Capture your clover – 4-H record keeping Part 4: Levels of engagement

The 4-H Member’s Personal Portfolio offers three levels of engagement to record your experiences.

The newly revised Michigan 4-H Member’s Personal Portfolio offers 4-H members three options for recording their experiences. As a 4-H parent or volunteer, you may notice that each 4-H member has a different attitude about record keeping. While record keeping will be a valuable life skill for members to develop, recognize that some youth enjoy this activity more than others. Forcing a 4-H member to keep records will likely not improve their feelings about the experience. For this reason, the Personal Portfolio offers three different formats of record keeping templates.

Minimum level

The “Snapshot of My 4-H Year” page offers the minimum level of record keeping. This set of pages should be completed annually by all 4-H members. This option includes four pages total with most of the document completed by checking the applicable boxes in a list. Encouraging members to complete this section of the portfolio will ensure they at least have a list of the projects and activities in which they have participated.

Medium level

The medium engagement level includes a series of Snapshot pages focused on various aspects of their 4-H experience. The Snapshot pages included are:

  • Snapshot of My 4-H Goals
  • Snapshot of My 4-H Education
  • Snapshot of My 4-H Achievements
  • Snapshot of My 4-H Community Service
  • Snapshot of My 4-H Network
  • Snapshot of My 4-H Participation

Members may complete as many or few of these pages as they wish. The Snapshot pages offer a place to list each 4-H experience by theme with minimal details. The purpose of these pages is to capture the who, what, where and when of participation.

Higher level

The full engagement level provides pages for 4-H members to capture their experiences in detail. These pages each include:

  • A goal setting section to complete prior to participating in the project or activity.
  • Space to record details of the actual participation.
  • Questions to help the member reflect on their experience.

The reflection section of each page uses the Experiential Learning Model to guide the member’s reflection process.

Members may choose to utilize any combination of the template pages. Michigan State University Extension recommends that for beginning record keeping, members should complete the “Snapshot of My 4-H Year” page and begin a copy of each of the additional Snapshot pages. As the member progresses through the year, they will update each of their pages as new experiences occur. The member would complete a few full engagement pages as significant projects or activities occur. As members become more accustomed to record keeping, encourage them to complete additional full engagement level pages.

A copy of the complete portfolio can be found at: 4-H Member’s Personal Portfolio. Look for additional MSU Extension articles highlighting the Michigan 4-H Member’s Personal Portfolio.

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