4-H clubs are the foundation of our program. Clubs are a group of at least 5 youth with one or more teen or adult volunteer leaders. Clubs can be formed in small neighborhoods, or serve an entire county or school. 4-H members plan what they want to do and learn each year in 4-H. Some clubs focus on a specific topic (called a project) and may only meet 6-8 times/year where other clubs meet year round and explore a variety of projects. Clubs also provide opportunities for youth to learn how to lead meetings, and share what they have learned through demonstrations, posters, photos, and record books. All clubs plan and complete at least one community service project each year.
4-H is open to all youth, ages 5-18, determined as of September 1 of the current 4-H program year. Eligibility for enrolled 4-H members is determined by the youth’s age as of September 1 of the current 4-H program year, which runs September 1 through August 31. Youth under 8 years of age on September 1 of the current 4-H year, are ineligible to participate in competitive activities at any level. 5-7 year old 4-H members are known as Cloverbuds. Usually, Cloverbuds are in separate, noncompetetive clubs, where they sample a variety of 4-H projects. Older 4-H members also have special opportunities, such as serving on a countywide 4-H teen council.
There are three different ways to become part of a 4-H club:
- Join an existing 4-H club in your area.
- Start a new 4-H club with your friends and neighbors.
- Start a 4-H club at your school, afterschool or another location, like a military base.