4-H is a non-formal educational, youth development program offered to individuals age 5 and in kindergarten to age 19. Ohio 4-H youth development reaches more than 240,000 youth each year – helping kids “learn by doing” through hands-on activities.
All 4-H programs focus on active involvement and quality experiences that stimulate lifelong learning of values and skills. 4-H members learn valuable lessons in leadership, communication, and collaboration while increasing their knowledge in math, science, technology, and a variety of other topics.
4-H creates fun while learning in a variety of ways. Kids can participate in 4-H through community clubs, camps, in-school and after-school activities, and summer programs. They increase their self-confidence and personal life skills while learning about specific subjects - anything from animals or computers to public speaking, cooking, art, gardening, and environmental sciences, just to name a few project topics.
You can also learn more about all OSU Extension 4-H youth development programs by exploring our page and at http://ohio4h.org.
Who can participate and what are the age requirements?
Cloverbuds - Ohio Cloverbud 4-H Membership begins when a child has reached age 5 AND is in Kindergarten as of January 1.
Cloverbuds do not participate in regular 4-H projects and evaluations; instead, they participate in non-competitive activities that are specifically designed for their age level. The goal of the Cloverbud program is to promote confidence, social skills, decision-making abilities, knowledge, and physical skills of 5 - to 8-year-old youth.
Project Members - Project Membership begins when a child is at least age 8 and enrolled in 3rd grade as of January 1 of the current year. Ohio 4-H membership ends December 31 of the year in which an individual attains the age of 19. 4-H members can compete in a wide range of project areas, attend camps & contests, and participate in many other county, state, and national events. NOTE: When counting "4-H years" - all enrolled years count toward membership (count both Cloverbud and project 4-H years).
Community Clubs - both Cloverbuds and Project members join a community club. A 4-H club may be organized within a school, church, or community. A club must certain guidelines including a minimum number of members from multiple families. Clubs have an organizational advisor who coordinates the club and may also have additional volunteers who assist. Click here to see a current list of community clubs.
SPIN Clubs - SPIN Clubs are special interest clubs that meet short-term around a specific topic. Membership might be restricted based on the guidelines for the specific club. These may be offered in-person or virtually across the state.
How and when to join?
To participate as a Cloverbud or Project Member, the enrollment deadline is April 1st. The first step in joining is to find a club that works for your family. Click here to see the current list of community cubs.
Things to consider when selecting a club is when and where do they meet? Do my children have friends in the club? What is the subject matter expertise of the volunteers? Youth can take any project in any club, but some clubs do have volunteers who have more knowledge in certain areas. Contact our office at 937-378-6716 for specific club information. Once you have decided on a club(s) that might be a possibility for you, call and ask the organizational club advisor if you can visit at their next club meeting. It is okay to visit more than one club before deciding which is the best club for you.
Because many clubs meet year-round, youth/parents can start as early as October in trying to find a club to join. Once you have talked with the club and made a decision, you will submit your enrollment online through 4HOnline. Visit our help page for assistance with this process.
What is a 4-H project?
4-H projects are planned learning experiences and activities that focus on a particular topic. You can select from over 200 projects to enroll and participate in over the course of the year. The Family Guide gives an overview of each 4-H Project. In addition, you can check out all the 4-H projects on-line through 4-H Project Central. Families and advisors can purchase books directly in our office. Members select projects when completing their online enrollment. When registering on 4-H Online, take great care in entering the correct project numbers.
Members then complete project judging where they share what they have learned. Pending the project, this may happen in pre-fair judging with an interview or during the Brown County Fair. Only youth who are enrolled by April 1st and have met all requirements are eligible for fair exhibition. To see the full Brown County 4-H Policies and Guidelines click here.
Find Your Spark!
One of the great things about 4-H is it allows youth to explore their passions and discover new interests. Finding something that interests and engages you is your SPARK! The 4-H Family Guide and Project Central are great ways to find projects. Use this fun interactive quiz to maybe find something new!