Starting a 4-H Club    

How do you get a 4-H group started?

• You need at least five young people 5 to 19 years old and two adult leaders who are willing to help. A 4-H Educator is available to assist you with everything you need to get started.

When can I join 4-H ?

• You can join 4-H at any time of the year, however, clubs of any size are usually formed in the fall of the year.

How big should a club be?

• This depends on the age of the members, where they meet and the leadership available. The average club in Ontario County usually has five to ten members and two or three leaders. All new clubs are encouraged to start small and increase in size when the club leaders feel comfortable. Ontario County 4-H does offer the opportunity for individuals to be members of 4-H in family memberships.

What about officers?

• 4-H clubs may have officers. The 4-H Office provides helpful materials for presidents, vice-presidents, secretaries, treasurers, news reporters, recreation leaders, and historians. It is a good idea to wait until the second or third meeting to elect officers, when members have gotten to know one another. The club format is an excellent vehicle for leadership development!

How much does it cost?

• $15.00 per member with a maximum of $45.00 per household/family. The fee covers insurance, newsletters and other notices. If a club wants money for activities, it usually charges dues or conducts a fundraising activity. Dues may not be used to keep someone from joining 4-H.

Is there more to the club experience?

• Yes! Opportunities abound for 4-H’ers to expand their experiences through countywide programs. These programs provide higher levels of learning and achievement along with forums for youth to share what has been learned. The programs also offer opportunities to meet youth throughout the county, the region, the state and the nation!

What types of clubs are there?

• Community Clubs: Caring adult leaders make use of 4-H curricula, resources and training to provide informal hands on experiential learning opportunities for youth.
• Cloverbud Clubs: Are special groups for members 5-8 years. Specific curricula and projects have been designed to meet the developmental needs of our youngest members.
• Special Interest Clubs: Have a common interest and focus, such as horse, public speaking, livestock, or dairy.
• School Based Clubs: Teachers make use of 4-H curriculum, resources and training in diverse subject areas that allow students to practice hands on experiential learning. These curricula support many of the educational standards required in classroom instruction. They provide an arena for teachers to use both formal and informal learning styles.

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