Keeping yearly records of your 4-H programs can help you in the future

Keeping records of all your 4-H experiences can make scholarship and resume writing so much easier.

Did you know keeping records of your 4-H experiences can lead to better scholarship applications or can help to write job resumes? It is important to keep records of what is learned and the many different opportunities youth have while in the 4-H program. Keep these tips from Michigan State University Extension handy for the future so it will be easy to remember what to share.

As summer comes to an end and the county fairs and summer camp experiences are finishing up, how do we keep track of what we did? Is it important to keep on file a list of experiences you learned, such as a new camping experience, a summer job or a special event that happened. Keeping records no matter what age is important.

When youth start to write a resume for a job or start searching for scholarships, it is important to know what was learned by these experiences. They will benefit the person later in life. Life skills should be listed as this is an important part of the learning experience. With individual computer systems, setting up a yearly file can be beneficial to refer back to. Taking time to record experiences, life skills, projects and activities by year or as they happen makes the writing a resume or filling out a job application much easier to do.

If showing at a local county fair was part of your summer activities, was a list kept on what records were needed for the project? Whether it was a livestock project or a still exhibit project, records should have been kept. If it was a livestock project, a record book should have been started once the animal or animals were purchased. What types of feed was used? Was there weight gain or loss and if it was a market animal, what did it sell for and was there a profit made? These are all decision making and management skills that can be attributed to life skills. If a craft or a sewing project was completed, some of the records kept could show cost of the material, the time it took to make and if it were to be sold, how much is it worth?

Records should be kept yearly so you can add on to the skills you’ve learned in the past and see the growth in your development. You might see an area that you would need further development. By participating in 4-H youth programs, record books are available for youth to learn all about recordkeeping and its importance. Check out the Michigan State University Extension website for information on specific record books. 

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