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Johnson County

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Johnson County
11811 S. Sunset Drive
Suite 1500
Olathe, KS 66061

Office Hours:

Monday - Friday,
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

(913) 715-7000
(913) 715-7005 fax

Map to our office

K-State Research and Extension is committed to making its services, activities and programs accessible to all participants. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting Johnson County Extension at (913)715-7000. Notify staff of accommodation needs as early as possible.

Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service

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Interested in being part of the 4-H experience?

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School is back in session and extracurricular activities are in full swing. Are you or your family looking for opportunities for the family to spend time together? Perhaps 4-H is the answer you are looking for. This fall we have three programs for you to consider:

  1. Community clubs,
  2. Project clubs, and
  3. SPIN clubs.

Community and Project Clubs
Community and Project Clubs represent the traditional 4-H program model. In both models, youth have fun with a purpose.

A community club is a group of youth organized with officers, appropriate to the group, and with one or more volunteers serving as leaders for the group. Clubs are organized within a neighborhood, school, church, business or social unit. Youth choose from a wide range of individual projects, based on their interests and the availability of a knowledgeable adult in the community to serve as a mentor/leader (matching facilitated through clubs). Through these projects, members set goals, learn the skills needed to achieve goals, and exhibit/demonstrate their skills at events like county fairs, speaking contests and other competitions. Community clubs typically have structured business meetings, and emphasize community service, recreational activities and improving communication skills. Currently, we have 17 active community clubs.

Project clubs have members who share a passion for one single project. The kids are all enrolled in the same project. Meetings and community activities similar to the community clubs are conducted, but with the focus on a specific project. Currently, we have three project clubs:

  • Horse,
  • Dog, and
  • Livestock.

In either club, 4-H youth "learn by doing." Johnson County's 4-H clubs offer a variety of opportunities for youth to learn about photography, public speaking, horses, showing dogs, community involvement and more. Persons interested in joining 4-H are encouraged to visit with and attend a few of the various Johnson County clubs to determine which club best matches their child and family's interests.

SPIN Clubs — a new way to deliver the 4-H program
This fall we will be introducing an new concept: 4-H Special Interest (SPIN) Clubs. This program allows kids ages 7 to 18 with common interests or hobbies to meet as a club and share their special interest. Whether their passion is sailing, robotics, community theater, or just about any other topic, kids can gain knowledge and enhance their skills through a positive group experience. A SPIN club can be started with as few as one adult volunteer leader and five young people with an interest in a particular topic. While an adult leader provides expertise and guidance, club members take an active role in planning and running their own activities.

Traditionally, 4-H programs have been community-based. SPIN clubs reach out beyond local communities to bring kids and families with common interests together. They are a great way to introduce young people to a specific hobby or interest they might not otherwise have a chance to develop.

The SPIN club model recognizes that both youth and adults often have a limited amount of "free time" for outside interests. SPIN clubs have the ability to provide youth development through non-traditional time frames. This is also an excellent opportunity for adult volunteers, since volunteers can serve for a shorter period of time. For example, a computer club might meet once a week for six weeks, or twice a week for three weeks. This gives youth and leaders more flexibility.

Why get involved as a volunteer in a 4-H SPIN Club?
Currently, we are recruiting adults looking to help provide an educational experience for our 4-H youth. Our volunteers are the backbone in providing quality youth development programs. 4-H volunteers are essential to help youth make the most of a wide variety of learning experiences. Volunteering is an opportunity for you to share your personal interests by demonstrating expertise in subjects as varied as robotics, food and nutrition, public speaking, agricultural science, shooting sports and more. In 4-H, you can leverage your experience and skills to help a young person find their own passions and interests.

Highlights of the SPIN club model:

  • Leadership growth/opportunities
  • New Opportunities—could lead to: local, regional, state, national events
  • Screened and Trained Adults
  • Safe environment
  • Insurance Coverage During Club Time