Isn't 4-H just for farm kids? Don't 4-H'ers have to have an animal?
Today's 4-H youth development program is for all kids — no matter where they live. There is a wide variety of projects, from theatre arts to aerospace, to wood working, and many more. For those who live in town and enjoy animals, cats, dogs and hand pets projects are options. In Johnson County, there are 20 clubs located throughout the entire county. One of the largest benefits of 4-H is the impact it can have on family. 4-H gives families a way to grow together. Families who plan, share, and work together develop a sense of unity — a feeling of being a productive team. When you are a 4-H family team, you have opportunities to recognize and expand the strengths, talents and skills of each family member, which contributes to increased feelings of self-worth.
Types of Clubs
Our community-based club model is a group of five or more youth and at least one adult leader. A club is organized within a neighborhood, a school, a church, a business or a social unit. Clubs meet on a regular basis. Members hold offices, participate in business meetings, group decisions, community service and projects. Most clubs range from 12 – 45 members. The club includes both boys and girls. Community-based clubs will have members of all age ranges. School-based programs will generally have members from the same grade. Most clubs meet once a month with all the youth and volunteers. This gives the members a chance to make group decisions, present programs, develop team work and interact with club members.
Additionally, there are small group project meetings held during the year. These meetings are when the members actually work on their projects, under the supervision of a volunteer project leader. Most club meetings last about 1 hour. This includes time for get acquainted, conduct business and make club decisions, programs, recreation and refreshments. Club members, volunteers, and families are all encouraged to attend, participate and support the 4-H club efforts.
In short 4-H is:
- A commitment by parents to become involved in their children's lives during a critical time of growth in the understanding of themselves and the world they live in.
- A commitment by youth to become involved in assisting their own growth and the understanding of themselves, their families and their work.
- A commitment by the community, through the Extension system, to assist parents, youth and families while they grow individually and together in the understanding of themselves and their world.