Healthy living programming in 4-H Club meetings – Part 4

“Health to Better Living” is part of the 4-H Pledge. Let’s look at different ways to incorporate healthy living activities into your 4-H club meetings or county wide events.

There are many components to healthy youth and 4-H healthy living programming takes a holistic approach: healthy eating habits, physical fitness, the capacity to manage emotions and the ability to develop and maintain positive relationships.

This article focuses on the ability to develop and maintain positive relationships.

Relationships are very important in life. As adults, it is our responsibility to teach youth how to build and maintain relationships so that they can take those skills into adulthood. The Michigan 4-H Youth Development program feels that developing and maintain positive relationships is essential to having a quality 4-H program and has included it as their first guiding principle.  In Michigan 4-H clubs, youth develop positive relationships with adults and peers.

Some ways to do this include making sure that:

  • Adults and youth are available and accessible to each other for information, guidance and support
  • Meaningful relationships that foster a sense of belonging and connectedness over time are developed
  • Adults and youth are consistently and actively engaged together in activities and experiences
  • Cooperative experiences that build trust and foster honest and open communication are developed and supported

Friendships are one of the great things youth gain from being in 4-H. Developing new friendships is all about building relationships. Peer-to-peer interaction in a safe environment is the key for youth get to know each other and develop that friendship. 4-H builds friendship in many ways through experiences like 4-H camp, club meetings, workshops and fair. Let’s help our youth build those relationships that will last a lifetime.

Healthy Living Programing is a mission mandate from National 4-H Council. Making sure youth in our 4-H programs are healthy is an important role for all 4-H club leaders to incorporate into club meetings.

For more ideas on healthy living programming, contact your county 4-H Program Coordinator by visiting the Michigan State University Extension website.

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