Policies and procedures

Section 4: Indiana 4-H Behavioral Criteria for All Youth Participants

NOTE to 4-H Educators:

The Indiana 4-H Behavioral Criteria for all Youth Participants is a combination of two previous forms:

  • “Behavioral Criteria for 4-H Events and Activities”
  • “Youth Behavioral Expectations” (YBE 4-H 785)

This new combined form will be included with the youth’s registration for 4-H via 4-H Online, or in a paper 4-H enrollment form. All youth (and their parents/guardians) will agree to these criteria as a condition of 4-H participation.

This form is one that you may choose to review with those youth who have been appointed/selected to serve in leadership positions (e.g., 4-H Camp Counselors, Mini 4-H Day Camp leaders, 4-H Junior Leaders, etc.). A review of the criteria included in this form can help the youth to remember the important role they have as mentors and role models for all who participate in the 4-H program.

The criteria form is included as a separate file in this section. The form will be available in English and Spanish versions.


Indiana 4-H Behavioral Criteria for all Youth Participants
Indiana 4-H has a set of behavioral criteria that we expect our participants to follow as outlined below. Youth and their parents/guardians review and agree to these expectations at the time of 4-H enrollment in 4-H Online.
When attending, participating in, or acting on behalf of the 4-H program, all persons are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with accepted standards of social behavior, to respect rights of others, and to refrain from any conduct which may be injurious to the 4-H program to persons and the 4-H program.
As a participant in the Indiana 4-H Youth Development Program, I will:
  • Respect, follow, and enforce the rules, policies, and guidelines established by the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, including all laws related to child abuse and substance abuse.
  • Conduct myself in a courteous, respectful manner, exhibit good sportsmanship, and demonstrate reasonable conflict management skills.I will avoid any action that would obstruct or disrupt any 4-H activity, or that threatens or interferes with maintenance of appropriate order and discipline,and will also discourage others from any of those actions.
  • Be truthful and forthright when representing the 4-H Youth Development Program. At no time, will I cheat or knowingly furnish false information.
  • Present accurate, unaltered 4-H records.
  • Follow the specific terms and conditions of a given project, contest, or activity. I will also encourage others to follow these terms and conditions.
  • Under no circumstances possess,distribute,consume, or be under the influence of alcohol, tobacco or tobacco-like products, electronic smoking devices (including, but not limited to, e-cigs, vapes, juuls), illegal drugs, or other dangerous substances at 4-H Youth Development Program events or activities.
  • Under no circumstances distribute, misuse, or abuse over-the-counter, homeopathic (including supplements and vitamins), or prescription medications.
  • Under no circumstances possess or use weapons, fire crackers, chemicals, or other materials that can be used to create an explosive mixture. Note: firearms and archery equipment utilized under the direct supervision of an approved and certified 4-H Shooting Sports Instructor at an approved 4-H Shooting Sports activity are acceptable.
  • Recognize that verbal,physical, or emotional abuse, or any conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person will not be tolerated.Avoid any reckless or inappropriate behavior.
  • Respect physical property of others. Theft of, or malicious damage to, property is not tolerated, nor is any unauthorized entry, use,or occupancy of any facility.
  • Understand that failure to comply with equal opportunity and anti-discrimination laws, or committing criminal acts are not acceptable practices in 4-H Youth Development Programs.
  • Embrace diversity among all youth and adult participants, helping each person to feel welcome and included in the 4-H Youth Development Program.
  • Accept my responsibility to represent 4-H Youth Development Programs with dignity and pride by being a positive role model for others.
  • Avoid inappropriate interactions with,and inappropriate displays of affection toward,other persons.I will not have unapproved guests in sleeping quarters at overnight 4-H events, nor will I engage in sexual behavior.
  • Wear clothing that is appropriate for the event or activity.
  • Avoid using any lewd, indecent, or obscene conduct or language.
  • Accept supervision and support from Extension staff or designated volunteers.
  • Be mindful of and follow Purdue, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other state and local health authority safety guidelines and procedures related to any epidemic or pandemic illness.
  • Participate in appropriate orientation and training, including youth protection standards, sponsored by the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service.
  • Operate machinery, vehicles, and other equipment in a safe and responsible manner.
  • Not misuse fire equipment or sound a false fire alarm.
  • Treat animals in a humane manner and teach program participants appropriate animal care and management.
  • Use technology in an appropriate manner that reflects the best practices in youth development. During virtual 4-H activities, I will follow acceptable University practices being mindful of the virtual learning environment.
  • Accept my responsibility to promote and support the 4-H Youth Development Program in order to develop an effective county, state, and national program.
I have been given the opportunity to review these expectations and the opportunity to ask questions, and those questions have been answered to my satisfaction. By signing below, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to abide by the behavioral expectations in this document. I understand that my failure to comply with these expectations may result in disciplinary action or termination of my participation in the Indiana 4-H Youth Development Program.
_______________________________                                              _______________________________
Print 4-H Member Name                                                                     Date
_______________________________                                              _______________________________
4-H Member Signature (required if 18 years of age or over)              Date
_______________________________                                             ________________________________
Parent/Legal Guardian Signature                                                       Date
_______________________________                                             ________________________________
Parent/Legal Guardian Signature                                                       Date