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A Guide for Staff and Volunteers http://Florida4H.org
1 Page Starting and Maintaining 4-H Clubs: A Guide for Staff and Volunteers Both National and State 4-H Headquarters, located at USDA Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service (CSREES) and at University of Florida (UF) respectively, have policies governing 4H clubs. These policies govern all youth development programming delivered through 4H: 4-H programs, curricula, and procedures are based in research and are developmentally appropriate. 4-H programs are based on the needs of children, youth, and their parents. 4-H provides access to resources of the Land Grant University Cooperative Extension System. 4-H provides members access to county, state, and national 4-H opportunities. 4-H membership is open to all youth. 4-H programs employ experiential learning strategies. 4-H encourages active involvement and participation by children, youth, and adults in all aspects. 4-H relies heavily on youth and adult volunteers or staff to provide a critical support system. 4-H provides training for volunteer and staff, recognizing that training is essential for effective 4H programs. 4-H adapts to and supports mobility of children/youth and parents. 4-H clubs comply with national 4-H name and emblem policies and policies of the state. Starting and Maintaining 4-H Clubs In Florida Table of Contents What is a 4-H Club? .................................................................... 2 Types of 4-H Clubs .................................................................... 3 Criteria for Florida 4-H Club Charters .......................................... 5 Enrolling Members and Volunteers ............................................ 8 Fiscal Requirements and Responsibilities ................................... 11 Club Reporting and Recognition .................................................. 12 Criteria for 4-H Youth Development Programming Including 4-H Clubs
2 Page Starting and Maintaining 4-H Clubs: A Guide for Staff and Volunteers The 4-H club serves as the primary means of providing youth development programming in 4-H. It has the advantage of long-term involvement with the support of adults. 4-H clubs are organized and supported to provide community-based, positive, and structured learning opportunities for youth throughout their developmental years. Surveys of youth who have been involved in outof -school youth programs report the importance youth place on knowing that programs will continue over many years. Youth are reluctant to take ownership in groups or establish relationships with volunteers when they appear temporary. While other 4-H delivery methods are effective, the more in-depth experiences occur in and through the club. The goals and structure of 4-H clubs vary according to the needs of the members they serve. Some clubs offer one project topic that the entire membership experiences together at the club meeting. Others offer a selection of projects delivered through project meetings held at times outside the club. Some clubs have a singular focus such as community service clubs, or they serve a specific audience such as tribal reservation clubs, after-school or home -school youth. But there are components and characteristics common to all 4-H clubs, and these commonalities provide the definition of a 4-H club. A 4-H Club: Is an organized group of youth. Has a planned program that is ongoing throughout 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. Youth ages 5 18 (as of September 1 of the current year) are eligible to be 4-H members in Florida. Organized clubs may serve youth across the age span of 5 to 18. Counties in Florida have the option to support younger members (5 to 7 years) called Cloverbuds. These clubs require additional volunteers, especially to support the younger youth, ages five to seven. Where these clubs exist, they focus on cooperative learning and do not participate in competitive events. What is a 4-H Club? Who can join?
3 Page Starting and Maintaining 4-H Clubs: A Guide for Staff and Volunteers Organized 4-H Clubs The 4-H club is one of the most effective methods used by the 4-H program. 4-H clubs are organized groups of boys and girls supported by adult volunteers. The 4-H club conducts meetings and activities throughout the year usually holding six or more official meetings annually. Club meetings typically include: the conducting of some business by the officers, an educational program, and a group team-building or recreational activity. The club frequently includes opportunities for leadership, citizenship, and public speaking. It may meet in any location and is authorized through the county and state Extension Office to use the 4-H name and emblem. In all clubs, members are encouraged to learn and participate in one or more projects. Additionally clubs do a community service activity or service-learning project during the 4-H year. All clubs require at least one designated adult club volunteer. There are different methods and locations of organizing 4-H clubs. Clubs may be formed in communities, in schools, in after-school settings, or on military installations. Two distinctive types of methods or organizational structure exist: clubs where youth have multiple interests or singular focus. Either type of club should provide an opportunity for youth to plan and conduct