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4-H is . . .
A Great Place to Grow
For over 90 years, we've understood that youth want to be involved, accepted, valued and heard. That's why 4-H clubs are great places for youth to learn and grow.
In 4-H, youth run the show. 4-H clubs typically meet once a month as a large group, where youth of all ages take on different leadership roles to make decisions and plan events. Clubs organize fun outings, achievement days and fundraisers, and participate in various activities within their communities.
Fun and Friends
Hanging out with friends and participating in fun activities is the perfect combination. By following the 4-H motto "Learn to do by Doing", you'll not only make long-lasting friendships, but also take part in activities that meet your interests, increase your knowledge and develop your life skills.
When everyone is busy, it just makes sense to belong to an organization that bring the whole family together. 4-H clubs rely on family support and volunteer leadership from each adult and 4-H member - that's how we make things happen. Youth and adults are all a part of the 4-H family.
We've watched hands-on learning change people's lives. With 4-H experience under your belt, you'll excel in the areas of leadership and teamwork. We'll even teach you how to talk in front of a group (we're famous for it). So expand your skills through 4-H, and just imagine where they may take you.
Projects and Programs
Whether you enjoy displaying your projects, judging or taking part in the more traditional summer camp experience of canoeing and campfires, one of Alberta 4-H's many programs are sure to interest you. Build life long friendships with people from all over the province and develop valuable life skills. Programs are designed for every age and personality type, so they are sure to excite you.
Take the future into your own hands and explore a world of infinite possibilities through 4-H. Choose from over 35 different projects (ranging from business to photography, and livestock to web design). With more than 400 established clubs across the province, you can be part if 4-H wherever you live. Members are between the ages of 9 and 20, and leaders must be 18 or older.
4-H aims to help youth members and adult leaders realize their potential. 4-H Leaders of today act as mentors, making an example out of their life, their conduct and their interactions with others. In this, Leaders not only see the development and change taking root in the live of the members, but they have the affirmation of knowing that they encouraged the change to happen, willed the confidence to ignite and imparted the tools necessary to make a difference.
Imagine being a part of something that you believe in, and gave you cause to believe.
Leaders are adults aged 18 and over who dedicate their time to creating an environment of learning, developing a relationship of trust and encouraging a drive to succeed. They work toward the further development of youth and have a particular interest/expertise that is applicable to 4-H's projects and programming. Typically, Leaders are elected by a 4-H club's members at their reorganization meeting in the fall and serve a one-year term. 4-H insists on Leaders meeting specific requirements due to 4-H's commitment to fostering an environment that is conducive to safety, growth and learning. After being elected, each Volunteer Leader must complete the following requirements:
- Completion of the 4-H Leader Application Form
- Submission of 3 references
- Criminal Record Check
- Successful completion of Level 1 Leader Training or the On-line Leader Quiz
The fundamental expectation of a Leader is to be a mentor to club members, modeling the roles of a mediator, a facilitator and a coach. As a mediator, a Leader strives for effective conflict resolution, active listening and impartiality. As a facilitator, a Leader creates an environment that promotes learning and productivity, safety and trust, motivation and dedication. As a coach, a Leader is understanding, positive, communicative, flexible/adaptable and is able to recognize the needs of club members, and be a strategic thinker.
As a Leader, the different roles, activities, situations, and experiences you encounter and gain will be endless. Organizing fundraisers, planning and facilitating club Achievement Days, facilitating workshops that are beneficial to members as well as leaders, attending Leader Programs—Provincial 4-H Leaders Conference, project update conferences, taking part in travel and chaperone opportunities, planning events at club meetings that have "added value", setting up projects that cater to club members specific needs, strengths and interests to name a few. Being a 4-H Leader is meant to be as fun, as self-developing, as rewarding and as challenging as each individual aspires to make it be.
If you would like more information on becoming a Leader, contact the 4-H specialist in your region.
4-H Member Programs
4-H aims to help youth members and adult leaders realize their potential. Programs, projects and leadership opportunities challenge members to be assertive, to make decisions and to facilitate change. The goal is to encourage members to see themselves for who they are - active, audible and accountable leaders of tomorrow. If you ask members what the best thing in 4-H is, the large majority will respond the camps and programs. 4-H camps and programs truly are the highlight of the 4-H year for those who attend them. So why attend these programs? The answer is simple. They are an awesome opportunity to meet new friends, take part in fun activities and learn new skills and abilities. They really define what 4-H is all about. 4-H has more than 30 provincial programs available throughout the year.
Whatever your interests or hobbies are, 4-H has projects to match them. Not only can you enjoy working on your favourite things, but you can also earn rewards for doing them in a fun and friendly atmosphere. With over 35 projects available, choosing just one or two can be a real challenge. Whether you are deciding to be a project leader, member or active parent, thinking about the following questions will help to make your choice a little easier:
- What interests you most - hobbies or activities?
- What do you like to do when you are with family and friends?
- What do you like to do in your spare time?
- What would you like to make, do or become?
Looking for a 4-H club to join? Check out the clubs listed in the 4-H Club Finder.
The efforts of a dedicated network of volunteers and staff provide youth and adults with the opportunity to gain the benefits of 4-H no matter where they live. 4-H offers development programs, projects, leadership, travel, awards, scholarships and grants to members, leaders and families.