Michigan 4-H Clubs: Understanding the basics

Learn more about the basics that are needed to make or join a successful 4-H club in your community.

4-H Club Recipe

Ingredients: 1 group of youth interested in learning
  1 or more caring adult volunteers
  1 pound of fun
  5 ounces of creativity

 Mix all ingredients together with tender loving care. Stir in training, educational experiences, and research based curriculum. Bake for one year. This recipe makes a wonderful experience in 4-H that can be shared with others.

Above is a fun way to look at what makes up a 4-H Club. Clubs are one of many styles of teaching youth new things in the 4-H Program. Below is information that will explain and answer questions regarding how to form a 4-H club.

Who can be in 4-H?
4-H is open to any youth between the ages of 5 to 19 as of January 1 of the current year. Adults can become 4-H leaders as long as they are at least 21-years-old. Adults must follow an application process before they are designated a 4-H leader. This process ensures the safety and wellbeing of both youth and adults. 4-H provides youth with positive adult partnerships and relationships. 4-H needs leaders with positive attitudes and a desire of doing what is best for youth.

What can you do in a 4-H club?
There are many different types of projects that 4-H members and leaders can become involved with. Here are a few examples: sewing; cooking; quilting; canning; baking; large animal (horse, swine, beef, dairy, sheep); small animal (rabbit, goat, dog, cat, poultry, pocket pets); community service; shooting sports (archery, air rifle, shotgun); environmental; international experience; cultural; folkpatturns; drama; art; automotive; safety (tractor, ATV, boat, bike); and many more.

How do clubs meet and where does it take place?
There are a few different types of 4-H Clubs. There are community clubs that focus on many different projects and may have many different leaders for the different projects. There are also project clubs that focus on one or two specific projects. The youth and leaders in each club determine what projects to get involved with, where to meet, and when. Clubs can have meetings at township halls, in leader’s homes, at Michigan State University Extension offices or anywhere that fits the needs of the club. Clubs can also be formed in schools. Meetings can be held during lunch or after school.

When do I join?
Youth are welcome to join 4-H any time of the year. The best time to join is in the late fall and early spring. This allows youth to find a club and start learning new things throughout the year.

Adults interested in becoming a 4-H leader should contact the 4-H staff member at their local MSU Extension Office. To learn more about Michigan 4-H Youth Programs and all the things it has to offer, feel free to visit the Michigan 4-H website.

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