Serving as a 4-H club leader is one of the most impactful ways adults can help youth develop into caring and productive citizens. Keeping the club organized can seem like a daunting task, but over the next several weeks, our blog series and monthly webinar will focus on breaking club organization down into simple steps. The foundation of club planning is built on understanding the club year cycle and who-is-responsible for what. Knowledge of these two things is essential for parent engagement and delegation to keep your club running smoothly. This post will provide you with tools and information to help you successfully keep your club organized!
The 4-H Club Year Cycle
How long and how often your club meets depends on the type of club you are leading. Most community, project clubs, and school meet during the school months (August- May). SPIN (Special Interest) clubs may only meet for a few weeks or months (usually a minimum of six to nine weeks). However, all clubs follow a similar timeline. In addition to understanding the club timeline, it is also good to know when district and state events are held. These events are designed to provide opportunities for youth to exhibit or demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have learned and to get feedback to improve. The 4-H Club Planning Guide is a tool for setting club goals, planning the club calendar, and planning club meetings. Sign up for our 4-H in the Panhandle monthly newsletter to receive updates, information and links to upcoming events.
4-H Club Roles
Keeping the club organized is not the sole responsibility of the club leader (but definitely and important one). There are several club roles designed to support club leaders. Before engaging parents and other volunteers in your club, it is a good idea to become familiar with these different roles. That will help you find the right fit to support your club. Trying to do everything yourself will only lead to burnout (and we don’t want that!). You can find a short video outlining the different volunteer roles, as well as service descriptions for each role on our northwest 4-H volunteer website. This video is a great tool to use for your club organizational meeting to help parents and guardians to know how they can support your club. In a future blog post, we will give more tips on getting them engaged to support club work!
For more information on club organization, sign up for our monthly Virtual Volunteer Leadership Academy (VVLA). You can also access a playlist of our sessions on our YouTube Channel. Your local UF IFAS County Extension Office is also a great source of information and support!