4-H EZ: Recipe for 4-H Community Club Success

These modules have been created for youth (including teen leaders and 4-H Club Officers) and adult 4-H volunteers, as well as Extension professionals. Each module includes a series of tips, resources, and activities to help make operating your 4-H club “EZ”. The goal is to share promising practices of organizing a 4-H Club that youth and adult volunteers can implement together.

These resources can be viewed online individually or led in a face-to-face group setting. These topics can stand alone, but have been designed to build upon one another.

Click on the header of each section below to sign in and watch the video for that section. After you sign in, you will be able to watch the video. You will be asked to complete a short evaluation after each section to share with us something you will apply from the topic to your 4-H Club, and to inform us of future training needs.

Please note that a 4-H EZ Application Guide has been included in the Introduction resources. This guide will allow you to reflect on each of the videos and apply the information to your 4-H Community Club setting.The North Central Region 4-H Volunteer Specialists are pleased to present this series to you! If you would like to learn more about 4-H resources and programming offered by any of the North Central states, please visit:  https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/ncrvd/. Thanks for joining us on our journey to 4-H E-Z!


INTRODUCTION (video – 8:15, and survey)

This video introduces the series and provides an overview of Rachelle and Kari’s experiences with the community 4-H club they lead. It includes demographics, describes adult leader roles, and explains how the tips in this series can be applied across all community clubs. The series is based on the concept that key components of a youth-led, adult-guided club can be used in new and existing groups of any size. “EZ” does not mean low quality, rather it is using the components of positive youth development in manageable applications.

TOPIC ONE:  Develop a Culture for Youth Involvement (video – 15:06, and survey)

This video covers topic one of the series, “Develop a culture for youth involvement.”  The tips include: 1) consider your club size, 2) involve youth in a club decision-making process, and 3) provide youth with opportunities to speak in front of a group.

You are provided examples of how youth are involved in 4-H club decision making and asked to think about how this applies to your own club experiences. You will be encouraged to recognize aspects of your current club structure that might be limiting youth involvement in leadership.

TOPIC TWO: Lead a Club that Works  (video – 18:13, and survey)

This video covers topic two of the series, “Lead a club that works.”  The tips include: 1) Designate responsibility among members and their families/caring adults, 2) be creative with how you utilize a 4-H club officer team, and 3) develop a kid-friendly meeting environment.

You are provided examples of how to create ownership and empower every member to engage.  Examples, such as giving an adult volunteer interest survey,  keeping a 4-H leaders bag with extra activities and creating roles for club officers that meet kids where they are at will help you learn how to lead a club that works!

TOPIC THREE: Take 4-H Beyond the Meeting (video – 18:43, and survey)

This video covers topic three of the series, “Take 4-H beyond the business meeting.”  Five tips are included: 1) offer 4-H project experiences, 2) provide service learning opportunities, 3) incorporate hands-on, interactive field trips, 4) funding 4-H Club activities, and 5) explore other 4-H opportunities.

Examples are included to help you incorporate each tip into your 4-H Club. As a result, your club will offer a well-rounded experience to the members that enable them to better understand their personal interests and the community around them.

TOPIC FOUR: Measure Club Success (video – 9:33, and survey)

This video covers topic four of the series, “Measure club success.” One tip is included: recognize and celebrate 4-H Club success. Suggestions related to recognizing and celebrating the successes that the youth have attained as a result of their work in the 4-H Club are provided, not just one time, but throughout the year…counting each and every win during the year – from members’ smiles to the skills they gained from their educational experiences! In addition, tips that allow for the smooth transition of leadership from one set of club leaders to the next are offered, allowing for long-term sustainability of the 4-H Club.

CONCLUSION (video – 1:27, and survey)

The sixth and final video in the 4-H EZ series is the conclusion. Kari, Rachelle, and Steve briefly recap the highlights of the series and offer encouragement to those operating high quality, youth-led, adult-guided 4-H community clubs of any size. These clubs provide positive experiences for the youth…all while operating in a manageable, “E-Z” fashion!