Official recognition of 4-H officers – Part 1

Recognizing the president, vice president and secretary of a 4-H club as they take their official office is important.

In January 2017, America celebrated the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States of America. The inauguration of the President is a ceremony to mark the beginning of a presidential term. The inauguration is one of tradition, not one that is ruled by the Constitution. The only requirement from the Constitution is that the President takes an official oath of office, which can be taken anywhere, with anyone in attendance. Since 1789 with the election of George Washington, we have had some sort of inauguration celebration signifying the start of a new presidential term. It is a time to recognize the outgoing president and celebrate the new administration.

In 4-H Youth Development programs, each year we elect 4-H youth to serve as president, vice president, secretary, treasurers and other officer positions. Holding an installation ceremony is a way to stress the importance of officers and their contributions to the club, much like the inauguration event publicly recognizes the oath of office.

There are many different installation ceremonies a club could use in order to recognize the new officer team. For example, each outgoing officer could have a lit candle representing their time in office. Each incoming officer could have their own unlit candle. Unlike the presidential inauguration, when installing 4-H officers you will want to start with the highest office and go from there. Have the outgoing president and incoming president step in front of the larger group. The narrator reads the following script for the president:

“(Name of president-elect), as the president of this club, do you accept the responsibility to become acquainted with the members, leaders and families, preside at the meetings, to do all you can to help everyone to be involved, help the membership make decisions for the best interest of the club, fulfill specific duties which the club may designate as the responsibility of the president and experience success and joy in club activities? If you accept these responsibilities, please say I do and lite your candle from (name of outgoing president).”

The script for the vice president is as follows:

“(Name of vice president-elect), as vice president, do you accept the responsibility of becoming acquainted with the duties of the presidential office and be ready to act at any time in the absence of the president? Will you also be willing to fulfill specific duties which the club may designate as the responsibility of the vice president and work for the best interest of the entire club? If you accept these responsibilities, please say I do and lite your candle from (name of outgoing vice president).”

The secretary script is as follows:

“(Name of secretary-elect), as secretary, do you accept the responsibility of keeping a complete and accurate record of what takes place at each meeting and reporting your minutes at each monthly meeting, as well as any other duties that the board may designate as the responsibility of the secretary? If you accept these responsibilities, please say I do and lite your candle from (name of outgoing secretary).”

Continue reading “Official recognition of 4-H officers – Part 2” for the remainder of the script for the officer installation program.

The Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Development leadership and civic engagement team assists local clubs, councils and committees to develop their own officer installation that is meaningful to the group and recognizes the outstanding leadership skills youth display in their roles of teen leaders. For additional information on the impact of teen leadership programs, impact reports can be accessed at the Michigan 4-H website.

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