their own program with the guidance of adult or have input into what they want to learn within a project focus. These clubs usually have elected youth officers, develop their own club name, create their bylaws, and learn to govern themselves. Multi-Project or General Club The multi-project or general club (1) meets regularly to conduct a business meeting; (2) provides an educational program or activity (often by the youth themselves); (3) addresses county and community issues through community service-learning projects; and (4) offers a selection of projects delivered through project meetings held at times outside the club meeting. This format provides a wider choice of learning experiences for the 4-Her but requires more volunteers for the additional project meetings. It is more complicated than single-project clubs to manage. Types and Characteristics of Clubs of the time for Business club for Recreation the time for Educational Program
4 Page Starting and Maintaining 4-H Clubs: A Guide for Staff and Volunteers Project Clubs Clubs that (1) meet regularly, (2) conduct a business meeting, (3) address county and community issues through service, and (4) focus on one project for the entire membership are referred to as project clubs. In a single-project club, all the members are enrolled in the same project; they may be active in more than one project club. Supplemental Learning Activities In addition to the many activities scheduled in club meetings, 4-H members in all clubs are provided access to additional structured learning opportunities through activities such as the following: Community Service-Learning Projects Day Camps Overnight Camping Trips Events and Activities Competitive Events and Activities (fairs, judging etc.) Non-Competitive Events and Activities (clinics, workshops, lock-ins, retreats, seminars, etc.) Club Program Support Materials These or other materials may be available from your local 4-H office for club support each year: Club Program Planning Guide Club Program Planning Workbook Club Treasurer Book A Guide for Club Officers A Guide to County and District Councils Member and Leader Identification Cards upon re-enrollment Checklist for Annual Club Re-enrollments Youth enrollment forms (completed by each member signed by parents) to select projects Participation Form (completed by all youth signed by parents) Volunteer enrollment forms (completed by each volunteer) to update roles/contact information Annual Charter Request form (signed by leader) For a complete guide to Florida 4-H Events, and for event calendars and participation information, go to: http://www.florida4h.org
5 Page Starting and Maintaining 4-H Clubs: A Guide for Staff and Volunteers Criteria for Florida 4-H Club Charters Enrollment Procedures Enrollment of clubs and all members and volunteer leaders is required for participation. The 4-H program/enrollment year operates from September 1 through August 31. This enrollment is done through the county and submitted to the State 4-H Headquarters. Florida 4-H uses a computer enrollment system called 4-H Online, which means the forms must be filled out completely and accurately. Check with your county office for procedures. Establishing and Chartering a 4-H Club Florida has established criteria for enrolling as an official 4-H Club. Official enrollment as a 4-H Club and receipt of a 4-H Club charter gives the club the authority to use the 4-H name and emblem. Clubs must be chartered through a request to the local Extension Office, meeting the minimum criteria and receiving written approval. Criteria for clubs in Florida are as follows: The club has five members (from at least two families) with completed enrollments. The club is organized with youth officers or defined youth leadership roles. There are one or more appointed club volunteers, following application, screening, and training. An initial meeting place is secured for at least several consecutive months. An official non-discriminatory club name is chosen. Club rules, which may be in the form of bylaws, are established. At least six or more regular meetings plus project meetings are scheduled. A written educational plan/calendar for the club program and activities is presented to the county 4-H office (draft is okay). Follows the affirmative action policy of the Cooperative Extension Service. A copy of the club enrollment is kept on file with the County Extension office. When requesting a Club Charter, the New Charter Application Form should be completed by the Club Secretary and signed by the Club President, Club Organizatio nal Leader, and Extension Faculty. Once completed, the Extension Faculty will then forward the request to the State 4-H Headquarters. This form, provided on the next page, can be found at the Florida 4-H website listed at the front of this document. Official Chartered 4-H Clubs can use the name and emblem of 4-H. Individual clubs may have continuous use of their charter over many years; however, an Annual Request for Charter is required from all clubs. This form, found on page 7, can be obtained from the Florida 4-H website. Counties usually require this form to be completed upon the re-enrollment of individual members annually during the fall. The annual 4-H calendar follows a program year operating September 1 through August 31. A letter from the County Extension Office will acknowledge continued club status annually.
