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4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills.
4-H Philosophy" 4-H is for Real Kids with Real Life issues !" Young people who join 4-H tend to have the same
concerns and issues that all young people have. These issues tend to include thoughts about suicide,
family conflicts, peer pressure, drugs and alcohol, school, and making and keeping friends.The 4-H motto, " Making the Best Better ," is the core of the 4-H Youth Development program. It
is with this commitment in mind that 4-H assist youth and those adults working with them to acquire
knowledge, life skills, and attitudes that will enable them to be self-directing, contributing and productive
members of society, while making their best better.To "learn by doing" is fundamental to any sound educational program and is characteristic of
the 4-H youth development program. Informal education conducted through the 4-H program enhances
the basic values provided by the home, school, community, and other youth-friendly environments.
These fundamental values in 4-H address the personal qualities young people need to become
productive citizens in the world today and tomorrow:! Acquire knowledge, skills, and attitudes for a satisfying life. The objective is to teach 4-H
members how to think, not what to think.! Practice hands-on work experiences. This includes making sound decisions, learning to work
with others, and accepting responsibility. Sound work habits carry over into worthwhile
! Develop leadership talents and abilities to participate effectively as members of a group.! Develop citizenship skills and a philosophy of life based on lasting values. This includes
making the world a better place for others, stressing honesty, integrity, and high standards for
the individual and the group.
4-H ClubsWhat is a 4-H Club?
A 4-H Club is an organized group of youngsters (ages 9-19) with elected officers and a planned program that is conducted throughout the year or the majority of the year. Clubs are lead by volunteer leaders and may focus on one or more project areas. Club officers conduct monthly organizational meetings. Members also participate in a variety of learning experiences in their organizational meeting as well as within their project meetings. Project meetings may be held as often as deemed necessary, but at least once a month.
Club officers, made up of youth members, are elected each year and serve in the various leadership positions at each meeting. The officers conduct the meeting using parliamentary procedures.
Four-H clubs may meet as neighborhood clubs (known as Community Clubs), as after school clubs, or as within school clubs. The "key" is that all clubs should have officers, be managed by volunteers, meet over a sustained period of time, and are focused on developmental growth.
Purpose of 4-H Clubs
The 4-H club is the ideal 4-H delivery method for reaching and involving boys and girls in the 4-H progr76am. The club setting serves as the center of activity that generates enthusiasm and support for participation in 4-H activities, events, and programs outside of the local club. The 4-H club meeting is an important learning experience for the youth, as well as for adults working with those youth. Youth and family members may participate in 4-H in a variety of ways. Ideally, participation in 4-H is over a long period of time in both organizational and project programming. Major emphasis is on 4-H educational programs delivered to youth.
Through the club delivery mode, Four-H in working with youth has the opportunity to meet the following objectives:
- To offer a wide array of programs and support
- To place a high value on youth participation
- To encourage long-term and sustained involvement
- To provide a progression of learning activities and experiences
- To promote developmental growth
- To provide a nurturing environment of support
- To build competencies, including health/physical, personal/social, cognitive/creative, vocational, and citizenship.
Participation in 4-H Clubs
Participation in planning and implementing club programs will help members to:
- develop a sense of self-confidence,
- learn to make decisions,
- develop a sense of belonging,
- try new ideas and methods,
- develop skills in group discussions,
- learn benefits of group cooperation and teamwork,
- develop leadership and citizenship skills, and
- develop a sense of responsibility and follow-through.
Volunteer or teacher led, it is more difficult to have in-depth parent involvement as outlined for community clubs, but parents should be involved as much as possible. Parents can be involved by letter with a form indicating support for child project(s) and 4-H activities or events.
4-H After-School Club
Quality after-school programs provide safe, engaging environments that motivate and inspire learning outside of the regular school day. While there is no single formula for success in after-school programs, it has been found that effective programs combine academic, enrichment, cultural, and recreational activities to guide learning and engage youth in wholesome activities.
4-H Project Clubs
Members may come from a broader geographic area. Parental and volunteer involvement is important. Members concentrate on one project area through the club, but also enroll in other projects under the supervision of a volunteer or parent.4-H Enrichment ProgramsYouth involved in 4-H Enrichment Programs (ages 9-19) are participants in learning experiences not involving organized club activities. Enrichment programs may be coordinated with school personnel serving as volunteer teachers of 4-H curricula meeting the standards of learning. It may also be a special interest group in which youth complete six or more learning activities. Finally, it may be youth involved in 4-H instructional TV experiences; or may be a member participating in 4-H under the guidance of a parent or other adult as a lone member without group affiliation. The purposes of enrichment programs are to teach youth subject matter in a short time frame, expose new youth to 4-H, and to involve those youth in 4-H for further programming opportunities--moving them toward club participation.
4-H Special Interest Groups
May be similar to a project club, but are often organized for a specific short-term purpose and do not have officers. Programs such as 4-H special interest groups are important because they expose 4-H members, parents, volunteers, and donors to other 4-H opportunities (or in some cases introduce them to 4-H).
4-H School Enrichment Program
Youth are participants in learning experiences. Enrichment programs may be coordinated with school personnel serving as volunteer teachers of 4-H curricula meeting the Standards of Learning; may be a special interest group in which youth complete six or more learning activities; may be youth involved in 4-H instructional TV experiences; or, may be a member participating in 4-H under the guidance of a parent or other adult as a lone member, but without group affiliation.4-H CampingPurpose of 4-H Camping
In Virginia, 4-H camp is open to any boy or girl who meets the age guidelines. Youth do not have to be a 4-H member to attend 4-H camps; however, they should be provided the opportunity to join. All youth attending 4-H camp are eligible and should be encouraged to join 4-H.
Since 4-H camping is educationally focused, it is recognized as a delivery method for 4-H programming. Thus, youth who attend 4-H camp may sign up as 4-H members since they are receiving more than the minimum number of hours of educational instruction (six hours) during the camp.
It is strongly encouraged for agents and volunteers to utilize all camping events as a method by which to recruit and involve new youth, as well as those presently involved, into the 4-H program. All youth participating in camp should be given information concerning additional 4-H opportunities throughout the year in their unit, district, and state.
Types of 4-H Camps
There are a variety of 4-H camps conducted through the year at Virginia?s six 4-H Educational Centers including residential, junior camp, special interest camps, weekend camps, and others. Additionally, many units conduct day 4-H camps to meet the needs of youth throughout the Commonwealth. The following is a list of the most commonly conducted Virginia 4-H Camps:
CLOVERBUD 4-H CAMP
Programming events for youth 5-8 years of age. Youth must meet the minimum age of 5 between October 1 and September 30 of the 4-H year, and must not be older than the maximum age of 8.
RESIDENTIAL 4-H CAMP
Programming events in which campers stay overnight from 2-5 days generally. Most residential camps last 5 days, with campers staying overnight for 4 nights. The junior 4-H camps, designed for youth 9-13 years of age, fall into this category.
SPECIAL INTEREST 4-H CAMP
Programming events focusing mainly on a specific project or theme area. There is a large variety of special interest 4-H camps available throughout the state.
DAY 4-H CAMPS
Programming events in which campers participate in learning activities throughout the day, but do not stay overnight.
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