Spice up your summer 4-H club meetings with new resources

Resources and ideas to aid 4-H clubs and volunteers in avoiding the summer 4-H blues.

If you began meeting on September 1, 2013 for the 2013-2014 4-H year, you have been together for nine months. If things are starting to get a little stale, it may be time to consider different material or a special emphasis for the remaining three months of the 4-H year in order to spice things up.

One way to do this is to bring a panel of experts to discuss a project area of your club. This panel of experts might be 4-H alumni that have been away at college or establishing their career path. It can be an excellent opportunity to highlight what 4-H has brought to older youth and past 4-H’ers.

A second suggestion is to refer to existing state and national 4-H resources. The 4-H program management section of the National 4-H website provides great information for volunteers on a wide variety of topics and interests. The Michigan State University Extension site also provides resources, including a listing of upcoming events and relevant news that could be useful to 4-H volunteers.

Another idea to enliven the final months of the 4-H year is to sponsor a community service contest within the club. 4-H members could perform various acts of service in the community and the club could tally the results. As we celebrate 100 years of MSU Extension this year, the goal could be 100 acts of service by September 1, 2014.

A final resource for volunteers and 4-H’ers is the MSU campus itself. The 4-H Children’s Garden is an outstanding field trip, with many activities. See if this would be a good option for your club by perusing their website, which is interactive and delight to view. A second field trip site at MSU is the MSU Museum, which provides many unique and interesting things to explore.  

Hopefully one or more of these exciting alternatives will be of interest to you and your 4-H club. By providing a fun substitute to the same old club meeting, you can avoid the summer doldrums. 

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