Tips and Tools for Planning Your Club Year

October 23, 2023 -

Tips and Tools for Planning Your Club Year

Planning is one of those things that many of us just never seem to get around to. The new 4‑H year is always a busy time with reenrollment, county recognition events and new members.

In the midst of all this, taking time to plan the activities for the entire year may seem overwhelming, but it can pay big dividends in the long run. Involving members in planning and designing club activities and events helps to build young people’s leadership skills and increases their commitment to carrying out the plans. 4‑H clubs and groups are excellent places for young people to build leadership skills. Planning, implementing and evaluating group activities throughout the year are great ways for youth to practice their leadership skills.

Experiences for Annual Club Calendar

Creating an annual calendar is a good communication tool for 4-H clubs and groups. It can help everyone keep on track and involved in the group’s activities. For each month of the year, identify the recreational, community service/service learning and educational activities your group may be involved in. Youth need to be involved in the planning of the club year calendar. The table that follows lists experiences that can be placed on a 4-H club annual calendar. You may think of many more examples than the ones given.

Recreation Community Service/Service Learning Education
Sponsor 4‑H get‑acquainted night. Hold roadside cleanup day.

Plan educational components for each meeting.

Promote National 4-H Week through a window display, booth in a public area, or other idea.   

Organize a holiday-themed service project.

Elect officers and hold parliamentary procedures training for the entire club.

Visit a pumpkin patch or apple orchard.

Write cards and letters to service members, older adults, and others. Attend first aid, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) or AED (automated external defibrillator) training.

Hold club celebration.

Collect pop cans and bottles for favorite nonprofit group.

Work on project knowledge.

Work on project crafts. Organize “Be My Valentine” dance for older adults. Attend stress management workshop.
Begin exercise and fitness program.

Begin planning for countywide dog walk as a fundraiser for local animal rescue.

Research animal project identification information.
Attend countywide event.

Plan a reading program with a local school, library, assisted living facility or hospital.

Learn the benefits of staying healthy and being active.
Plan and participate in club fundraiser. Work at park or river cleanup day.

Share resources from county and state 4-H offices.

Participate in community parade.

Volunteer at a beautification day in your community.

Prep for fair.
Plan an outdoor activity such as a day at a park, a trail ride, fishing, sledding or other activity.   Remind members about required documentation, deadlines and important paperwork. Help them to complete it and get it turned in.
Participate in large group and small group games.   Hold a reflection or celebration meeting to talk about accomplishments over the club year.
    Support members in attending county, state, national and international events.

Encourage members to share their 4-H experiences from attending county, state, national and international events. 

As you create your calendar, please use the 4-H Club Meeting Wheel ( as an example of ideas that can be shared or used when brainstorming with your club. Make sure that you are including all types of areas into your club meetings.

This 2023 version of "Tips and Tools for Planning Your Club Year" is adapted from the document of the same name in the 2009 version of the Michigan 4-H Club Development Guide.

Accessibility Questions:

For questions about accessibility and/or if you need additional accommodations for a specific document, please send an email to ANR Communications & Marketing at