Officer roles and responsibilities in a 4-H Club
Youth experience greater success in a leadership role when they understand their responsibilities as an officer.
Club officer positions provide an opportunity to practice real leadership roles that impact the success of a group. Michigan 4-H clubs are one venue that commonly use club officers in their leadership structure, other community youth organizations may also benefit from a similar structure. The following describes the four essential officer positions and their roles:
The president of the club presides over meetings, builds the meeting agenda, assures that the meeting runs in an orderly manner and strives to make sure all members’ opinions are heard. If committees are needed, presidents appoint committee members.
Since the president is responsible for creating the meeting agenda, it is important they are familiar with the order of business. A typical meeting agenda would consist of:
- Call to order
- Roll call
- Secretary’s report
- Treasurer’s report
- Old business
- New business
- Announcements/leaders report
Vice presidents fill in for the president and presides the meeting if the president is absent, therefore, the vice president must understand the roles and responsibilities of the president listed above. Additional responsibilities to consider giving the vice presidents includes following-up with any committees to make sure they stay on task, having them responsible for the learning/program portion of the meeting and serve in the role of introducing presenters and or guest.
The secretary records all of the business of the meeting and a record of each member’s attendance. Secretaries provide a report at each meeting by presenting the minutes from the previous meeting. This can be done by providing a handout or by reading the minutes aloud, and must be approved by the entire group. Once minutes are approved, they become the official record of the business that was conducted at the meeting. Secretaries should record full minutes as soon as possible after the conclusion of the meeting so that the discussion is fresh in their mind. Keep all meeting minutes in one safe place so they can be referenced as needed.
Treasurers are responsible for keeping track of and reporting the income and expenses for the club. Treasurers are responsible for writing checks for expenses, making any deposits into the club account, balancing the club check book, and preparing and reporting a treasurer’s report to the 4-H club. A treasury report must include previous balance from the last report, a summary of income and expenses since the last meeting. The treasurer should be prepared to answer specific questions regarding income, expenses and current balance.
For more information regarding officers in clubs Michigan State University Extension’s publication “Helping You Help Officers and Committees” outlines the basic roles and responsibilities of officers in clubs.
MSU Extension educators who focus on leadership and civic engagement are happy to offer training to 4-H and other community groups. Contact them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or locate an MSU Extension expert near you for more information.
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