4-H is an opportunity for boys and girls ages 8 to 19 to learn and develop life skills that may assist them in becoming responsible adults. 4-H is a part of Cornell Cooperative Extension. Projects are based on research and knowledge from Cornell University, other land-grant universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
How Do You Join 4-H?
Youth must be 8 - 19 years old in the current calendar year. Wyoming County also offers a program called Cloverbuds for youth in 1st and 2nd grade. There is a nominal fee to join 4-H; in addition some local clubs have dues. 4-H is open to everyone regardless of race, religion, color, sex or place of residence. Call the Wyoming County Cooperative Extension 4-H office (585-786-2251) or contact a local 4-H leader to see if there is room in a club near you.
A 4-H club must have 5 or more members and must meet at least six times during the club year. Clubs may meet at any convenient location. Some clubs meet in the leader or member's homes, others meet in a central place such as a school, church or community room. 4-H clubs usually do the following: project work, business meetings, recreation or social activities and special interest programs. There are activities and events that supplement regular 4-H project work. These include: award trips, hippology, dairy bowl, clothing revue, public presentations, contests, community service projects, achievement night, camp, cookie sale, county and state fair.
Who Can Be a 4-H Leader?
Parents or other interested adults who are willing to volunteer a part of their time and skills by sharing their abilities with youth. Interested adults may call the Wyoming County Cooperative Extension office at 585-786-2251. You will be sent a leader application that should be filled out immediately and returned to the 4-H office. A 4-H Program Educator will contact you and help you start your club. You will be invited to attend new leader orientation and special subject matter trainings. 4-H Educators and secretaries are also available to assist you. The 4-H News and Leader Letters keep clubs informed.
"How many leaders should a 4-H Club have?" is a question that has been asked frequently. That depends on the size of the club and how old members are. At least two are recommended. A club may have "project leaders". They usually have a special interest or skill such as photography, clothing, gardening, etc. that is taught to the club. Organizational leaders coordinate meetings & paper work.
What are 4-H Projects?
A project is a planned series of learning experiences through which youth develop knowledge, skills and/or attitudes. 4-H projects always teach the "whys" as well as the "hows". Projects can be done individually or as a group. Some projects like conservation or clogging are more fun when done in a group. Countywide clubs are available to join. These include: poultry, sheep, rabbit, youth theater, clogging, conservation, goat, and dog.
What is Expected of a 4-H Parent?
Since a 4-H leader is a volunteer who is there because of their interest and love for youth, your support for your child and the club's activities is very helpful. Basic support can come in the form of seeing that your child is properly prepared for each meeting, has transportation to and from the meeting place, and completes any activities that are to be done at home.
What other ways can a 4-H parent help?
Volunteer to hold meetings or parties at your house. Offer to provide transportation to an event for a group of members. Send refreshments if they are a part of the meeting plan. Let the leader know that you are willing to help in any capacity. Then, be sure to be available.