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Supporting Youth Officers

Program Contact: Yakima County 4-H Program Coordinator
(509) 574-1600 •

Working with Youth Officers

Youth officers are an important part of a successful 4-H Club experience.  Through these roles, youth take ownership of their clubs, gaining leadership skills as they guide activities and discover how to conduct business.  4-H volunteers are an important part of a youth officer’s journey, sharing their experience and perspectives with the young people in the club.

Core Officer Positions



The president helps everyone in the club work together at meetings and during projects.  They facilitate discussion and help everyone take part in discussions, asking questions for the group to consider and giving everyone the opportunity to contribute their thoughts and ideas.  When the club is making plans, the president may observe where more discussion is needed and bring that to the group’s attention or they might guide discussion to a close when it seems like the group has reached consensus.  Members will not feel like they have been overruled by the president’s voice when club members have to compromise.

Vice President

Vice President

The vice president assists the president and presides at meetings in the absence of the president.  They use basic parliamentary procedure to conduct effective meetings while working collaboratively with club volunteers and the officer team to develop the yearly club plan for club meetings.  The vice president coordinates communication between officers, members, volunteers, and parents about assignments and duties for meetings and helps with setup for meetings and programs.



The club secretary keeps an accurate, current roll of all club members and checks attendance at each meeting.  They keep accurate records of each meeting and read the previous meeting minutes when the club convenes.  The club secretary uses basic parliamentary procedure to conduct effective meetings.  They work with the other officers and club volunteers to develop the yearly club plan for club meetings.  Along with the other officers, they communicate with officers, members, volunteers, and parents about assignments and duties for meetings and they help set up for meetings and programs.



The treasurer maintains the financial records of the club, including keeping track of invoices, bills, and deposits related to the funds and property of the club.  Working with club volunteers, the treasurer will develop the club budget for the year.  They are expected to save receipts and keep accurate, up-to-date records of all club funds, tracking expenses, income, and the balance in the accounts.  The treasurer pays bills as approved by the club and reports the club’s financial condition at each meeting.  Like other officers, the treasurer will use basic parliamentary procedure to conduct effective meetings.  They will work collaboratively with club volunteers and the officer team to develop the yearly club plan for club meetings and will arrive early to help set up meeting.



The club reporter communicates the club activities to community members and stakeholders outside of the club.  They submit interesting reports and photographs of club activities to local media outlets, including newspaper, radio, television, and online outlets.  The reporter will send club news to the county Extension office for the county’s 4-H newsletter, website, and social media presences.  They will work with the club secretary to make sure they have a current club roster that includes the names of all volunteers, officers, and members to ensure the information shared is accurate and spelled correctly.  The reporter will also have knowledge of county policy with regards to publishing youth names to media outlets.  They will work with the other officers to use parliamentary procedure to conduct effective meetings and will assist the officer team and club volunteers to create the yearly club plan for meetings.  The reporter will arrive early to assist with meeting setup and support the rest of the officer team.

Other Potential Officer Positions

Recreation Leader
Healthy Living
Community Service

Youth Officer Position Training

Even if you’ve been in leadership positions in other organizations or clubs, training is an important part of learning the roles officers play in their 4-H clubs.

4-H Officers Handbook

The 4-H Officers Handbook is available through your Extension office or on Shop4-H.  It helps 4-H club officers and committee members learn their responsibilities, prepare for their leadership roles, and make club meetings fun and interesting for all members. The handbook contains eight lessons including “Serve as a Club Officer”, “Appoint a Committee”, and “Know the Basics of Parliamentary Procedure”.

See the 4-H Club Officers page for activities youth can do on their own to prepare for their roles as club officers.

Youth Friendly Parliamentary Procedure for 4-H Business Meetings

Simplified versions of parliamentary procedure can help your 4-H club run quick business meetings and make decisions. But don’t get caught up in the perfect use of parliamentary procedure.

  • A 4-H Club isn’t the Senate Floor; focus on the basics. The basics are the most necessary components to give everyone a voice.
  • Only accepting perfection or attempting to follow the nitty-gritty of all parliamentary procedure rules will likely make youth feel unsure of how to participate instead of empowered.
  • Remember, your 4-H club’s most important mission is to create a place for youth to feel they belong and experience a safe space to make mistakes.

A simplified version of parliamentary procedure for middle to high school youth may include just using a repeated pattern of motions (“I move…”), seconds (“I second that motion…”), calls for discussion (“Any discussion before we vote?”), and voting (“All in favor..”).

A simplified version of parliamentary procedure for elementary school youth may include just using a repeated pattern of sharing ideas (“I think…”), seconds (“Who else agrees?”), calls for discussion (“What other ideas do we have?”), and voting (“All in favor..”).

If your club is using a system, simplified or not, it’s vital that all youth members have an interactive opportunity to learn how it works!

Teaching Parliamentary Procedure & Meeting Structure

Parli-Pro-Trail-Mix (PDF)

Beach Ball Review (PDF)

Order of Business (PDF)

Parli Pro Que Cards (PDF)

Learn more

Empowering Youth Through Parliamentary Procedure Tip Sheet (PDF)

For more information and resources on building a collaborative club environment for youth and adults, check out our page on Building the Youth-Adult Partnership!

Parliamentary Procedure Basics – Oregon 4-H (YouTube video)

Parliamentary Procedure – University of Illinois Extension (PDF)

Parliamentary Procedure refers to rules that exist so that business meetings are organized and orderly. The rules ensure that everyone has a chance to participate, be heard, and help the group reach decisions.

Only one person may speak at a time. The president of the organization announces the order of business and calls on people to speak. When a person wants the group to take action, he/she makes a motion suggesting that action, and the membership takes a vote to decide.

Resources from Other 4-H Programs

Why Are 4-H Club Elections Important? (2020) – Ohio 4-H (PDF)

Campaigning for a 4-H Club Officer Position (2020) – Ohio 4-H (PDF)

Election of Officers (2021) – Ohio 4-H (PDF)

A how-to guide to holding youth officer position elections.

4-H Officer Trainings – University of Missouri Extension (YouTube Playlist)

Contains training videos for President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer positions.

Youth Leadership Curriculum

Available through Shop 4-H or the Extension office.

Leadership skills are not developed overnight. Leadership Skills You Never Outgrow 1 will help you build your leadership skills by completing a series of leadership activities. You can do the activities individually or with a Project Helper. You will work with another person or a group of people to complete many of the activities.

These leadership activities will help you gain skills in seven different areas: Understanding self, communicating, getting along with others, learning to learn, making decisions, managing, and working with groups

These skills will be helpful throughout your life. You will use them at home, at school, and in your clubs or groups. By learning and practicing these skills, you and your groups will be able to accomplish the goals you set.

Leadership Skills You Never Outgrow Level 2

Leadership Skills You Never Outgrow Level 3

Leadership Road Trip:  Where Are You Going?

Are you interested in learning about what it takes to become a good leader? Begin your leadership adventure by answering questions about yourself and the people close to you, by setting goals, by practicing communication, and by making a commitment to lead. Intended for youth old enough to explore the nature of leadership.

Finding Your Voice: Public Speaking Made Easy

Want to learn a skill you can use for the rest of your life? This project shows members with little or no public speaking experience how to prepare and deliver speeches in front of crowds with confidence. Take a look at how the pros manage this skill, then learn how to handle various speaking situations, deliver different types of speeches, and resolve problems you may experience along the way. Your confidence builds with each activity!