NEW 4-H CLUB CHARTER APPLICATION (to be completed by Club Secretary) Name of 4-H Group Type of 4-H Group (4 -H Project Club, 4-H Special Interest Group, General 4-H Club) Community/School County Number nrolled Total Number of Projects Purpose of Club Name of Club Leader Date rganized President: Name Address Vice President Name Address Secretary Name Address Signed by: Club President Club Organizational Volunteer(s) 4-H Agent Date of Application Attachments: Club Program Plan with meeting dates and locations Roster of Club Members Signed Charter Request Form Club By-laws/Rules Club Officers/ Defined Youth Roles
Due: County Extension Office Name of Club: Type of Request: Establishment of a new club Continuance of Purpose of Club: to carry out a continuous 4-H club program, serving the needs of youth in County. Name of Club Leader: AGREEMENTS: I understand that if this club disbands during my leadership, all property and funds of this club or group shall be returned to the County 4-H Program Leader. If the group continues, it shall be turned over to the new club leader. It is the policy of of the County Extension Service, (Club Name) (County) 4-H & Youth programs, that all persons shall have equal opportunity and access to its programs and facilities without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability. Number of youth enrolled in this club: Hispanic Non-Hispanic Black White American Indian Asian/Pacific Islander Other Club Leader: Date: (Signature) ** The approval below will be granted upon receipt of this form for all clubs with minority enrollment. Clubs not meeting this requirement will be notified and will be required to conduct All Reasonable Efforts between the dates of September 1 and December 31. O FFICIAL A PPROVAL FOR 4-H C LUB OR G ROUP : On the basis of the above purposes, and having fulfilled the Affirmative Action require me nts, the is authorized to use (Name of Club or Group) the 4 -H name and emblem in connection with its program and activities and is considered an official 4-H club of the Cooperative Extension Service. Signed: County 4-H Program Leader ANNUAL R EQUEST FOR C LUB C HARTER
8 Page Starting and Maintaining 4-H Clubs: A Guide for Staff and Volunteers Enrolling Members and Volunteers Enrolling Members Youth may join 4-H at any time and clubs may be formed throughout the year. Enrollment of new members and volunteers who join the club during the year can be submitted immediately either electronically or in print form to the county 4-H office by the club volunteer. However, many counties promote and recruit new members and clubs and their membership each fall. Annually, an for returning members of 4 -H Clubs will be determined by the county 4-H faculty. Enrollment includes choices for projects, releases for use of photographs or program evaluation tools, and agreements for non -discriminatory membership. A state 4-H membership code of conduct / volunteer expectations must be read and signed and submitted with the enrollment. Samples of the Individual Youth Enrollment Form and the 4-H Participation Form are located at the Florida 4-H website. Enrolling and re-enrolling may be done through the Florida 4-H online Enrollment System. Check with your County 4-H Agent for your online enrollment procedures for members. Eligibility for competition at fairs or exhibitions, and some project involvement requirements are often determined by birth date as of September 1 of the current program year. Other requirements may also be in place at the county level. Competitive event guidelines and supporting information can be obtained from your County 4-H Extension faculty. Enrolling Volunteers Florida requires a screening and training process prior to serving as an official 4H volunteer and working directly with youth. Position descriptions that outline leader responsibilities are usually provided. Every Extension volunteer who works directly with youth on an on-going basis (3 or more times annually) or for an overnight situation must complete the 4-H Volunteer screening process. as well as complete the six-module Chaperone Certification Training and pass with a final test score of 80 or higher. The Florida 4-H Volunteer Application Forms are located at the Florida 4-H website listed at the end of this document or from your county 4-H Extension Office. Once a volunteer is appointed following screening, an annual enrollment form is used to provide updated information to the 4-H office. Enrolling and re-enrolling may be done through the Florida 4-H online Enrollment System. Check with your County 4-H Agent for your count online enrollment procedures for volunteers. Throughout the year, youth, staff, and volunteers who participate in special programs beyond the club level (e.g., County 4-H Camp, State 4-H Congress, State Leade Forum, National Conferences) are required to complete additional forms that relate to the specific event.
