Starting a 4-H Club

Program Contact: Dorothy Elsner, 4-H Program Coordinator
(360) 428-4270 ext. 226 • dorothy.elsner@wsu.edu

JoinTodayA 4-H Club:

  • Is an organized group of youth.
  • Has a planned program that is ongoing thoughout all or most of the year.
  • Is advised by adult staff or volunteers.
  • Typically elects officers.
  • May meet in any location.
  • Includes opportunities to learn skills through a wide variety of project experiences.
  • Offers opportunities for leadership, citizenship/community service, and public speaking.

Family Clubs & Homeschool 4-H

Parents and their children may also utilize 4-H as a family club, the parents acting as leaders and the youth as members. Sometimes homeschooled children participate in 4-H activities and events, for the social benefits our program provides.

Steps in Establishing a 4-H Club

  1. Contact the county 4-H staff.
  2. Become a leader by attending local 4-H volunteer/leader training.
  3. Obtain county and state 4-H policies and guidelines.
  4. Assess youth, parent and community needs and interests.
  5. Recruit potential club members.
  6. Conduct an organizational meeting.
  7. Recruit project leaders and distribute curricula.
  8. Complete and submit enrollment and other appropriate reports.
  9. Assist with club by-laws preparation.

How Do We Recruit 4-H Members?
How Many Should We Have?

4-H clubs should have at least five members from 2 or more families. Some suggest that 6 to 10 members per adult leader is an optimum number. Limit your first group to a number with which you and your co-leaders feel comfortable!

Recruiting members is seldom hard to do. Start with a contact to your county Extension staff for names and ideas. You can always write newspaper articles, recruit at schools or church, or just talk up the club to parents and children you know.

Remember that 4-H must be available to all people equally without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, or handicap.

How Do I Enroll My Members?

Washington State University Skagit County Extension has the necessary forms for you to complete and submit to the office. All 4-H members must re-enroll every year. Enrollment begins on October 1 and ends on May 1.