What’s a Michigan 4-H SPIN club?

It can be difficult to meet the needs of busy volunteers, youth and families who don’t want to commit to a yearlong 4-H experience, but there’s an answer with 4-H SPIN clubs. Learn more about Michigan 4-H SPIN clubs and our pilot program.

Fall is such an exciting time of the year for 4-H youth development programs.  It’s the beginning of a new program year and with fair season coming to an end, 4-H is likely on everyone’s mind!  For adults they may feel that now is the time to volunteer with 4-H and for parents they may want opportunities for their child to gain knowledge and skills in various project areas says Michigan State University Extension.

There is no doubt that volunteers are the heart of most 4-H programs and the successes that programs have are because of the talents and commitment of the 4-H volunteers.  Like any other program that operates with and through volunteers, recruitment, engagement and commitment in the long-term can be difficult.  Research says that if volunteer jobs were shorter in duration individuals could volunteer more. 

And what about families? Many youth and their families would also like the experience of being a part of 4-H, yet are unable to commit to a year-long 4-H club experience.  This is especially true as youth become older and experience conflicts with sports, part-time jobs and school.

Yet MSU Extension knows that to have a successful 4-H program, a good mixture of volunteers and youth is a must!  It can be difficult to meet the needs of volunteers, youth and families who don’t want to commit to a year-long 4-H experience, but Michigan 4-H Youth Development may have the answer you are looking for—4-H SPIN clubs. 

What are 4-H SPIN clubs? A 4-H SPIN club is a combination of the concept of special interest groups with the 4-H club model. Thus the “S” and “P” is taken from special and the “I” and “N” from interest combined with clubs gets 4-H SPIN clubs. 

4-H SPIN clubs focus on a specific topic.  For example, clubs may focus on archery, baking, livestock or photography to name a few. The delivery method is in the club style format which provides the context for positive youth development. 

4-H SPIN clubs take place over a specific length of time.  Michigan 4- H Youth Development is piloting this program delivery method for the next year; September 1, 2013 through August 31, 2014.  During this pilot stage, it is suggested that clubs meet at least six times, but not more than eight times with a suggested duration time of one hour.

If you are interested in learning more about Michigan 4-H SPIN Clubs, visit the MSU Extension website.

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