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4-H Youth Development

What happens at a meeting?

Learning by doing starts at the project meeting. No set number of meetings is required, but projects usually include at least six hours of learning time. Project meetings can begin as soon as the 4-H club has completed its enrollment. Some project groups have seasonal activities and may not start meeting until later in the year. Project volunteers receive a roster of members in their project and a project manual for each member. The manuals are short, easy-to-read books that explain the project and suggest things to do. These manuals are written by Oklahoma State University Extension faculty.

What happens at a typical project meeting?

 

As members arrive, the project volunteer involves members in a fun, pre-meeting activity. Once all the members arrive, they may share what they have accomplished and problems they have faced in their project since the last meeting. Next, 4-H members may demonstrate something they learned at the lasy meeting. Demonstrations help members review what they have learned and gain self-confidence. The project volunteer teaches a new skill or technique. Teaching can take the form of demonstrations, films, judging, tours, skillathons, or discussion. Then, members are given the opportunity to try out the new skill during a work or activity period. The meeting concludes with a summary of what has been learned and a discussion of plans for the next meeting. Members also learn by participating in contests and events and by exhibiting the items they have made or grown.

Project Member

 

Learning is most exciting when it is learning by doing. Four-H projects offer this kind of excitement. Four-H members start by selecting a project. Once enrolled in the project, the 4-H member and parent and project volunteer set goals, stating what the 4-H member hopes to learn in the project. It is important that 4-H members complete each project by attending a majority of the project meetings, reaching project goals and keeping records.

Project Volunteer

 

Project volunteers are adult or teen volunteers who teach small groups of 4-H members. They are responsible for organizing the group, planning and holding project meetings and helping the members learn. Their most important job, however, is guiding, motivating and encouraging 4-H members. Project volunteers contact 4-H members enrolled in their projects to set up meetings. Each project group should have at least six hours of learning time. The volunteer may also give the 4-H members tasks to be completed at home.

Parents

 

Parents also have a role in 4-H project work. Parents should help the 4-H member obtain supplies and equipment needed for a project. They should assist the 4-H members with assignments given by the project volunteer. Parents may also be asked to assist with a project group by providing transportation, bringing refreshments or attending a meeting. As with project volunteers, their most important job is to guide, motivate and encourage the 4-H member.

Youth Leaders

 

Four-H members have many opportunities to develop leadership skills. Beginning teen leaders may assist an organizational or project leader with their specific duties. Older teen leaders may lead a project group of their own or serve as an activity leader in the club.