BENEFITS OF BEING IN A 4-H CLUB
A statewide club study was conducted during the fall of 1998 of all 4-H clubs in NYS. In addition several focus groups were held around the state.
The following is a sample of what was learned.
* They like being involved in 4-H over a period of several years (2 to 5).
* Most members belong to general type clubs, (not limiting your experiences).
* They like exploring a broad range of interesting topics.
* They like 4-H a lot as opposed to finding it to be just o.k.
* They were somewhat interested in doing things for other people.
* They were very interested in the values learned in 4-H that help guide their lives.
* They have been able to practice what they learned in their daily lives.
* Many were interested in having a career related to what they learned in 4-H. When asked what was most important to them in their club experience, their highest rated response was; having fun followed by, having interesting things to do, under good adult leadership, where they made new friends, and were active. Finally, the majority of respondents in each category said that 4-H helped them to learn the following skills:
* Setting goals
* Keeping records
* Resolving conflicts
* Making decisions
* Planning and organizing
* Accepting people who are different
* Nutrition and food safety
* Feeling confident about themselves
* Solving problems
* Communicating ideas
* Working as a team
* Making healthy choices
THE 4-H LEADER
What and who is a 4-H leader?
An adult who works voluntarily with a group of 4-H members. Parents or other adults who are willing to volunteer a part of their time and skills. Many 4-H leaders are parents with full time jobs, who may or may not have been involved in 4-H as a child. They share their abilities and life experiences with the youth in their club. All prospective 4-H leaders must apply by filling out an application, have references checked, and if selected, sign a code of conduct.
Are there different kinds of leaders?
Yes. Some adults teach members how to do things and are called project leaders. They usually have a special interest or skill such as photography or clothing or gardening. Adults who help a group get organized and run their meetings are called Coordinating Leaders.
STARTING A 4-H CLUB
How do you get a 4-H group started?
You need at least five young people 8 to 19 years old and adult leaders who are willing to help. A Membership Specialist is available to assist you with everything you need to get started.
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 Delaware 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.
What about officers?
4-H clubs may have officers. The Extension 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!
Is there more to the club experience?
Yes! Opportunities abound for 4-Hers 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 and the state and gain new friendships!