The number and kinds of 4-H clubs in Clinton County ebb and flow with youth and adult interests. We have clubs that focus on a particular topic (maybe their favorite animal, plant, or skill). Other clubs take more of a generalist approach–exploring a variety of different topics each year. Some are made of youth of all about the same age (maybe all Cloverbuds or teens) while others have a variety of all age groups. Some even cross county lines, with members from across the North Country. New 4-H families can join an existing club or start their own group. Clubs work together to help plan county events for all 4-Hers, even helping with regional and state events if they are interested. 4-H Clubs are a great way for youth and adults to learn together.
4-H is the Youth Development program of Cooperative Extension. 4-H programs use the 4-H Essential Elements to create the context of Positive Youth Development and engaging learning opportunities. Young people in the 4-H community learn leadership, citizenship, and a vast array of life skills that benefit them for the rest of their lives. Through school-based, afterschool and camp settings and community clubs, 4-H members pledge themselves to build a better community, country, and world.
Studies show that 4-H members do better in school, are more motivated to help others, feel safe to try new things, achieve a sense of self-esteem, and develop lasting friendships. 4-H programs, developed in connection with Cornell University, are purposely designed and applied to ensure that all young people in 4-H have opportunities to experience the essential elements of 4‑H: supervised independence, a sense of belonging with a positive group, a spirit of generosity towards others, and a wide variety of opportunities to master life challenges.
The 4-H Essential Elements are research-based ways to meet youth needs in a positive way. You can remember them by remembering the 4 Hs. Heart is for Belonging. Youth need relationships with caring adults and a safe (both emotionally and physically) and inclusive environment. Hands is for Generosity. The ability to practice service to others connects youth to their world and provides opportunities for them to make meaningful positive change. Head is for Independence. Young people need to have opportunities to make choices for themselves and to see themselves as an active participant in their future. Health is for Mastery. Learning activities that are fun and engaging and provide opportunities to achieve mastery support positive youth development. All 4-H programs are infused with these Essential Elements.
4-H is rich with learning experiences where young people partner with caring adults and volunteers in a fellowship unlike any other program available to youth today. Young people in 4-H “learn by doing” with more than a thousand hands-on projects as varied as rocketry, GPS mapping, public speaking, nutrition, photography, and community service.
4-Hers may attend club meetings, be involved in public speaking, community service, or serve as club officers. They participate in county events like teen action groups or fair. Opportunities are also available on the regional, state, and national level.
Clubs meet in leaders’ or members’ homes, schools, churches, community centers, or other places convenient for participants. Clubs meet an average of once a month, as arranged by members and leaders. Some clubs meet as often as once a week.
Young people ages 5 to 19 are invited to join. 4‑H is open to everyone regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or place of residence.
4-H is something parents do with their children. Many parents are 4-H leaders. Some bring members to events and meetings, provide refreshment for activities, or help leaders in many other ways. Parents are encouraged to be as involved as they can be, from leading a club to helping their children with 4-H work at home to joining club activities.
A 4-H club is a group of at least 5 young people and at least one adult volunteer leader. Club sizes vary depending on the age of members and the activities involved. Clubs can be organized by anyone, including community members, homeschool or afterschool groups. Contact the office today to get started!
A 4-H leader is an adult who volunteers to work with a group of 4‑H members. Adults can volunteers in many different ways, involving sharing your talents for hours, days, weeks, or throughout the whole year. Contact Chelsea Baxter at firstname.lastname@example.org today to apply.
Last updated October 5, 2016