What is a 4-H Club?
4-H Clubs provide safe-environments for youth to explore topics of interest to them in partnership with caring adult volunteer leaders. Being a member of a 4-H Club offers youth countless opportunities to develop leadership and life skills.
There are several different formats that a 4-H Club may take:
- 4-H In-School Clubs (for ages 9-18) take place during school time and are often led by teachers or parent volunteers
- 4-H Afterschool Clubs (for ages 9-18) take place in schools or community centers during “afterschool programming time” and are often led by parent volunteers or staff members of an afterschool provider
- 4-H Project Clubs (for ages 9-18) are led by adult volunteer leaders and all members in the club focus on the same project/topic area (examples include: archery clubs, robotics clubs, equine science clubs, photography clubs, etc.)
- 4-H Community Clubs (for ages 9-18) are led by adult volunteer leaders that carry out a planned program throughout the year; however, club members choose individual projects/topic areas of interest to them to explore in-depth
- 4-H Cloverbud Clubs are led by adult volunteer leaders and are made up of youth ages 5-8. These clubs meet year round and explore a variety of topics, providing club members with a breadth of 4-H experiences. Cloverbud clubs do not elect officers.
Regardless of the delivery mode, all 4-H Clubs are led by adult volunteer leaders, have a planned program throughout the year (or the majority of the year), elect officers, conduct regular meetings, and participate in community service and other 4-H activities.
In addition to the year-round club formats mentioned above, 4-H Special Interest (or SPIN) Clubs can also be formed. SPIN Clubs focus on a specific topic for a shorter period of time (at least 6 lessons/contact hours). Examples may include: a LEGO robotics club that meets once a week for six weeks, a gardening club that meets every other week in the summer, etc. These clubs are led by adult volunteer leaders, but do not elect officers or conduct regular business meetings. SPIN Clubs are a great way to generate interest in a particular topic or provide youth with exposure to a new, exciting topic.
How to Start a 4-H Club
All that is needed to start a 4-H Club is at least two adults willing to serve as volunteer club leaders and at least 5 youth club members. Volunteer leaders must complete an application, interview, reference checks, and a background check, and will receive training in 4-H program delivery. Club members must enroll in the club through our online enrollment system 4-H Online. The Extension 4-H Agent will provide club leaders with curriculum resources, project books, and additional training on various topics as needed. Once established, the club will elect officers, create a constitution and bylaws, and receive a club charter from the State 4-H office.
There are unlimited possibilities for club and/or individual member areas of interest:
- Animal Science – livestock, horse, pets, veterinary science, poultry
- Career Exploration
- Environmental Education and/or Outdoor Recreation
- Leadership Development
- Family and Consumer Sciences – sewing, child care, family life, financial literacy
- Communications – public speaking, presentations
- Art – photography, painting, arts and crafts, theater
- Foods, Nutrition, and Health – cooking, healthy living, personal safety, first aid/CPR
- Science, Engineering, and Technology – robotics, aeronautics, rocketry, maker, computer programming, woodworking, invention
- Horticulture and Agriculture – gardening, beekeeping
Contact the Extension Office today to start your own 4-H Club – 757-890-4940!
Existing 4-H Clubs in York County/Poquoson
For more information or to join any of these clubs, please contact the Extension Office at 757-890-4940.
Patriot Shooting Education Club – Youth ages 9-18 learn safety, discipline, leadership, and life skills through the use of shooting education. Members practice shooting air rifles and can participate in local, state, and national shooting competitions.
Ravine Rangers Environmental Education Club – Youth ages 9-18 participate in monthly club meetings in which they explore different environmental topics and go on adventures in the great outdoors.
Camp Peary Cloverbud Club – This club is currently only open to residents of Camp Peary (ages 5-8). Members explore a variety of topics during monthly meetings – including outdoor exploration, horticulture, chicken egg hatching, etc.
Naval Weapons Station-Yorktown Cloverbud Club – This club is currently only open to military youth of NWSY (ages 5-8). Members explore a variety of topics during monthly meetings – including healthy living, science, and art.