Welcome to the new 4-H year! As you begin making plans to re-connect with your club members and families, make plans to create a year-long plan for your 4-H Club.
Why should your 4-H club plan up to a year in advance?
A plan will help to:
- Meet the needs of all members
- Share responsibilities (among youth, parents, and volunteers)
- Provide better communication to members and families
- Practice cooperation, compromise, and planning skills
- Avoid calendar conflicts
What should be in your 4-H club plan?
- Monthly Business Meetings
- County, District, and State Activities
- Tours and Trips
- Community Service
- Guest Speakers
- Fund Raising
There are many different ways to create a “year plan” for your 4-H club. The following are a few examples of activities that can be done during a meeting to ensure that all members’ thoughts and ideas are expressed. Keep in mind, when beginning to discuss plans for your club’s focus, education should be the top priority (what youth want to learn during the year).
Tape a large piece of paper to the wall. On the paper, write two statements: (1) “This year in _____ 4-H Club, I want to learn…” (2) This year in _____ 4-H Club, I really want to….” As youth arrive, direct their attention to the paper and ask them to complete the statements. At a designated time during the meeting, discuss the responses.
Have youth create a collage of his/her “year plan” for the club. Materials needed for this activity are: magazines, newspapers, crayons, markers, scissors, glue, construction paper, etc. You can also do this activity in groups.
Design Your Own Clover
Have each member complete the “Design Your Own Clover.” Members can share one leaf of the clover a designated point during the meeting.
Creating a Program Planning Committee
Now that you have all these ideas from your club members, how do you implement your plan? Form a program planning committee. It is important that this committee be representative of your entire club. Older members are likely to be effective planners, but might leave out needs of younger members. In general, committee members are: vice president, secretary, recreation leader, and an adult. It is also good practice to add two or three members who are not officers. This committee can meet on a separate day from the club meeting or convene before/after a club meeting to complete their responsibilities. Once finalized, the committee should report back to the entire club to receive final approval for their plan.
Club planning is not a cut and dry process. Every club can modify these practices to best suite your members – keeping in mind the reason for creating such a plan is to keep the actions of your club directed toward your goals. Your 4-H Extension Agent is also a great resource during this process. Contact your local agent to receive help in creating a plan or for a list of important dates/deadlines for your local office.