This area is designed as a resource to help families that are new to 4-H
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New Family Nights
Twice a year, in January and in June, families that are new to 4-H are encouraged to attend New Family Night. It starts at 7 pm and usually lasts about an hour. At each of the two sessions different things are talked about and explained including project enrollments, county fair, and countywide activities. The 4-H Ambassadors plan fun games and activities for the kids while the parents learn about things that will help them get familiar with 4-H.
Seven times a year the clover clipper is published. It contains valuable information regarding trips, camps, the fair, enrollment, project sessions and different opportunities for 4-H members. Make sure to read through this because it might answer some questions that you have.
Be active and involved in your 4-H club. Participate in club meetings, events and activities. There are many county events and activities as well. Just a few are camps, trips, Festival of the Arts, 4-H project workshops and the county fair. The more involved you are the more fun you will have!
Members can choose from over 60 projects that they are interested in learning more about. Projects range from learning to care for animals, the environment, yourself and others, to becoming a youth leader and developing creative skills through the arts. First year members are encouraged to take just a few projects so they can learn the most from this new experience. Does your child want to try a project that you know nothing about? No problem! There are project resource leaders available for the projects your child is interested in. Project leaders assist members in setting goals, experiencing new things, and completing projects.
Fair Entries and the Fair
Fair entries are due at the beginning of July. The entries need to be done online and in by 11:59 pm by that day. This is a very strict deadline. Feel free to hand them in early. Make a copy for yourself so you can remember what your child entered. Make sure to read the descriptions carefully and to fill out the entry form correctly. If you have a question about filling it out, don’t be afraid to ask someone. Everyone has had questions about the fair entry form at one time or another.
The fair can be quite an experience the first time. Read the fair book carefully to know when the entries need to be checked in and when the judging times are. Also read the descriptions carefully, know if you need to put the variety on the vegetables, what size the poster needs to be for photography, what needs to be on the label for food preservation, if you need to add a card with the materials you used or what type of health papers you need for your animal. If you can not find an answer or are unsure, ask someone in your club, another parent or the 4-h leader, or call the Extension office at 920-787-0416. Everyone is more than willing to help out to make 4-H a positive experience for everyone.
Record books should be started at the beginning of the year after the member chooses the projects they will work on. Before working on their projects they should establish their goals for that project and record them in their record book. As they work on their projects they should record progress either by jotting down some notes or by taking some pictures. After the fair is over with, it is time to finish up with record books. The Cloverbuds also fill out a record book, but their book is different from the older members books. Things to include in record books are newspaper clippings or pictures of your projects. Don’t include ribbons. Make sure your child fills out the record book as best and as complete as they can. Again, if you have any questions about the record books don’t be afraid to ask.
All of the books will be reviewed by adult leaders and parents within the club. The club can nominate up to 1/3 of the books to be sent in for the county review. The awards for the record books will be handed out at The Member and Leader Recognition Program in October. All of the Cloverbuds will receive recognition that day as well.
Youth may need some encouragement to stay involved in 4-H. Adults can help by:
Sharing – Take an interest in a child’s 4-H projects and activities. Listen, look and offer your suggestions, but don’t “take over.” The motto of 4-H is “Learn by doing”. Let the child learn by his or her mistakes and successes. Its ok if something doesn’t work on the first try. Encourage them to reflect on why it didn’t work, form a solution, and try again.
Preparing – Help a child to understand the value of projects and presentations done well and on time. Help a child to understand the importance of follow through and to know what it feels like to finish a project.
Being There – A child will gain more from 4-H by regular attendance at club meetings and involvement in 4-H activities. As the adult, attend meetings with them and get to know the 4-H club leader. Also lend a hand whenever you can. This can range from bringing a snack to the meeting to driving members to activities.
Have a Question or Need Help?
Local 4-H Club – You can contact your club leader or another family in your club
County 4-H Office – You can contact your county UW Extension office. Ask for the county 4-H Youth Development Agent (Barb Barker) who is responsible for administering the county 4-H program.
County 4-H Leaders Organization – Your county also has an organization of volunteers which supports the 4-H program.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS!!
4-H Parent or Guardian’s Pledge
I Pledge My Head
to give my child the information I can, to help them see things clearly and to make wise decisions.
I Pleadge My Heart
to encourage my child no matter wheather they have success or disappointment.
I Pledge My Hands
to help my child’s club; if I can’t be a leader, I can help in many wqually important ways.
I Pledge My Health
to keep my child well and strong for a better work, through 4-H, for our club, our community, our county and our world