The parents' place in the boys' 4-H club program

Material Information

The parents' place in the boys' 4-H club program
Alternate title:
Circular 20 ; Florida Agricultural Extension Service
Blacklock, R. W.
Guest, Edgar A.
Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida,
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Boys clubs ( jstor )
Sons ( jstor )
Fitness centers ( jstor )

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
OCLC ( 214278568 )


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(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)


State Boys' Club Agent.
By Edgar A. Guest

Be more than his dad,
Be a chum to the lad;
Be a part of his life
Every hour of the day;
Find time to talk with him,
Take time to walk with him,
Share in his studies
And share in his play;
Take him to places,
To ball games and races,
Teach him the things
That you want him to know;
Don't live apart from him,
Don't keep your heart from him,
Be his best comrade,
He's needing you so!

Never neglect him,
Though young, still respect him,
Hear his opinions
With patience and pride;

Know what his thoughts are,
Know what his sports are,
Know all his playmates,
It's easy to learn to;
Be such a father
That when troubles gather
You'll be the first one
For counsel, he'll turn to.

You can inspire him
With courage, and fire him
Hot with ambition
For deeds that are good;
He'll not betray you
Nor illy repay you
If you have taught him
The things that you should.
Father and son
Must in all things be one-
Partners in trouble
And comrades in joy.

Show him his error, More than a dad
Be not a terror, Was the best pal you had;
Grim-visaged and fearful, Be such a chum
When he's at your side. As you knew, to your boy.
(From the book, "A Heap o' Livin'." Copyright, 1916. Used by special permission of The
Reilly & Lee Co.)
Parents are interested in the progress and development of their
children. Touch the child and the parents become interested at
once. Every father or mother desires the best possible for the

Circular 20

May, 1930

Boys' 4-H club work has so many attractive features and is
worth so much to the boys that if the parents become thoroughly
conversant with it they can do nothing less than encourage their
boys in the work. Often a little encouragement at the right times
by the parents will turn the tide of club work for the boy, and
affect his entire life. It is believed that if parents will familiarize
themselves with the work, they will lend active and intelligent
cooperation in helping club work to develop their boys into intel-
ligent, efficient and prosperous citizens.

Club work is a nation-wide organized effort to improve farm
and home life through the efforts and by the aid of the boys and
girls now living on farms.
It has been estimated that about 90 percent of our future farm-
ers will come from the sons and daughters of the men and women
now on the farms. Are they preparing themselves for their
life work?
Dr. C. B. Smith, Chief, Office of Cooperative Extension Work,
United States Department of Agriculture, has the following to say
about what 4-H club work does:
"4-H club boys and girls are demonstrators-they learn and
teach better ways on the farm, in the home, and in the community.
"4-H club boys and girls work, earn money, and acquire
"4-H club boys and girls do the needful, the wholesome, the
helpful thing. They become leaders.
"4-H club boys and girls play the game fairly.
"4-H club boys and girls meet together, work together, play
together, cooperate, achieve.
"4-H club boys and girls build up their bodies and their health
through right living; they train their hands to be useful, their
minds to think clearly; their hearts are kind.
"4-H club boys and girls have high ideals and standards. They
"4-H club boys and girls are doers."

Like education, of which it is a visualized workable branch, club
work can only develop what is in a boy. It cannot supply a lack
of grit or a will to do. It will help an ambitious boy to develop

himself. It will give him an opportunity to show others what he
is capable of doing when given a chance. A talent in a boy is like
muscle, it will develop with use and will shrivel and die if not
If your son wants a start toward financial independence, club
work offers an opportunity to start a bank account with the profits.
If your son wants a chance to prove his worth to you and to his
neighbors, club work offers him an opportunity to prove his ability
by competing with other boys in carrying out a piece of work.
Friendly rivalry is one of the causes of progress of mankind.
If your son wants to increase his store of knowledge, club work
will give him an opportunity to learn more about the world's
greatest field of effort, the production of food.
If your son wants to fit himself to become a leader among men,
club work through the local clubs and other organizations offers
a boy training and practice in leadership. Every community needs
leaders, and club work offers the boy an opportunity to prove him-
self through his own efforts.
Just because your son feels that he will never farm is no reason
to think that club work will not help him. The things he will learn
in working and playing with other boys and in carrying a piece of
work until it is finished will give a boy training that will be of
value in any line of future endeavor.

