What is a 4-H Club?
A 4-H Club is an organized group of at least 5 youth from three different families who meets regularly with adult volunteers or staff for a long-term, progressive series of educational experiences.
The purpose of a 4-H club is to provide positive youth development opportunities to meet the needs of young people to experience belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity- the Essential Elements- and to foster educational opportunities tied to the Land Grant University knowledge base. Research has shown that there are eight critical elements of positive youth development settings that need to be in place to ensure positive outcomes for youth. These include:
- A positive relationship with a caring adult
- Safety- physical and emotional
- An inclusive environment
- Opportunities for mastery and skill building
- Opportunities for engagement in learning
- Opportunities for self-determination
- A sense of hope and belief in the future
- Opportunities to value and practice service to others
Structure of a 4-H Club
- Enrolls at least 5 youth members from at least 3 families.
- Conducts a minimum of 6 regular club meetings per year.
- Selects youth officers or youth leaders to provide leadership to the club.
- Meets in any location-a home, community center, military installation, library, public housing site, school, after school program, and/or many other places.
- Is advised by adult staff or volunteers who been screened, certified and trained.
Educational and Youth Development Principles of a 4-H Club:
- Uses experiential learning- learning by doing- as a primary teaching approach.
- Must provide the Eight Critical Elements of positive 4-H youth Development
- Includes planned opportunities to learn and apply life skills such as leadership, citizenship, community service and public speaking.
- Provides individual project experiences to develop in-depth knowledge about science, engineering and technology; citizenship; and healthy living and other topics.
- Provides programs, curricula, and procedures that are based in research and are developmentally appropriate.
- Provides members and volunteers access to resources of land-grant universities and to county, state and national 4-H opportunities.
- Fosters youth-adult partnerships that encourage active involvement and participation by youth and adults.
- Offers projects in a wide range of subject matter areas relevant to the Land Grant University knowledge base to meet youth needs and interests.
Below are forms and information you need in order to have smooth and efficient meetings.
4-H Club Officer Manuals and Guides
Health & Safety
- Health and Safety Coordinator's Guide
- Suggestions for Heath & Safety Reports
- 4-H Club Safety Plan for Club Meetings
- COVID-19 Safety Plan Template
Understanding Parliamentary Procedure
- The ABCs of Parliamentary Procedure PowerPoint
- The ABCs of Parliamentary Procedure Guide
- Do You Know Parliamentary Procedure?
- Parliamentary Games
It is important for clubs to keep accurate financial records. Below is a list of Purdue resources clubs should utilize:
- 4-H Club/Unit Financial Checklist
- Annual 4-H Club/Unit Financial Report - Form to complete and return to the 4-H Educator summarizing the 4-H Club’s financial activity for the year.
- 4-H Club/Unit Financial Review/Audit Form - Form to complete and submit during the year that the 4-H Club/Unit has been selected to submit to a more extensive financial review/audit.
Risk Management Forms
It is good practice to have copies of these forms in a binder on-hand at 4-H activities.
- 4-H Member Special Trip/Field Trip Permission Forms
- Non 4-H Member Field Trip & Activities Permission Form
- Purdue Accident Incident Report
- Youth Health Form
- Youth 4-H Camp Health Form
- Adult Health Form
- Mini 4-H Liability Release Form
4-H Clipart and Graphics for Flyers/Publications
Volunteers are an integral part of the 4-H program, but parents are even more important. Parents serve as coaches and support for 4-H members. They can learn just as much as their 4-H member by getting involved in club activities and events as well as being a strong motivator at home.