Marion County 4-H Youth Development

4-H provides a safe and caring environment for young people to practice important life skills, make friends, and share their learning. Every 4-H’er’s journey is unique and catered to their specific interests.

Marion County boasts a diverse 4-H program that meets the interests of the young people in Indianapolis and surrounding towns. We have about 20 4-H clubs that are spearheaded by our passionate 4-H adult volunteers and offer over 60 projects for area youth. In addition to club and project activities, Marion County offers local, state, and national 4-H program opportunities.

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Please reach out to the Marion County 4-H office if you have questions about how 4-H works, need help finding a club or project, are interested in volunteering, or anything else:

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Enroll Now in 4-H!

The 4-H program year starts on October 1st. 4-H members and adult volunteers must enroll each year to participate in the program.

Enroll in 4-H Online

About Marion County 4-H

4-H Basics

Timeline: 4-H is year-round. Enrollment begins in October. From October through June, youth work on projects and learn valuable skills both with local community clubs and independently. In July, members can exhibit projects at the Marion County 4-H Showcase. Exhibiting at Showcase is optional unless youth are interested in competing at the Indiana State Fair.

Activities: Members attend monthly club meetings, complete community service, work on projects, and participate in social and/or educational events hosted by clubs or the Marion County Extension office.

Benefits: 4-H is FUN! Members make new friends, experience new things, participate in leadership roles, and learn hands-on skills through projects like cake decorating, shooting sports, dog agility, and much more!

Cost: Enrollment fees are $15 per year for members. Families enrolling three or more youth (grades 3 -12) receive a discount. There are no enrollment fees for 4-H’ers grades K-2. 

Getting Started: First, enroll in Indiana 4-H. Then find a club near you to join. Contact club leaders for more information about available projects and the ages of members. Ask to try out a meeting as a guest. For more assistance, contact us to guide you through the process.

Marion County 4-H Family Guidebook

The 4-H program year runs from October 1 to September 30 every year. You may join in 4-H at any time during the program year by enrolling in the program through 4-H Online. All members, Cloverbuds, and volunteers must re-enroll in 4-H Online each year, starting on October 1.

4-H Enrollment Instructions

A 4-H Club is a group of young people that meet regularly, usually once a month, to learn together and build friendships. Clubs are organized by adult volunteer club leaders and include family involvement throughout the year. Clubs provide a safe space for young people to learn, grow, and thrive through hands-on activities and projects, community service events, leadership opportunities, and more!

Find a 4-H Club in Marion County

4-H'ers learn more about a subject matter they choose to study through completing hands-on activities, called projects. The Marion County 4-H program offers more than 60 projects for area youth. Each project has a beginner, intermediate, and advanced level, allowing youth to build on their knowledge each year and continue to challenge their skills.

Marion County 4-H Project List

Do you want a rewarding and fulfilling way to give back to your community? Marion County 4-H is looking for consistent and dedicated individuals to serve as 4-H club leaders and helpers, and in other roles within the program. We rely heavily on caring adults to deliver positive youth development experiences to our youth. Whether you are a 4-H newbie or long-time member, we need your time and talents to make a difference in the lives of young people in Marion County!

Volunteer with 4-H

Cloverbuds (or Mini 4-H) are 4-H programs for youth in grades K-2. Cloverbuds is geared towards activity-based learning and age-appropriate curriculum. Most Marion County 4-H clubs offer Cloverbud programming.

Cloverbud Information & Projects

The 4-H program year runs from October 1 to September 30 every year. From October to June, clubs meet and county-wide events are held, such as project workshops, our annual Holiday Bake-off, and Poetry Out Loud. The Marion County 4-H Showcase, our annual celebration of the work 4-H members have completed throughout the year, is held in July.

To learn about upcoming county-wide events and programs, sign up for our newsletter and announcements or follow us on social media!

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Our 4-H INDY (Igniting New Discovery in Youth) makerspace, located in Discovery Hall on the Indiana State Fairgrounds, provides low- and no-cost STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Mathematics) educational experiences for youth that are designed to meet the unique needs of our diverse community and urban landscape.

Learn more about 4-H INDY

There’s no place like summer camp! Marion County 4-H'ers in grades 3-6 gather with other neighboring counties for a 3-day camp experience at Shakamak State Park near Jasonville, IN each summer. 4-H camp packs loads of fun into a short time - swimming, boating, hiking, making crafts, doing leadership activities, learning about 4-H, and the list goes on and on!

4-H Camp Information & Registration

Indiana 4-H'ers have the ability to receive funding to pursue post-secondary education or career goals by applying for one (or more!) scholarships. Each year, the Indiana 4-H Youth Development Program in partnership with the Indiana 4-H Foundation awards more than $125,000 in scholarships to young people around the state who can showcase their accomplishments and the skills they have learned through their time in 4-H.

View Scholarship Applications, Resources, and Instructions

State and national 4-H experiences provide the opportunity for 4-H teens to expand their horizons beyond their home community. During these programs led by 4-H volunteers and Purdue University staff and faculty, participants dive deep into various subjects, develop leadership skills, make friends from around the state and country, and more.

State & National 4-H Trip Opportunities

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Meet your Marion County 4-H Educators

Ashley Shufflebarger

Ashley Shufflebarger

4-H Educator
Ashley is a longtime Marion County resident who loves hands-on learning, reading, nature, and poetry. Her focus in Marion County 4-H is volunteer recruitment, communications, agriculture, and civic engagement.
Rachael Smith

Rachael Smith

4-H Educator
Rachael is a scientist-turned-youth worker in Marion County. She loves crafting, musicals, and going on adventures with her family. Her focus in Marion County 4-H is healthy living, summer camp, and college and career readiness.
Kody Orr

Kody Orr

Associate 4-H Educator
Kody’s focus in Marion County is on integrated STEM education and STEM initiatives. Kody splits his time between site visits with community partners to offer localized STEM programming and offering workshops and other programs at the 4-H Design and Innovation Studio at 16 Tech.

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