Why have committees within the 4-H club?
Learn more about the committee structures of successful 4-H Clubs.
January 23, 2013 - Author: Sandy Risedorph, Michigan State University Extension
An important part of the 4-H experience is working with others in your club. One tool that is helpful is implanting a committee structure. Committees can help 4-H clubs function well by making recommendations and suggesting plans for the group as a whole. A good business meeting will include committee recommendations to the whole club. Michigan State University Extension developed a helpful brochure that contains more information: “Helping You Help Officers and Committees.”
Committees can help all members develop a sense of teamwork as they become actively involved in the club. These groups plan and supervise various club activities. Serving on a committee can give members the opportunity to grow into larger leadership roles.
Committees may be appointed by the president or leader, or members may volunteer. If the club is of mixed ages, it is good to include younger and older members on the same committee. Membership on committees should not be limited to club members. Parents and adult leaders can be appointed to help plan and supervise club events.
The adult leaders and club officers may want to consider these eight keys to forming a constructive committee:
- Fit task to youth interest
- Consult before—don’t surprise when asking to serve
- Explain task of committee
- Agree on timetable
- Monitor progress
- Provide back-up, information
- Expect variations of results
- Give recognition
At the end of the club year, a committee self-evaluation would be useful. This evaluation should be done individually to encourage constructive criticism. A club discussion of the evaluation results would point to needed improvements to the committee structure:
Answer “yes” or “no” to the following questions:
- Is the meeting place comfortable and accessible?
- Did the committee understand its assignment?
- Is there an agenda for the committee?
- Does the committee represent different viewpoints?
- Do all members feel they really are a part of the committee?
- Do meetings begin and end on time?
- Effective committees have “yes” answers to all six of these questions.
Committees encourage participation from members in the club. They can provide an outlet for individual club members’ interests. Committees increase the amount of action a club may pursue by handling details and reducing complexity for the total club. By boosting participation and effectiveness of committees, your club can make the best better.