11 Page Starting and Maintaining 4-H Clubs: A Guide for Staff and Volunteers Fiscal Requirements of 4-H Clubs
12 Page Starting and Maintaining 4-H Clubs: A Guide for Staff and Volunteers Evaluating, Reporting, and Recognizing Club Performance 4-H Extension agents report data to the University of Florida and CSREES/USDA in an annual statistical report of summarized demographic data regarding members and volunteers. This information includes the numbers of clubs in the county, member enrollment and project information about the program. Youth development professionals working with a 4-H club within an organization outside Extension will need to work closely with the county 4H Extension faculty and include data on the club in this report. In addition to the statistics gathered about the 4-H club, volunteers will want to evaluate the success of the club in providing the support youth need. This will allow club volunteers to state how well the club is contributing to the growth and development of it members. This assessment involves more than gathering numbers. While the numbers of youth participating does indicate a level of success in reaching youth (they keep coming, or drop out), there are other indicators that will help assess what is happening in the club. Work closely with the 4-H Extension faculty and use quality evaluation tools to assess club progress. Club Performance Recognition Club recognition systems exist to recognize clubs for their performance. Clubs may strive to reach specific standards of performance just as individual club members work to achieve standards. Florida 4-H provides four levels of recognition bronze, silver, gold, and emerald for 4-H Club attainment. E ach of the four levels of standards is available for clubs to achieve. Criteria f or Club Performance Standards can be found on pages 13 and 14. BRONZE Clover Cl ub will receive a BRONZE Clover Certificate and name printed in the 4-H newsletter. SILVER Clover Club will receive a SILVER Clover Certificate and name printed in the 4-H newsletter. GOLD Clover Club will receive a GOLD Clover Certificate and name printed in the 4 -H newsletter. EMERALD Clover Club will receive an EMERALD Clover Certificate, name printed in the 4-H newsletter, and name in a news article submitted to the local newspaper for publication. For further information about the Florida 4-H Program, go to the Florida 4-H website at http://www.florida4h.org Bronze Silver Gold Emerald
13 Page Starting and Maintaining 4-H Clubs: A Guide for Staff and Volunteers Standards of Excellence for 4-H Clubs and Groups Check the following Club Performance Standards completed during the 4H year. Documentation may come from meeting minutes, scrapbooks, photos, newspaper articles, letters, etc., and should be attached to this form. 1. Club/group h ad a planned annual program that includes group goals recruit 4 new members 75% of members wil l a ttend camp all members will choose one county learning activity to attend 3. Club/group selected an area of focus for their annual program( health & fitness; environmental science; pet care; community service; intercultural understanding OR club/group is represented in the community, by serving on a committee, council or board with adult partners 4. Club/Group members were involved in implementing the annual program/activities planning and bringing snacks calling club/group members for a meeting or assignment presenting a demonstration organizing a tour introducing a speaker leading recreation teaching others) 5. A calendar for the year was printed and distributed to members, parents, volunteers, and the local Extension Office( identify meetings dates, locations educational programs; special projects; social events; county or district events 6. All members were invited and at least 75% of club/group members were involved in at least nine club/ group activities during the year meetings club/group tours recognition event 7. Club/Group officers were elected or appointed, and fulfilled their leadership roles. 8. Club/Group completed at least one (1) community service project. Club Performance Standards Club / Group Name County Club / Group President Signature Date Organizational Volunteer Signature Date Total Number of checked responses for the 20 Excellent Standards
14 Page Starting and Maintaining 4-H Clubs: A Guide for Staff and Volunteers Club Performance Standards (continued) 9. Club/Group completed at least one (1) promotion activity that promotes 4-H visibility at the community or county level ( participating in a community parade radio interviews during National 4-H Week project displays in business windows or doing website development for Count Extension office y Club/Group has completed at least one (1) project that promotes 4-H visibility at the county, multi-county, district, state, multi-state, national or global level. 10. learning areas. 12. At least 75% of the members made progress toward individual 4-H project goals. 13. Group developed a method to communicate with families at least three (3) times per year regarding club/group activities, education, and achievements ( newsletters e-mails calling tree group activity that includes families 14. Club/Group planned at least one (1) activity to include parents and families in club/group activities( project showcase skating party tours recognition event) 15. Members took part in a variety of non-competitive activities and/or meetings beyond the 4-H club/ group level ( county project workshops council meetings interstate exchange programs) 16. A sche duled recognition event was held for members, volunteers and parents. 17. Club/group planned and implemented at least one multi-club activity ( doing multi-club community service several clubs managing a community or county event conducting a multi-club learning or social event 18. Members participated in competitive 4-H events beyond the club/group level ( county events district events state fair project area competitions 19. 4 -H club/group consistently had a safety/supervision ratio of 1 adult to 10 youth. 20. The racial/ethnic composition of the club reflects the diversity of the surrounding community. (If club does not reflect the diversity of the community, then successful efforts to contact minority citizens in person, by mail, and through mass media may be used. Work with your county 4H agent for help achieving this goal.) BRONZE Clover Club Award SILVER Clover Club Award GOLD Clover Club Award EMERALD Clover Club Award
The 4-H Pledge my Head to clearer thinking my Heart to greater loyalty my Hands to larger service and my Health to better living for my club my community my country and my world.