More About Gage County 4-H Program

Gage County 4-H Program

4-H is a nation-wide program for youth 8 to 18 years of age (as of January 1, current year), operated under direction of cooperative extension personnel. The 4-H logo is a green four leaf clover, with a white, uppercase H on each leaf. The H's stand for head, heart, hands and health. The goals are to develop youth into well rounded adults, through interaction with adult leaders and other youth, and involvement in projects that teach leadership and other skills. The delivery method consists of club or independent activities and school enrichment projects.

A 4-H Club is a group of kids who . . .

  • meet regularly with adult volunteers
  • usually stay together for a long time - five years or more - but welcome new kids, too
  • help work with younger kids
  • let everyone, no matter how young, help plan and conduct their club's business
  • give their own reports, speeches, and demonstrations
  • do in-depth, small group learning about specific projects of their choice
  • are involved beyond their club at contests, workshops, fairs, and camps
  • participate in service-learning activities to make their communities better places
  • join to learn about a specific project, but stay because they enjoy taking responsibility for their own program
  • usually end the 4-H year by celebrating with an achievement event, activity, or trip

Enrollment deadline is May 1st. Return your enrollment form to your club leader or the Extension Office. . 
How do you enroll in 4-H?  The first step in getting started in 4-H is to fill out the membership enrollment form, providing information about your youth to the organizational 4-H leader. Selecting projects comes next.

How do you select a 4-H Project?  Most first year 4-H'ers should select one to three projects. When choosing projects keep in mind the 4-H'ers special interests as well as the family's interests. Boys and girls can enroll in any of more than 150 projects that are listed on the Pick-A-Project Web Site.  Also check out Gage County's project lists (found at their 4-H Forms site).  Most projects allow your child to exhibit project results at the county fair.
Is there a county membership fee? Yes, the county membership fee in Gage County is $10.00 per member per year, regardless of the number of projects enrolled in or the number of clubs a member joins. Pay your fee to your club leader or treasurer by April 1st. The dues are then paid to the 4-H Council.  The money is used for project materials, audio-visuals, speakers, scholarships for youth and adults, etc. No county fund-raising projects are carried out.
What are club fees?  A 4-H club may collect a small fee for their club treasury for projects and activities. Check with your leader.
Will my 4-H Club have meetings?
  Yes, 4-H Clubs usually meet monthly. Some may meet in homes while others may meet in public meeting rooms in libraries, banks or churches. Parents are encouraged to attend club meetings and other gatherings. By attending meetings, you can become more familiar with your family member's 4-H work.
Club meetings help your 4-H'er:

  • to become active in group meetings
  • to use parliamentary procedures
  • to serve as a officer
  • to develop wholesome friendships
  • to learn new skills.

Do I have to re-enroll in 4-H? As one 4-H year comes to an end, the next one starts. Remember, enrolling in 4-H is an annual process. It is also a good time for your 4-H'er to think about projects for next year. You and your club leader should help guide the 4-H'er as he or she thinks through what was done and learned and then what your child wants to do in 4-H in the coming year.

What is the 4-H Pledge?  I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country and my world.

4-H Recordkeeping and Rewards

 Career Portfolio: The record book includes information written in a specially designed booklet, highlighting what your 4-H'er has learned and accomplished in 4-H. Project information, awards, learning experiences, citizenship activities and leadership experiences are combined with your 4-H member's story and 4-H project photos to make up an award application. Older 4-H'ers, ages 14-19, have the opportunity to compete at the district and state level. State level recognition may include participating in a multi-state or national event.
Your recordbook can be hand-written or typed using the pre-printed forms available at your local Extension Office. They can also be computerized by going to: Nebraska 4-H Career Portfolio and downloading the forms on your computer.
The recordbook needs to be turned in to your club leader or the Extension Office by October 1. By completing the "Career Portfolio" your child can be considered for 4-H awards or recognition. No individual project records are required to be completed.
Awards and Scholarships - A completed award application may entitle your 4-H'er to a variety of 4-H incentives. These include: project medals, event registrations, medals of honor, out-of-state trips and scholarships. Details are printed in the county newsletter in September. Award applications are due October 1.
Hints for Record Keeping

  • Purchase a notebook or folder to keep all 4-H materials together.
  • Start early! Become familiar with what needs to be recorded in the Career Portfolio.
  • Keep a calendar handy to record all your 4-H activities. It's hard to remember everything you've done. Record cost of major items.
  • Take pictures! They document the work you've done, the progress you've made, and are used in award applications. Consider before and after pictures, the awards you receive, and photos showing 4-H'er doing project work.

Community Service in 4-H

4-H has a long history of utilizing youth as resources in community service. Youth have a lot to offer communities and are often an untapped volunteer resource. Every community is filled with useful work and service opportunities for young people.
4-H members need to be made aware of the community around them and how they fit into it. Simple community service projects - where 4-H members interact with the community - help them develop a better understanding, feel a certain pride for their surroundings and help them develop skills for use later in life.
Community service projects are activities that meet real needs within your community. These might relate to health, safety, recreation and other areas. Examples of community activities are caring for public property and buildings, assisting with health drives, and contributing to worthy charities. To obtain more information and ideas for community service activities, contact your extension office.

Parents as Partners

How Can Parents Help?

  • Hold 4-H meetings in your home or help the host at another location.
  • Attend club meetings and events with your child.
  • Help provide transportation to club meetings and 4-H events.
  • Be aware of your member's project goals and requirements. Encourage them to finish what is started.
  • Learn all you can about 4-H work. Read the county 4-H newsletter to keep informed on dates and details.
  • Help 4-H'ers select, finance and manage their projects.
  • Give your 4-H'er help as needed - but don't do their work.
  • Encourage and praise your child. Support 4-H'ers through disappointments as well as successes.
  • Help your child review what he or she has done in each project through the Building Your 4-H Record.
  • Share special talents or interests with the club.
  • Serve refreshments.
  • Say thank you to the club leaders (they get no pay, and often little thanks).
A Pledge for 4-H Parents
Your 4-H'er has been memorizing and reciting the 4-H pledge. This special pledge for parents clearly says how important you can be to your child's growth.
I pledge my Head to give my child the information I can, to help see things clearly and to make wise decisions.
I pledge my Heart to encourage and support my child through success and disappointments.
I pledge my Hands to help my child's club; if I cannot be a leader, I can help in many equally important ways.
I pledge my Health to keep my child strong and well for a better world through 4-H, for my youth, our club, our community, our country and our world.