4-H membership types

There are different types of 4-H members, including Cloverbuds, regular members and teen leaders.

You have probably heard the terms Cloverbud, member and teen leader at your 4-H meeting, but do you know what they mean? This article is the fourth in the series that helps you understand a bit more about the 4-H program. Previous articles included, “So I joined a 4-H club – now what?,” “What happens at a project meeting?” and “Volunteers utilize experiential learning.”

4-H includes members between the ages of 9-19 years of age. Have you learned to calculate your 4-H age? Your 4-H age is determined by how old you are as of Jan. 1 of the current year. The current program year is 2015-2016; the program year runs Sept. 1-Aug. 31. The 4-H age for members currently enrolling is Jan. 1, 2016.

Cloverbuds are members that are between the ages of 5-8 years old. Cloverbuds are encouraged to participate in age-appropriate activities and the emphasis in their projects is participation, not competition. Teen leaders are older members, typically 13 and up, who assist in the club or county program with activities and events. They may provide leadership as an officer, committee chair, committee member, activity leader or other leadership role. They may serve as a mentor to a younger member and assist club or project leaders.

Teen leaders, members and volunteers from across the state have the chance to sharpen their skills when they attend leadership workshop at the Kettunen Center in Tustin, Michigan. Workshops are held at this center throughout the year and offer older youth and adults the chance to gain new skills in their project areas. Upcoming workshops include Leadership Skill Set Workshop for Youth and Adults on Feb. 6, 2016. Another fabulous opportunity for members 11 and older is 4-H Exploration Days at MSU in June. Registration for this event will begin in March.

To find out how you can enroll your child, connect with your Michigan State University Extension county office for more details.

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