Over 100 years ago, 4-H began with the idea that if we teach children a new idea, they’ll tell their parents all about it, and they’ll try it, too. Fast forward to the 21st century, and 4-H is still teaching and inspiring youth to learn and apply to grow into the leaders of tomorrow. Have you ever looked at the 4-H emblem and wondered what exactly those four H’s stand for? The original 1907 clover had three leaves standing for Heart, Head and Hand. A fourth H came along informally in 1908 standing for Hustle. The fourth H was finally established in 1911 becoming Health. The 4-H Clover was then patented and declared a protected emblem and name through a Congressional law.
Those four H’s are so much more than just a protected emblem. They are the basis of all that we do in 4-H Clubs, 4-H in the Classroom, 4-H Afterschool and 4-H Camps to grow youth into the leaders of tomorrow. By taking a closer look at the 4-H pledge, you can see how 4-H is uniquely designed to inspire and grow leaders.
My Head to clear thinking – youth learn and apply life skills through their involvement
My Heart to greater loyalty – youth experience learning in a safe and caring setting with peers and adults who are screened and trained
My Hands to larger service – youth learn and practice the value of serving others
My Health to better living – youth learn how to make choices that will more positively impact them
For my club, my community, my country and my world.
So the next time someone asks you what those 4-H’s on your t-shirt stand for, go a little bit deeper and explain to them how 4-H grows your head, heart, hands and health.
Remember, the 4-H emblem has specific guidelines on how it can be used; click for more information.