old Business (agenda items discussed at previous meetings) • New Business • Adjournment

  45. Educational Portion of Meeting • Can include a variety of activities to help members learn • Options… • Community service • Field trips or tours • Career exploration • 4-H Project Work • Demonstrations • Guest Speakers • Other…

  46. Recreation Portion of Meeting • Recreation adds enthusiasm and enjoyment to the meetings. • Member-led activities are best. Recreation officers can be selected, or different members can volunteer to lead activities at meetings throughout the year. • Include a variety of activities over the course of the year so that everyone will have something that interests them.

  47. Recreation Portion of Meeting • Options… • Opening meeting activity (ice-breaker, mixer) • Games • Charades • Relays/Sports • Group activities • Puzzle Challenges • Picnics • Hikes • Songs/Music • Refreshments

  48. Conducting the 4-H Club Meeting • 4-H Club Officers and members should be given the responsibility of conducting the 4-H Club Meeting • Adult Volunteers should serve only in an advisory role • Parents should help the 4-H members prepare for their part of the meeting prior to the meeting

  49. Evaluating the 4-H Club Meeting • Following the 4-H Club meeting, the officers and Adult Club Leader can meet to review the meeting. • Allow the members to discuss what went well and what could be improved for future meetings. • A checklist of meeting components can assist with this review. It may be used periodically to help track the progress of the meetings.

  50. Using Parliamentary Procedure • Parliamentary Procedure provides… • Orderly way to conduct a meeting • Fair way to make group decisions • Method that respects everyone • Means for everyone to have a chance to speak • Way to learn common method to conduct business • Decide early on how formal the 4-H Club wants to follow parliamentary procedures – this may depend upon the age and experiences of the club members