Completing 4-H record books are important

The importance of 4-H record books and helpful hints to make the task more manageable.

As 4-H staff, we encourage youth to be thinking about and practicing record keeping throughout the year. Yet there are many youth that overlook the hints and wait until the very last minute to complete their 4-H record book. How accurate and useful are these record books?

It will be more fun and less frustrating if you spend some time each month on your record book. Michigan State University Extension has the following tips to help you.

  • Keep everything in one place. Stay organized by using a large folder or envelope, box or desk drawer as a place to store your 4-H record book and helpful related information such as newsletters, letters and pictures.
  • Keep a diary or journal of your 4-H activities. Some people like to write these on a calendar.
  • When the record book is finished, have your parent and volunteer 4-H leader look at it and provide feedback. Reflect on the past year by talking about what went well and what did not, what you would do differently and what you’re thinking about for the coming year. This reflective process is a very useful skill to develop for future use.
  • Parents and leaders should be sure to comment on your 4-H accomplishments.

Records are a part of life. You’ll have records related to money, insurance, taxes and property. Pictures are fun records of what you’ve done, but can also document your experience and skills. You’ll enjoy your pictures much more if they are organized in a way that you can find them easily. 4-H record books allow 4-H members to document their skill development and their learning experiences in a written report. 4-H members measure their achievements and growth cumulatively through their total years in 4-H. Filling out 4-H record books is an important part of 4-H life that helps you prepare for your future.

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