Join 4-H

4-H membersWhat do you like to do? 4-H has many opportunities for you to meet friends, have fun and learn new things in your areas of interest. 4-H has clubs, projects and lots of special events. So many choices!

How to join 4-H

Contact your county MU Extension center.
Each county has an area 4-H youth specialist who will help you in get started and answer any questions.

You will then go to 4HOnline where you will create a family profile. This is where you will register for the year, sign up for projects and so much more.  

Types of memberships

4-H offers various types of clubs and groups to meet individual needs.

  • 4-H community clubs
    Young people enroll in projects and participate in group activities and meetings. The club elects officers and plans an educational program of business, community service and learning together.
    Ages 8-18 on Dec. 31 of the program year.
  • 4-H single project clubs
    A single project club is similar to a community club; the difference is that a single project is the focus. Ages 8-18 on Dec. 31 of the program year. 
  • 4-H independent or individual membership
    Independent membership is for youth who cannot meet with 4-H club units due to distance or who have conflicts with school, work or other obligations or who have a highly specialized interest.  Individual members complete a plan using the Y639, Individual 4-H Member Comprehensive Plan (fillable PDF) and file it with the local University of Missouri Extension center. Ages 8-18 on Dec. 31 of the program year.
  • 4-H Clover Kids club
    The 4-H Clover Kids program is designed to introduce 5- to 7-year-olds to a variety of 4-H experiences. 4-H Clover Kids will be involved in activities led by an adult. With the excitement of the Clover Kids experience, this age group will want to move into the 4-H Community Club groups! Clover Kids do not participate in competitive events, contests or show. Ages 5-7 on Dec. 31 of the program year.
  • 4-H Afterschool
    Afterschool clubs meet during or after school and often focus on a single subject such as computers or arts. The amount of time the groups meet varies from a short period of time to a full 4-H program year. The club may also elect officers. Grades K-12 or equivalent.
  • 4-H school enrichment groups
    Meeting during school time and using curricula supplied through 4-H, these groups are coordinated by partnerships of 4-H, extension and school personnel. Grades K-12 or equivalent.
  • 4-H special interest groups
    Usually partnerships of 4-H and MU Extension with other community organizations. Most groups meet for a limited number of hours and focus on a special topic of interest. Ages K-12 or equivalent.

4-H membersA snapshot of a 4-H club

A 4-H Community Club may include any or all of these elements: a business meeting, a program, activities, recreation and refreshments. Clubs elect officers and often develop committees. An integral part of 4-H clubs are projects.

Clubs with a single project focus, such as a rocketry club or a digital media club, may vary slightly from the traditional 4-H community clubs.

  • Club business meetings
    Each club holds a monthly business meeting in which the members discuss business. Club meetings may sound boring, but it is here that you meet people in your club and decide important issues about recreation, fundraising and service activities. 

During club meetings, parliamentary procedure (PDF) is observed. Parliamentary procedure includes the rules that help a business meeting have order and run smoothly. As you become older, these meetings allow you to broaden your leadership skills by becoming an officer.

  • Project meetings
    4-H offers around 180 projects, ranging from aerospace to clothing and foods to leadership. Whatever project you choose, you are sure to have fun learning with people interested in the same things as you. Browse all the project choices or the 4-H Clover.
  • Club officers
    Club officers are members that are learning more about leadership roles. Officers are usually elected in September and serve for one year. Clubs may have some or all of the following officers:
    • The president runs the meetings, keeps order and informs the club of upcoming events.
    • The vice president runs the meetings in the absence of the president and is in charge of the program portion of the meeting.
    • The secretary keeps a record of all members and keeps minutes of each meeting.
    • The treasurer keeps financial records for the club and reports on the financial records at each meeting.
    • The recreation leader leads the club in songs and games during the recreation portion of the meetings.
    • The photographer takes pictures of 4-H club activities for use by club members, reporter and historian.
    • The reporter writes newspaper articles on what the club is doing and writes a summary for the extension office newsletter.
    • The historian collects pictures, newspaper clippings and other mementos and puts together a scrapbook of club events.
    • Committees
      Club-sponsored committees allow members to be part of decisions relating to the committee that they choose. Committees may address club goals for the year, fundraising, recreation and community service.

    4-H tips

    To help you and your 4-H family ease into the first year of membership, we offer some 4-H tips. Hopefully, it will help to make your year less confusing and more enjoyable!

    • Participation is the key in 4-H. The more that you do, the more you will get out of it and the more friends you will be able to make. There are so many different activities — something for everyone!

    • Not one person can do everything. Work as a team to get paperwork in, meet deadlines and do projects.

    • 4-H is a family affair; you will get the most our of it if your entire family is involved. Parents, be involved and supportive of your kid's activities.

    • Take plenty of photos. Not only will these become nice mementos to remember 4-H, but you will use them when filling out end of the year paperwork.

    • 4-H business meetings follow an agenda and parliamentary procedure using Robert’s Rules of Order. This helps meetings to run smoothly without problems.

    • During the first year of membership, a member can sign up for a maximum of three project groups.