4-H clubs encourage youth, ages 5 to 19, to learn by doing. 4-H programs actively involve youth in quality experiences that focus on lifelong learning of values and skills. There are a variety of 4-H clubs and groups that young people can join.
Types of 4-H clubs and groups
- Project Clubs are centered on one project area led by a volunteer leader. Club meetings are held weekly or monthly for a defined period of time or meet throughout the year.
- Community Clubs involve members of a variety of ages and interests. All members attend monthly "general" club meetings throughout the year, and the whole club works together on service projects and fun group activities. Each member participates in one or more projects that focus on their interests. Community clubs have a general or organizational leader and several project or activity leaders.
- Cloverbuds involve youth 5 to 8 years old in 4-H. These clubs focus on a variety of fun, hands-on activities such as science, technology, engineering and math, healthful lifestyles and citizenship. However, Cloverbuds do not work on long-term projects like other 4-H'ers. The purpose of Cloverbud clubs is to teach youth about cooperation while focusing on many particular subjects. Other clubs can have Cloverbud members; these members meet as a Cloverbud group separately from the larger club to participate in their Cloverbud activities.
- Afterschool Clubs or Programs meet after school in a setting that provides care for youth while parents are unavailable. 4-H Afterschool clubs have officers and planned activities. After school programs like community centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, YM/YWCA, 21st Century Learning Centers, etc. may use 4-H curricula to enhance "hands-on" learning experiences.
- School Enrichment Activities or Programs enhance the school curriculum. The programs may be taught by the school teacher, 4-H staff or trained volunteers and provide experiential-based activities and resources free of charge or for a nominal fee.
- Special Interest or Short Term Programs meet for one or more sessions and are open to all youth, not just 4-H members. These programs do not last as long as 4-H clubs. An example of a special interest or short-term program might be a skiing workshop, babysitting course or weekend-long leadership conference.
How many youth should be in a 4-H club?
There must be at least five youth from three different families in a 4-H club. Ten youth is a good number for a new club. However, there are many successful community clubs with 50 or more members. Club size also depends on adult leader support, meeting space and whether the club is a community or project club (it's easier to have large community clubs with several project leaders). The more diversity of interest areas, cultural background, age, etc. in a club will enhance everyone's experience!
To find out what types of clubs and groups are offered in your county, contact your county Extension office.