Tips for a successful 4-H Club – Part 3

Enhance programs and opportunities available to 4-H members and volunteers.

There are several areas to explore for new programs and ideas to use in Michigan 4-H clubs. The first suggestion is to contact your local 4-H staff for county opportunities. All county programs are unique and offer a variety of member events. These may include youth camps, teen leadership workshops or community service activities. Often local 4-H Advisory Councils will sponsor scholarships and awards for 4-H members and volunteers.

At the state level; the Michigan 4-H Website lists up-coming events on the Michigan State University campus or workshops at the 4-H State Conference site, the Kettunen Center. Some of the more popular state events include: Capitol Experience in March, 4-H Exploration Days in June and a wide variety of animal shows or exhibitions held at the Livestock Pavilion throughout the year.

National 4-H offers trips such as Citizenship Washington Focus a week-long experience in Washington D.C. during the summer, and National 4-H Congress which takes place in Atlanta, Ga. in November. There are also national 4-H program areas such as 4-H National Youth Science Day and other programs that focus on healthy living and citizenship.

Another site for new resources is the Volunteer Research and Knowledge Competency Taxonomy. The VRKC Taxonomy offers activities and power points to examine skills and competences needed to deliver 4-H programming.

Finally, this a top ten list that experienced Michigan State University Extension 4-H volunteers have shared:

  1. Be positive with what you say.
  2. Don’t get discouraged; it will all work out.
  3. Have some just “fun” meetings – they will build the group’s relationships.
  4. Read the county 4-H newsletter together as a club.
  5. Resources are available at the MSU Extension office; ask about them.
  6. Talk to other leaders in your project area; ask for a mentor.
  7. Attend another 4-H Club meeting to see what they do.
  8. Go to Kettunun Center for a workshop.
  9. Don’t try to do too much.
  10. Remember why you are doing this.

By adding a new activity to your 4-H club agenda, members and leaders alike will have a fresh outlook as they “make the best better.”

This is the last installment of this article series; see part one and part two on the MSU Extension website.

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