What is a 4-H Club?
Clubs play a key role in the delivery of 4-H programming. The goals and structure of 4-H clubs vary according to the needs of the members they serve. Project Clubs focus on one project at a time that the entire membership experiences together at the club meeting. Community Clubs offer a selection of projects with information being delivered through project meetings held outside the club. Some clubs have a singular focus such as community service clubs or they target a specific audience such as tribal reservation clubs, after school clubs, or home school clubs. There are certain components and characteristics that are common to all 4-H clubs and these commonalities provide the backbone for clubs. Below, the minimum requirements of all 4-H clubs are listed, County 4-H staff may include additional requirements for 4-H clubs in their county.
Characteristics of 4-H Clubs
- Composed of at least six 4-H members
- Has elected officers
- Meet regularly throughout the year
- Has two non-related adults volunteering to guide the club
- Has junior and teen leaders
- Has a club community service project
- Involves parents/guardians, and other supportive adults
Types of 4-H Clubs
The traditional 4-H club usually holds meetings monthly throughout the year. Members can be a part of a project group or club that meets at other times to explore the sepcific project interests of the group. Community clubs are formed within geographic areas, schools, or housing communities.
Community Clubs - A 4-H Community Club is a way for youth to get involved with peers and learn new skills. This type of club involves members of a variety of ages and interests.
Project Clubs - Typically meet in the evenings or on the weekend. This type of club offers one project area (find the list here!) to work within through multiple learning experiences and activities. The 4-H project club is an ideal way to expand memberships and to create interest in new project areas.
4-H Afterschool Clubs provide experiences for young people that address healthy development is the goal of 4-H. They are designed to combine the resources of 4-H and the Cooperative Extension Service with community/school-based organizations that provide out-of-school time programs. The 4-H Afterschool club operates within the structure of the community/school-based organization.
Characteristics of the 4-H Afterschool Clubs are:
- Composed of at least six 4-H members
- Clubs meet regularly
- Members participate in community service and project activities
- Club meetings include conducting business by officers, educational programs, and group building or recreational activity; may vary by site
- 4-H Afterschool clubs are organized groups of youth led by adult volunteers or staff
In-school Clubs meet during school hours, but have officers and planned activities beyond school enrichment. These clubs operate much the same as community clubs, but a teacher may serve in the role of club leader. In-school clubs provide the opportunity to reach more of the county's potential audience (youth ages 5 - 19) to build a relationship with the county school(s) system. These clubs also demonstrate how 4-H can add to current academic learning!
A school enrichment project is a cooperative effort between a school and the Cooperative Extension Service. This may be a public, private, or home school. Members participate in an educational program planned and coordinated by Extension staff in cooperation with school officials to supplement and compliment the school curriculum. The school enrichment project is taught by a teacher or volunteer and consists of at least six learning experience. School enrichment can build a relationship between the school system and Extension that could lead to an In-school 4-H Club.
These students should understand that hey have participated in a 4-H program.
Typically directed by Extension professionals, Special Interest (SPIN) club/groups focus on subject matter trainings through a series of meetings. These clubs operate similar to project clubs, only on a shorter time frame.
Resources for 4-H Clubs
4-H Clubs should meet regularly, have a community service project, and elect officers to serve! The following resources will help clubs in being successful!
The Arkansas 4-H Club Secretary Guide is a guide to aid the secretary of the club in calling roll and recording the business section of a club meeting.
The 4-H club treasurer is responsible for taking care of the group's money. This responsibility requires honesty and cooperation. The 4-H Treasurer's Book helps keep track of income and spending.
Making an effort to have a successful meeting is intentional. Try these tips to have smooth flowing 4-H club meetings and events.