Words of wisdom for 4-H leaders

Experienced 4-H leaders give words of wisdom to new 4-H leaders.

After interviewing experienced 4-H leaders, here are Michigan State University Extension’s top 10 words of wisdom for new 4-H leaders from experienced leaders.

  1. Be positive with what you say and do. Whether in words or in body language, you can signal loud and clear that you are glad to be part of the club. A smile and kind words will go far in building a relationship with your 4-H’ers.
  2. Do not get discouraged; it will all work out. Not every activity will be a hit or every meeting a success, just try again in a different way.
  3. Have some “just fun” meetings. Make elephant ears, blow bubbles, throw water balloons, play charades or have a board game tournament night. Building relationships and trust in each other will strengthen the club.
  4. Read and discuss the county 4-H newsletter. If you do not have a county 4-H newsletter, review the Michigan 4-H Today newsletter that arrives twice a month.
  5. Resources are available at your MSU Extension Office or peruse the MSU Extension website.
  6. Talk to other leaders in your project area. Ask your 4-H county program coordinator for a mentor to advise you.
  7. Attend another 4-H Club’s meeting to see what they do. Look for different ways of learning and interacting with the club. Take notes and try a new activity each meeting.
  8. Go to the 4-H  Kettenun Center for a workshop. Attend a state 4-H activity in your club’s project areas. Take a trip to the MSU campus.
  9. Do not try to do too much. Rely on your teen members and parents to support your efforts.
  10. Finally, remember why you are doing this.  Together we can “Make the Best Better.” Children are 25 percent of our population, but 100 percent of our future.

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