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5 Ideas to Celebrate Youth Achievements

A day of outdoor games is a great way to celebrate the end of the 4-H year.

As the 4-H Club year draws to a close, it’s time to celebrate the hard work, growth, and achievements of its members. Whether you’ve been raising animals, honing your leadership skills, or mastering a new craft, there are numerous ways to commemorate the end of the 4-H year. Here are five creative ideas to make the celebration memorable:

  1. Recognition Ceremony: This is probably the most traditional way to celebrate youths’ achievements. Start the celebration by hosting a recognition ceremony to honor the accomplishments of club members. It doesn’t have to be a formal occasion- a picnic or barbeque can be a fun way to celebrate! Recognize achievements such as completing projects, participating in competitions, or demonstrating leadership qualities. Award certificates, ribbons, or trophies to highlight individual and group successes. Encourage members to share their experiences and lessons learned, fostering a sense of pride and belonging within the club.
  2. A service project can be a fun end to a great 4-H year. These youth are building bird houses for a local school.

    Community Service Project: Embrace the spirit of giving back by organizing a community service project to mark the end of the 4-H year. One of my favorite ideas that one of my club leaders did was to have an annual canoe or kayak trip down the Chipola river. Along the way, we would collect any litter. Check out our earlier series on planning a kayak trip. Any community cause or organization that aligns with the values of the club would work! Whether it’s cleaning up a local park, volunteering at a food bank, or organizing a fundraiser for a charitable organization, participating in a service project reinforces the importance of civic engagement and philanthropy. Invite club members, families, and community members to join forces and make a difference together, strengthening bonds and leaving a lasting legacy of service.

  3. Outdoor Adventure Day: Celebrate the end of the 4-H year with an outdoor adventure day filled with fun and excitement. Plan a day trip to a nearby nature reserve, campground, fishing area, or recreational area where members can engage in outdoor activities such as hiking, canoeing, or rock climbing. Organize team-building games, scavenger hunts, or nature walks to promote teamwork and exploration. Encourage members to disconnect from technology and immerse themselves in the beauty of the natural world, fostering a sense of appreciation for the environment and each other. Don’t forget to pack plenty of snacks and refreshments to keep everyone fueled and hydrated throughout the day. I used to have a 4-H volunteer who planned an end-of-the-year camping trip that was always something the youth looked forward to!
  4. Talent Showcase: Showcase the diverse talents and interests of club members (and their families) with a talent showcase or variety show. Invite members to showcase their skills in areas such as music, dance, drama, or visual arts. Whether it’s performing a musical piece, showcasing a craft project, or demonstrating a cooking technique, a talent showcase provides a platform for members to express themselves creatively and celebrate their passions. Encourage collaboration and participation from all members, regardless of skill level, fostering a supportive and inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and empowered to shine.
  5. The end of the 4-H year is a great time to reflect on the accomplishments of members and start setting goals for the next year!

    Reflection and Goal Setting Retreat: Conclude the 4-H year with a reflection and goal-setting retreat to look back on past achievements and plan for the future. Find a peaceful retreat venue where members can unwind, reflect, and recharge away from the distractions of everyday life. Facilitate discussions and activities to encourage members to reflect on their experiences, lessons learned, and personal growth throughout the year. Guide them in setting new goals and aspirations for the upcoming year, empowering them to strive for excellence and pursue their passions with purpose and determination. Foster a supportive and collaborative atmosphere where members can share their dreams and aspirations, inspiring each other to reach new heights of success and fulfillment.

The end of the 4-H Club year is a time to celebrate achievements, foster camaraderie, and inspire future endeavors. Whether it’s through recognition ceremonies, community service projects, outdoor adventures, talent showcases, or reflection retreats, there are countless ways to commemorate the accomplishments of club members and set the stage for continued growth and success in the years to come. By embracing these creative ideas, you can make the end of the 4-H year a memorable and meaningful experience for all involved.

Secure your Future with Florida 4-H Scholarships

Not only does Florida 4-H teach life skills that make our youth members competitive scholarship applications, our organization also provides several opportunities to help youth pay for education beyond high school. Another benefit of our scholarship program is that it sets youth up for success when applying for other scholarships outside of 4-H. Parents- you are going to want to bookmark this article, because it covers which programs offer scholarships and how to apply for them in three simple steps! Another benefit of our scholarship program is that it sets youth up for success when applying for other scholarships outside of 4-H.

Step 1: Become Familiar with the Types of Scholarships we Offer
Florida 4-H offers two types of scholarships- scholarships for 4-H events, and scholarships for college or trade school. Some of these scholarships are tied to our Scholarship Application (formerly known as the 4-H Portfolio) and some are tied to competitive events, such as our 4-H Tailgating Contest where the first place winner receives a $1,500 scholarship! Many of our other state events offer opportunities to compete at national contests and provide a travel stipend. For information on which events offer monetary or travel scholarships, download a copy of our Florida 4-H Events and Activities Handbook.

Step 2: Decide which Scholarships you want to Either Compete or Apply for
If you are applying for a scholarship that is tied to a competitive event, you will want to enroll in that project and event through 4Honline. Your local UF IFAS Extension Office will be able to connect you with opportunities to learn and practice the skills and knowledge you need to compete successfully. This could include a project club, workshop, or a project mentor or coach.

More than $65,000 in monetary scholarships are given each year as part of our Scholarship Application Process. This process includes an interview during 4-H University, and the checks are presented during our 4-H University Awards Banquet. Youth can apply for multiple scholarships. Check out our 4-H Scholarship Summary Page for the full details, but here is a short list:
UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences- Four (4) $1000 Scholarships (potential to renew each year)
Fred and Mabel Barber Scholarship- Two (2) $1000 Scholarships
T.G. Williamson Scholarship- Two (2) $1000 Scholarships
Thomas Greenawalt Scholarship- One (1) $400 Scholarship
Platt Memorial Scholarship- Two (2) $500 Scholarship
Nettie Ruth Brown Scholarship- One (1) $1000 Scholarship
Terry Floyd Statewide Scholarship-One (1) $500 Scholarship
Jared Padgett 4-H Excellence Scholarship-One (1) $1000 Scholarship
Florida Cattlewomen’s Association 4-H Scholarship-One (1) $1000 Scholarship
Alden Hilliker Memorial Scholarship- One (1) $500 Scholarship
Dr. Bobby Damron Scholarship-One (1) $500 Scholarship
Ruth Milton Scholarship-One (1) $1000 Scholarship
Teki Hinton Ericson 4-H Scholarship- One (1) $1000 Scholarship
Hal Porter 4-H Scholarship-One (1) $1000 Scholarship
Langley Bell 4-H Legacy Scholarship Endowment-One (1) $1000 Scholarship
Tampa Bay Kennel Club Dog Scholarship-One (1) $1000 Scholarship
Lakeland Winter Haven Kennel Club 4-H Scholarship-Two (2) $1000 Scholarships
Horseman of the Year- One (1) $800 Scholarship and $200 Award
Dallas C. Osborne 4-H Horsemanship Scholarship- One (1) $500 Scholarship

Step 3: Work with your local UF IFAS Extension Agent to Prepare
If you are applying for a scholarship that is part of our state scholarship application process, you will prepare a cover letter and resumé to submit along with your application. We have lots of resources to help you!

Florida 4-H Scholarship Packet

How to Submit

How to write a cover letter

How to write a skills- based resumé