Bringing Summer Fun to Your 4-H Club Meeting
It’s time for our 4-H clubs to start the new 4-H year. If your 4-H club took time off for the summer break the first club meeting can be a little crazy. Everyone will want to catch up and share their summer adventure stories. Why not take advantage of this excitement and make it part of a club meeting. There are several factors that will determine your options. The age of your club members, socio-economic factors, and family dynamics should all be considered. Be mindful of everyone’s family circumstances. Set ground rules so everyone is treated with respect. As the 4-H club leader, it is important for you to create an environment where your members feel safe sharing experiences and ideas.
Plan the meeting according to 4-H guidelines starting with the Opening and then the Business Meeting. The sharing of member’s summer adventures can serve as the Educational Program and conclude with Recreation and Refreshments.
In order to get everyone involved, remember Juniors (8-10 years old) and Intermediates (11-13 years old) may need help in collecting their thoughts about their activities. So ask open-ended questions that will get them thinking: Did you see any new animals, places, things? Where did you travel? What was your favorite activity? What was your favorite book from the summer reading list? If you have paper and markers you can have them to draw a picture of their favorite summer activity.
Senior club members may have served as a camp counselor, volunteered at day camps, or attended 4-H Legislature or 4-H Congress. Ask them to share their experiences from these events; it can encourage younger members to participate when they reach the appropriate age.
Once everyone has had an opportunity to share, ask the group if any of their adventures has them interested in a new 4-H project or if they can apply any of their experiences to their current 4-H project.
Remember, a well-planned club meeting provides an opportunity for club members to make friends, share ideas, increase knowledge and skills, learn to work as a team, enjoy recreation, develop self-confidence and make decisions.
“You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.”
Clay P. Bedford – Kaiser Aerospace & Electronics Corp