Do you want to learn how to build the FUN in your meetings?
Throughout the 4-H year, our leaders and youth members meet once a month to conduct their 4-H club meeting. A 4-H club meeting is comprised of three parts: recreation, business, and education. Each part of the meeting plays an important role in targeting specific life skills for 4-H’ers. Today’s blog will focus specifically on the recreation portion of the meeting.
Recreation is an experience that encourages youth to socialize, interact, and build relationships with each other in a fun and encouraging way. The recreation part of your meeting should total about 25% percent of your overall meeting time. Although it should only be a quarter of your meeting, recreation is an important component that has many benefits to members.
The benefits of recreation include:
- Builds interest during club meetings
- Allows members to develop social skills
- Encourages cooperation
- Provides opportunities for leadership
While there are many types of recreation that can be done, two of the most common during 4-H club meetings are ice breakers and teambuilding.
An ice breaker is used to welcome and warm up the conversation. Because of this, icebreakers are ideal to use at the beginning of a meeting. Ice breakers can range wildly from simple one-question answers to elaborate team games.
Teambuilding is the process of strengthening bonds between members of a group for the purpose of more efficiently achieving the group’s goals. Teambuilding emphasizes the building of trust and communication between members.
When planning recreation, the recreation leader will need to consider many factors. These factors include the number of people involved, the physical setting and equipment available for use, the time of day and year of the event, amount of time available for the activity, and what type of guidance the youth may need.
The recreation leader will be responsible for keeping the activity fun, organized, and flowing. The leader should encourage good sportsmanship at all times. It is also a good idea to practice the activity ahead of time to work out any kinks and be sure of the rules. When explaining the activity to youth members, the leader will need to be sure they have the complete attention of their audience and they are explaining clearly and concisely. If possible, a demonstration of how the activity works can be beneficial. After the activity takes place, take time to evaluate the group. Did they enjoy the activity? Did they learn anything from the activity?
Recreation can be a great way to build relationships and a sense of belonging between members. Recreation can result in improved leadership, problem solving, cooperation, communication, and critical thinking skills.
Click here to get ideas of some recreation activities you might add into your club!