Strengthen your 4-H club

A goal of 4-H programs is to build strong, healthy youth who are proactive in a rapidly changing and complex world. Help create these individuals by strengthening your club.

A goal of 4-H programs is to build strong, healthy youth who are proactive in a rapidly changing and complex world. By strengthening 4-H clubs, youth can learn in a safe and challenging environment.

One way to strengthen clubs within the club structure is by incorporating the experiential learning process. Experiential learning consists of three specific parts: doing the experience, reflecting on the experience and applying the experience to similar or different situations. People tend to respond better to “learning-by-doing” activities that utilize the experiential model. As a clubs use this model and learn together, individuals will acquire life skills and assets that will help them function successfully. These can include skills such as self-discipline, problem solving, goal setting and teamwork, all of which are valuable skills for the club itself.

Another way to strengthen clubs if for leaders and other volunteers to utilize My 4-H. My 4-H serves as a central resource for 4-H professionals, volunteers and youth to share, discuss and learn. New users are required to set-up an account in order to use the site but once you gain access, the resources found here may spark creativity.

Looking for more ways to strengthen your club? Here are ten more suggestions from Michigan State University Extension:

  1. Spend time with the members, doing things together as a club.
  2. Plan ahead with members so things will actually happen.
  3. Establish a balance between project activities, club meetings, community service and fun.
  4. Listen carefully to understand each member’s viewpoint.
  5. Show consideration and appreciation. Celebrate your club.
  6. Develop pride in your club.
  7. Help each other and be willing to let others help you.
  8. Contact and build ties with other 4-H clubs. Do joint programs.
  9. Take part in county and state activities.
  10. Give back to your 4-H and general community.

 Remember, even if a club is already strong, it should encourage volunteers and members “To Make the Best Better.”

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