University of Wisconsin-Extension programs in 4-H Youth Development give young people opportunities to learn new skills, gain self-confidence and contribute to their communities. Backed by the knowledge and research base of the University of Wisconsin, 4-H Youth Development educators design educational, leadership and citizenship experiences for youth. These programs are delivered directly through more than 20,000 adult volunteers in neighborhood 4-H clubs or groups and by collaborating with other local organizations.
- …is a youth organization of boys and girls sharing, doing, and learning together in all kinds of projects, events, and activities. 4-H members are guided by volunteer adult leaders, parents, and UW Extension staff. Members choose projects that fit their personal interests. Both rural and urban youth enjoy the merits of the 4-H program. Families enjoy the meaningful time together through a variety of events.
- …is open to all boys and girls, kindergarten through one year past high school graduation. 4-H is open to all youth, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or ability.
- … has a small membership fee, which varies from club to club and nominal charges for project literature and special activities which help pay for food, transportation, or supplies.
- …is a non-profit organization.
The Four Essential Elements of Youth Development
- A Positive Relationship with a Caring Adult
- A caring adults acts as an advisor, guide and mentor. The adult helps set boundaries and expectations for young people.
- An Inclusive Environment
- An inclusive environment is one that creates a sense of belonging, encourages and supports its members with positive and specific feedback.
- A Safe Environment
- Youth should not fear physical or emotional harm while participating in a 4-H experience whether from the learning environment itself, adults, other participants or spectators.
- Opportunity for Mastery
- Mastery is the building of knowledge, skills, and attitudes and then demonstrating the competent use of this knowledge and skills in the manner of a proficient practitioner. The development of mastery is a process over time.
- Engagement in Learning
- An engaged youth is one who is mindful of the subject area, building relationships and connections in order to develop understanding. The engaged learner has a higher degree of self-motivation and an inexhaustible capacity to create.
- Opportunity to See Oneself as an Active Participant in the Future
- The ability to see oneself in the future is to have hope and optimism to shape life choices to facilitate the transition into participating in the future.
- Opportunity for Self-Determination
- Youth must exercise a sense of influence over their lives, exercising their potential to become self-directing, autonomous adults.
- Opportunity to Value and Practice Service to Others
- Finding one’s self begins with losing yourself in the service of others. Service is a way for members to gain exposure to the larger community, indeed the world itself.
The 4 H’s…
→Respecting self, others, and the environment
→Preparing for a career
→Choosing healthy lifestyles
→Managing change and challenges
- Regular Members are in third grade through the year following high school.
- Explorers are in second grade.
- Cloverbuds are in Kindergarten or first grade.
Enrolling in 4-H is simple! To receive an enrollment packet, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at (608) 269-8722. If emailing be sure to include:
- How many youth are interested in joining
- ENROLLMENT PACKET in the subject line