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4-H Youth Development

What is a 4-H Club?

A 4-H club is a group of young people and adults who meet regularly for fun and learning. Clubs are usually made up of families from a community and often formed around schools, churches or community centers. Most clubs hold monthly meetings attended by members and their parents. Club members elect officers who lead the group and the meetings. An adult club leader advises the officers. The meetings usually last less than two hours. The time is equally divided among club business, recreation and educational programs. A well-organized 4-H club meeting provides opportunities for every member to be involved.

OCES 4-H LogoHow to Join a 4-H Club

Step 1. Find a club in your area. If you know of a 4-H club in your area, contact one of the members or leaders. They will invite you and your family to a club meeting so you can learn more. If you do not know of a club in your area, contact your local OSU Extension Center. (Look in the telephone book under county government for the listing.) Because many clubs function around the school term, the fall might be a good time to join 4H. However, membership is open year round.

Step 2. Visit one or two monthly meetings. Learn all you can about the club and 4-H.

Step 3. Let the club leader know your family wants to become a 4-H family. The leader will give you an enrollment form to fill out and help you select projects. Parents may also be asked to help by leading a project group or assisting in some other way.

OCES 4-H LogoHow to Become a 4-H Club

The qualifications necessary to obtain a charter include:

  1. At least five youth members from two or more families.
  2. Certified volunteer(s) who care about working with members, teen leaders and parents.
  3. Maintain a necessary/appropriate youth adult ratio.
  4. A structure that gives members the shared responsibility for making decisions and operating the club.
  5. An organized, fun and educational program planned by members, volunteers and parents.
  6. Six or more club meetings during the year.
  7. Participation in learning experiences outside of the local group.
  8. Involvement in the community through service-learning.
  9. Personal evaluation and recognition of progress on individual and group/club goals.
  10. Effective blend of all five components of the 4-H Recognition Model.

To maintain a charter, a 4‑H club is asked to:

  1. Submit annual set of Monthly 4-H Meeting Planning Guides to the county Extension office. Keep OCES informed of changes and additions.
  2. Actively recruit and meet regularly with volunteers and youth from a variety of racial, ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic groups in your community.
  3. Complete an end of year report of club activities and submit to county Extension office.
  4. Annual review financial accounting/funds from the county office/school activity fund/foundation approved by the club’s leadership team.
  5. .Complete a regular enrollment process for 4-H members and volunteers.  Based on youth enrollment a healthy and/or adequate youth-adult ratio is maintained.
  6. Have a team of local parent(s)/volunteer(s) attend Parent-Volunteer Continuing Education opportunities for personal development, as well as to take the information back for use in the club.
  7. Club represented at all county Parent-Volunteer Association meetings by parent(s)/volunteer(s).

OCES 4-H LogoApplications

Club Charter Application - must be submitted through county extension office.

A group requesting a charter must the agree upon the following:

I/We understand the following:

The use of the 4-H name and emblem is granted on the basis that membership in the 4-H group named above of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service is open to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, or disability and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The 4‑H club/group is the local learning group in which 4‑H members are involved.  Club activities are critical to 4‑H as they advocate both leadership and cooperation among club members.  4‑H club activities encourage members:

  • to develop decision-making skills
  • to cooperate in group or team efforts
  • to practice and refine leadership abilities
  • to develop skills in group communication
  • to try new and different ideas
  • to gain new knowledge and skills
  • to take pride in group or team endeavors
  • to build self-confidence

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