What is 4H?
Stark County has over 750 active 4-H members! These members have the opportunity to learn about science, agriculture, cooking, sewing, leadership, character and much more. Every 4-H’er decides what their interests are and the project(s) they wish to take in 4-H.
4-H members belong to local community clubs. There are approximately 50 clubs across Stark County. Clubs have adult volunteers who are trained to lead the clubs. Some clubs have a specialization such as livestock, still projects, or family and consumer sciences. Most clubs allow members with any interest to join. In these general clubs there may be 4-H’ers with anything from sewing to rabbits and robots.
How to Join?
Thanks for your interest to become a Stark County 4-H Club Member.
The Stark County 4-H Youth Development Program is separated into two categories:
- 5-8 years old participate in Cloverbuds which involves activity-based non-competitive learning activities
- 9-19 years old (or 8 years old in 3rd grade) participate in 4H which involves project based learning activities
Age is as of January 1st of current year.
Youth join community 4-H clubs with leadership provided by one or more adult volunteer advisors. Clubs are based on project interests, location, and sometimes age. There are also school programs available in various districts.
Each county has a deadline for registration, Stark County’s is March 15 of each year. This registration enables a youth to participate in county and state fair selections. Youth who register after the deadline may participate in all club activities but not county and state fairs and county judging.
To take the next step, please email Dave Crawford at email@example.com with the age, location and general project interests of the youth. He will respond with a list of possible 4H clubs and advisors for you to contact.
Also, please take a look at these related links.
How to Become a 4H Advisor?
Stark County 4-H Volunteer /Advisor Application
Volunteers and parents help make 4-H possible. Without 4-H volunteers and parents the program would not have the mentors and leaders that 4-Hers need in order to learn the new skills that 4-H has to offer youth. With each volunteer comes knowledge, experiences, and skills which can be taught to 4-H youth and shared with the 4-H program “to make the best better.” Volunteers and parents are a major reason for 4-H’s success in youth development. Since 1902, parents and volunteers have helped the 4-H program develop successful leaders, build young minds, and set the path for 4-Hers to take the world by storm.
To become a 4-H volunteer, you will be invited to special training meetings and will receive newsletters and other written materials to help you learn your responsibilities as a volunteer. Your County Extension Educator and current volunteers will mentor you too.
If you would like to learn more about becoming a 4-H volunteer, contact the Extension office in your county!
I pledge my Head to give children the information I can, to help them see things clearly and to make wise decisions.
I pledge my Heart to encourage and support children no matter whether they have success or disappointments.
I pledge my Hands to help children’s groups; if I cannot be a leader, I can help in many equally important ways.
I pledge my Health to keep children strong and will for a better world through 4-H, for children’s groups, our community, our country, and our world.
Learn How to Get Involved
The dedication and commitment of our volunteers make 4-H Youth Development possible. Volunteers generously offer their time, expertise and provide support for hundreds of 4-H programs all over Ohio.
There is no specific age requirement to be a 4-H Volunteer. Youth volunteers, with the emotional maturity and leadership ability necessary to function in a volunteer role, are important partners in Ohio 4-H programs.
Ohio 4-H works with a variety of individuals, with differing interests, skills and abilities, as 4-H volunteers.
How to Become a Volunteer
David Crawford, Stark County, OSUE, DEC & 4-H Educator, at firstname.lastname@example.org is willing to share with you the steps it takes to become a 4-H Volunteer.
In collaboration with Washington State University, Ohio volunteers can take part in an e-Learning Course to help you learn information about volunteering. Ohio 4-H is dedicated to help you provide the best experience for our youth. For log-in information contact email@example.com!
How to start a Stark County 4H Club?
What Is a 4-H Club?
A 4-H club is a place where young people and adults come together to do things that help them:
- Be what they want to be.
- Think and learn about what interests them most.
- Share how they feel about their activities and their lives in general.
- Do fun things that also help them learn more.
- Relate to peers and the adults in their lives in positive ways.
A 4-H Club Would Have:
- At least two members from two or more different families.
- One or more caring adult volunteers working with the members.
- A format in which youth members decide what the club does and how it operates. This can, but doesn’t have to be, done through club officers.
- A club program, planned by members, volunteers and parents that will help the group achieve their goals.
- Six or more meetings a year.
- Learning experiences that use the community.
- Ways to evaluate and recognize the growth and learning of those involved.
Are There Dues?
4-H clubs do not pay county, state or national membership dues at this time. A local club may decide to generate funds to meet club goals either through dues or fund-raising activities.
What Types of 4-H Clubs Can We Start?
Although all 4-H clubs include the basic elements listed above, there are two common club formats. Schools & Groups can also enroll for short term learning activities.
This type of club involves members of a variety of ages and interests. This club holds a general club meeting that may be held monthly throughout the year. Each member also is part of a project group or club that meets at other times to explore the specific project interests of the group. An administrative volunteer leader usually manages the club. This person provides support to the individual club and groups and to their volunteer leaders. Community clubs are formed within geographic areas, schools or housing communities.
The activities of this type of club focus on one project or interest area. All members participate in the same project or interest. Club meetings can be held on a regular basis, usually weekly or monthly.
What Do I Need to Do to Start My Club?
Once you’ve recruited your adult and youth members, contact the Stark County, OSU Extension Office to find out how to register your new 4-H club. Stark County 4-H members and clubs can join any time of the year. Annually, March 15 is the deadline to join to participate in county & state judging and fairs. Volunteers who work with youth in 4-H are required to go through the OSU Volunteer Selection Process before engaging in direct, ongoing and unsupervised work with young people. This includes a volunteer application, references checked, a finger print back ground check, an interview and volunteer training.
4-H Ethics Guidelines
- “Know all the facts.” Make sure you have all the facts and information!
- Is the action legal? If the answer is “No”, go no further.
- Does it comply with organizational policy? If the answer is “No”, there is probably a good reason not to take the action. If you still feel the action is right, ask for advice.
- Are you (or the other party) expecting something inappropriate or inconsistent with organization policy, practice, etc. because of this action? If you are taking this action for material gain, it is probably not ethical. Make sure the action you are taking is to build a relationship with no strings attached and not for personal gain.
- Who will be impacted by the decision? Will people be positively or negatively impacted by your decision?
- How will it look if the decision is made public? If you would be ashamed to see a written account of this action in the newspaper, don’t do it.
- Could the action be interpreted as improper? If this action could be perceived as unethical and you may have to explain your actions, either don’t do it or ask for advice.
- If you get this far and still are concerned or unsure, ask for help.
- If it’s wrong, don’t do it.
- If the action clearly breaks company policy and society’s values, don’t do it.
- If you don’t know, ask
If you have an ethical issue, ask your advisor or other leadership for advice until you get an answer (Chapman, 2003, p. 51-53).
Reference: Chapman, K. (2003). The leader’s code: a people-sense guide to leadership. New York: Universe. Inc.