In Wayne County, we have 45 organized 4-H community clubs across the county that serve more than 1,500 youth. While the overall number of 4-H members in the county has remained about the same over the last few years – the number of clubs we have has gone down somewhat. This means the remaining clubs have absorbed members from other clubs and have grown as new members join 4-H. While you can still have a great experience in 4-H in a large club, it is nice to have smaller to medium size clubs as well. We are in need of a few new clubs. So if you are an existing 4-H family or new to 4-H and would be interested in starting your own club, we have some resources that can help such as a new club starter kit, coaching sessions with our staff on how to get started, and more help along the way.
To start a new 4-H club you must have at least 5 youth from three different families that are 4-H age eligible, which is at least age 5 and in kindergarten as of January 1, 2018 for Cloverbuds or age 8 and in 3rd grade by January 1st for traditional 4-H.
4-H clubs can meet in club leaders’ homes, in churches, at schools, or pretty much anywhere that is a safe and welcoming environment. Clubs must complete a checklist of chartering requirements and be approved by the County 4-H Extension Educator. In addition to working on 4-H educational projects – youth involved in 4-H clubs get to experience fun activities, learn about parliamentary procedure and how to run a meeting, practice leadership skills and gain confidence and life skills.
Now is the time to begin the process of starting a new 4-H club and becoming a new 4-H volunteer. In fact, New Volunteer Application Packets are available for download from our website at wayne.osu.edu or can be picked up in person at the Extension Office. Individuals applying to become a 4-H volunteer must complete an application, provide the names and contact information of three references, submit to a fingerprint criminal background check (funds are available to reimburse for background checks), complete a new volunteer interview / orientation session, and be approved by the County 4-H Extension Educator. If you are interested in possibly becoming a 4-H volunteer and/or starting a new 4-H club – please contact me at the Extension Office.