Boys' 4-H clubs are organizations of farm boys from 10 to 20
years of age who are striving to improve themselves financially,
mentally, and physically through carrying out a definite piece of
work, using the best possible methods.
The motto of 4-H club work is "To Make the Best Better."
"Learning by doing" is the method used. This applies not only to
the production of crops and livestock but also to the improvement
of the home and of the community. A boy made more efficient is
a better neighbor and a better citizen.
The club pledge is a statement of the aims of the members.
Every member should know this pledge.
Florida boys' clubs are conducted under the direction of the
County Agent, who represents the United States Department of
Agriculture and the College of Agriculture of the University of
Parents should understand the aims of 4-H club work and real-
ize the many ways in which it can help their sons. Some of the

means by which parents can help their sons get the full benefit
from club work follow. The method which brings the best results
will depend upon the personality of the boy and his parents'
ability to get the most out of him. The following should help by
suggesting some of the problems which experience has shown to
be ones with which the parents are able to do the most for the
success of the boy.

1. Encourage your sons to join.
Oftentimes the boys would like to see what they can do, but are
afraid that their parents will not approve. They are afraid of
being laughed at and being told, "It is all foolishness, there is
nothing in it." There are over 700,000 club members in the
United States. There is something in club work for those boys
and girls, so if yours is a normal farm boy there is something in
it for him. Do not throw cold water on what is perhaps your son's
first attempt to make something for himself. Tell him that if he
thinks he can carry on his part of the job to go ahead.

2. Assist him financially.
Go over the instructions furnished the boy. Help him plan-do
not plan it all for him, just help him. To do anything worth while
it will take a little money. This is a business proposition and there
will have to be some money invested. If your son is interested in
growing an acre of some crop he needs good seed and the right
kind of fertilizer. Do not force him to lose at the start by making
him use poor seed and the wrong fertilizer. The County Agent
will tell him what seed to use and how to fertilize. Remember
your son is demonstrating a method. The method has proven a
money-maker for others and should do the same for your son. It
will not cost you much and it might help you make more money
in the future. Try it once.
If your son wants to join one of the livestock clubs, help him
get a reasonably good animal. Then do not force your boy to
ruin a good animal because of lack of feed. If you feel that you
cannot afford to help him get the feed, tell him at the beginning
and let him take some other project.

3. Encourage your son to follow instructions.
Definite instructions should be given by the County Agent.
Encourage your boy to follow these instructions as fully as pos-
sible. He is carrying out a demonstration, using certain methods.
Help him to do a good piece of work. Do not tell him that the

method suggested is no good. If you think it wrong talk it over
with the County Agent first.

4. Help him keep going.
When the day gets long and hot it takes a little encouragement
from Father and Mother to keep the corn clean or the pig fed. Do
not do the work for your boy-that is worse than doing nothing.
See that he does it as it should be done.

5. Give him time off from his work.
Four-H club work is not all labor in the fields. Some of the
most important lessons are learned through association with
other boys. If the club holds meetings let him go if it is possible.
Usually the boys do enough more work to pay for the time spent
in attending meetings and going to camps.

Give the boy time off to go to camp.

6. Help him with his business management.
A record book is furnished for every member. An effort is
made to teach business methods. See that his kept accu-
rately. See that all costs are entered. Help him in measuring
yield or weighing animals. Teach him to be honest and fair. See
that he prepares his exhibit and attends the county contest. It
may be some trouble and expense to take the wagon and haul a
big hog or a calf to the county contest. It is part of the work and
must be done before the year's work can be considered complete.
The boy will never know just how good an exhibit he has until it
is placed in competition with others. Club work is known by the
number and quality of the exhibits shown by the members at the
county fair or contest. Prizes are awarded only for boys exhib-
iting at the contest.
7. Make business settlements with him.
SA 4-H club project is supposed to be a means of making money.
If the boy raises a crop of corn and it is needed on the farm, pay
him for it some way. Charge the boy for all the fertilizer used,
rent of the land, cost of seed and use of mule and implements, but
give him his profit. He will do better next year if you do. When
he gets his profit, encourage him to put at least part of it in the
bank. Every 4-H club member should have a bank account. Has
your son one?
8. Help the community club.
The local clubs are trying to make country life happier by put-
ting some recreation into it. Help the boys and girls with their
fun, 4-H club work wants only clean wholesome fun. Social meet-
ings of club members will help keep farm boys and girls con-
tented. Work with them. Your help and suggestions will be
9. Help the other boy.
Club work spreads through the efforts of its friends. Perhaps
you can help some boy in club work by talking to his father and
mother. A few words from you may start another boy on the
way to success. Many farm men and women are acting as local
leaders for the club work in their communities. If it is a good
thing it should be expanded.
It is hoped that these suggestions will help you in making your
son a successful 4-H club member. Remember, in all this work,
the wellbeing and success of the boy are kept in mind. He is the
important thing and everything should be done which will help
make him an intelligent, efficient, honest citizen.

The 4-H club emblem.