Being a 4-H club officer: Vice president

Learn the role of being a 4-H club vice president and how a leader can provide support and encouragement.

As Michigan 4-H clubs are electing officers to lead and guide their clubs, having adult volunteers prepared to help advise these youth officers is crucial for their success. Michigan State University Extension’s bulletin, “Helping You Help Officers and Committees,” can assist adults in working with officer teams. Let’s look at how leaders can assist the vice president of a 4-H club.

The vice president has one main goal and that is to be prepared to take over in the absence of the president. Often, additional responsibilities are assigned to the vice president in order to share responsibilities across the officer team. Being responsible for the club’s program and education often is a task assigned to the vice president. The vice president should ensure all members and leaders receive a club program, complete with meeting dates, education topics, programs, club leader names and numbers, important 4-H dates and name of all 4-H members.

Another responsibility of the vice president is to work with all standing and special committees. This doesn’t mean the vice president has to be active in all committees, but simply that they should be familiar with what the committees are working on.

Other responsibilities of the vice president could include:

  • Working with the club leader to make sure the club has a well-rounded program, including social activities, community service, demonstrations, project work, recreation and education.
  • Checking with those putting on an educational program as part of a club meeting to see if they are ready or need any help.
  • Working with the club at the beginning of the year to set club goals.
  • Assure that a program or presenter is properly introduced and thanked.
  • Assume the duties of the president in their absence. (See “Being a 4-H club officer: President” for their roles and responsibilities.)

There are several ways the club leader can support vice presidents in 4-H clubs. First and foremost, help them oversee committee work. They may need assistance in understanding what each committee is working on, or may need a hand to help organize the work of all the sub-committees.

Another way to support your vice president is to provide suggestions for guest speakers or educational activities to plan during a meeting. You can help them verify all member’s information for the club program and perhaps even help them make copies for everyone.

Finally, when a vice president needs to step in for an absent president, they may need help from the club leader to prepare for the meeting and review what needs to be done.

MSU Extension’s leadership and civic engagement work team is also available to assist groups in training officer teams to be successful as well as to develop adults in their skills around youth-adult partnerships. Contact the team at

To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth leadership, citizenship and service and global and cultural education programs read our 2016 Impact Report: “Developing Civically Engaged Leaders.” Additional impact reports, highlighting even more ways Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H have positively impacted individuals and communities in 2016 can be downloaded from the MSU Extension website.

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