Which club is right for you?

Volunteers select what type of club they want to lead.

Volunteers in 4-H clubs make a difference in the lives of young people every day.  Adults hold a variety of roles in 4-H clubs and not all clubs are the same. Volunteers use the Guiding Principles to stay focused but share their skills with members in a variety of settings.  According to Michigan State University Extension, community clubs, project clubs and special interest (SPIN) clubs are three types of clubs that attract both youth and adults.

Community or general clubs offer families the opportunity to enjoy a variety of project areas and events. Members gather together to try a variety of projects and enjoy trying new activities surrounded by supportive adults and friends. These clubs typically meet year round and may involve a number of project leaders who assist club members with a specific project. Those project leaders work with the families in the club that are interested in that specific project. It is important to remember that members can simply participate in the projects that interest them; they are not required to do everything the club offers. Project leaders work in connect with the club leader to help foster the club and 4-H ideals.

Project clubs focus on a specific project area, as the name implies, and offer youth the opportunity to focus and develop their skills in that one area. They may meet year around or during a specific time frame that allows youth to explore and possibly complete a project. The goals for the project club are determined by the leader and the members. Members may belong to a number of project clubs.

SPIN clubs offer volunteers the opportunity to concentrate their efforts for a defined amount of time, typically six to eight weeks. SPIN clubs allow for hands-on exploration of a topic. These clubs are great for the volunteer who wants to share a skill with young people in a limited time frame. This can be a great fit for those who are retired or travel frequently. It may also be attractive to local businesses who want to expose young people to a topic to cultivate interest. Leaders who work with SPIN clubs can take a break when their six to eight weeks are done, repeat their lessons with different youth, or continue and transition to a community or project club.  The choice is really up to the leader and young people.

If you would like to be a 4-H volunteer or start a 4-H club, contact your local MSU Extension office at to discuss the option that is right for you.

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