Information for Prospective 4-H Members
- What is 4-H?
- What do the four Hs in 4-H stand for?
- What is the 4-H pledge?
- What are the benefits of 4-H?
- How old do you have to be to join 4-H? How long does it last?
- What is a 4-H Project?
- What is a 4-H club?
- What do 4-H clubs do?
- How do I join?
- Does it cost anything?
- 4-H is a community of more than 6.5 million young people across America learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. The 4-H community also includes 3,500 staff, 538,000 volunteers and 60 million alumni.
- 4-H’ers participate in fun, hands-on learning activities supported by the latest research of land-grant universities that are focused on three areas: healthy living, citizenship, science. Youth can experience 4-H by becoming a member of a 4-H club, attending a 4-H camp, or joining school-based or after-school 4-H programs. 4-Hers can compete with their projects in contests at the local, state, regional or national levels and also attend conferences and events.
Head, Heart, Hands, and Health are the four Hs in 4-H, and they are the four values members work on through fun and engaging programs.
- Head – Managing, Thinking
- Heart – Relating, Caring
- Hands – Giving, Working
- Health – Being, Living
“I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
and my health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country, and my world.”
When repeating the pledge, a member raises the right hand to the side of the head while speaking line one, lowers the hand to heart while speaking line two; extends the hand, palms upward, while speaking line three, and stands straight while speaking lines four and five.
- Youth who participate in any organized out-of-school activities are less likely to engage in a variety of at-risk behaviors. 4-H Youth Development members were less likely than their non-4-H Youth Development classmates to use drugs, or smoke. 4-H Youth Development members also had a significantly more positive outlook on life and the world around them than did non-4-H Youth Development members.
Each of the eight Essential Elements is vital to the growth and development of youth. It is the combination of these elements that creates a positive environment for youth development. By leaders intentionally focusing on these elements, youth benefit from participating in hands‐on, experiential activities and events, feeling nurtured in a safe environment, mastering new skills and abilities, and knowing that they are contributing to their environment and communities in a positive way.
The Eight Essential Elements:
1. Positive Relationship with a Caring Adult
2. A Safe Emotional and Physical Environment
3. An Inclusive Environment
4. Engagement in Learning
5. Opportunity for Mastery
6. Opportunity to See Oneself as an Active Participant in the Future
7. Opportunity for Self‐Determination
8. Opportunity to Value and Practice Service to Others
- “Cloverbuds” is for youth ages 5 to 7 as of December 31 of the current 4-H year
- 4-H members are 8 to 18 as of December 31 of the current 4-H year.
- College youth can also participate in Collegiate 4-H to help support 4-H youth.
To begin your 4-H adventure, start looking at the many project areas that 4-H has to offer. You may choose one or more projects from more than 45 different areas. There is a 4-H project for everyone! Projects are fun to do alone and with your friends.
- An interest you’d like to explore
- A hobby you’d like to learn more about
- A topic of interest shared by you and your family
- Something that is fun for you
Remember to select projects that you can get help from your:
- 4-H Leaders
- other 4-H members
Work with your parents/guardian and leader to select your 4-H projects. Let’s say you want to learn how to take a photograph, feed a dog, build a birdhouse, or plant a garden. When you learn those skills, you also learn life skills such as:
- how to make decisions
- how to get organized
- how to keep records
- how to work with others
The other part of the 4-H experience is club meetings, where you learn:
- how to be a group member
- how to speak in front of a group
- how to work together on projects
4-H is full of fun times to work and play with others, including community service projects, club trips and activities, and camps.
All these skills can help you as you go through school and beyond. For many 4-H’ers, an interest they have in certain 4-H project areas will lead to future careers.
Start by finding 4-H project areas that are of interest to you. Then contact your 4-H Club leader to become enrolled in the project areas. Then start using your creativity to explore new ideas and create new projects.
- 4-H work is implemented mostly in project clubs. A project club is a group of youth working with an adult volunteer leader on a single project, such as foods, horses, or gardening. Some clubs are organized to include more than one project, such as a 4-H livestock club that includes members with projects in beef, sheep, and swine.
- There are also 4-H community clubs. Members are enrolled in a wide variety of projects. Community club leaders provide overall leadership, but other volunteers work with members and their projects.
- Most clubs range from 5 to 25 members. Each club may meet regularly throughout the year or only part of the year, depending on the project and the interests of both leaders and members.
- To see which clubs are offered in Jefferson County, go to our Current 4-H Members page and look under “4-H Clubs and Councils.”
4-H is a youth run organization so it’s entirely up to 4-H members what their 4-H club does! 4-H clubs usually focus on one or more topics of the members’ choice. They conduct project-related activities, for example, a gardening club may have a year-round garden or a technology club may work on web design at meetings. 4-H clubs also do lots of community service both in their project area and where they are needed. 4-H clubs have youth 4-H leaders that learn leadership skills and lead the 4-H clubs. Clubs also give youth the opportunity to learn public speaking skills.
- New members $45
- Additional fees depend upon the projects taken by the youth.
- Scholarships are available. For more information, see County Council Funding on the Current 4-H Member page.
- After January 15, 2022 your fees may appear to be $90 when registering on 4HOnline – this will be adjusted to $45 for new members.
Check out the rest of our web site for more information or call 303-271-6620.