Maine 4-H Youth Council By-Laws
Through a Youth/Adult Partnership, the Youth Council will be advised by 4-H Faculty and Staff.
The Membership of the Council will be a two-year term. The selection process of a member will be as follows:
- Each County Extension will nominate two members to represent their county.
- Youth must be between the ages of 14-25 as of January 1st of the current year.
- Members must be enrolled in 4-H for two or more years before being nominated.
- Youth may reapply to the Youth Council until reaching the age of 25 as of January 1.
- All members agree to uphold the Code Of Conduct.
The Maine 4-H Youth Council has a few responsibilities, which can include:
- Help planning state events (youth conference, state volunteer conference, in addition to others we currently have) Provide sub-group leadership for other state events.
- Representing Maine at National events.
- Offer advice and suggestions for statewide 4-H Teen programming.
- Orienting new Council members to better serve on the Youth Council.
- Advising county groups of state events.
- Creating stronger Youth/Adult partnerships.
- Partnering with organizations with like-minded goals to create bridges between 4-H and other organizations.
- Thinking about ways to get kids involved in 4-H from the youth perspective.
- Abide by the set Group Norms and By-Laws.
Attendance and Communication
Members are expected to attend at least 80% of meetings and events. It is essential that members who are unable to attend contact the Staff Mentors or Sub-committee Chairs. If you fail to notify, you will be subject to review by the Council. Members who miss two consecutive meetings (subcommittee and full meetings) will be contacted by staff advisors to come up with a plan regarding attendance.
**Each member must be an active member of at least one subcommittee. If a committee chair reports that a member is not active it is to be taken to the Executive Board for assessment. Should they see fit they have the ability to terminate the member at the one year mark of their term.
The Youth Council will have an elected executive board consisting of the following: President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and Public Relations Representative. All Officers will be sworn in during the inauguration of new members each year. Officers will hold quarterly meetings, or more often should the need arise. The Executive Board shall meet with Youth Council advisors two weeks prior to full Youth Council meetings to develop meeting agendas. The Council will elect its officers at the first meeting of the new 4-H year.
To be elected President-Elect, you must have served at least one year on the Youth Council and be able to serve at least two more years after inauguration. Under special circumstances, if the current President-Elect cannot finish their term, an emergency election can be held to fill the remainder of the previous President-Elect’s term.
Under special circumstances, an emergency election can be held for President. To be President, you must have served at least one year on the youth council and be able to serve one more year after inauguration.
All other officer’s terms will end with the election of new officers.
Each Officer will have their own corresponding duties as follows (Officer Position and Duties):
The president of a club presides over meetings, builds the meeting agenda, assures that the meeting runs in an orderly manner and strives to make sure all members’ opinions are heard. If committees are needed, presidents appoint committee members. The President’s original vote in any matter will be the deciding vote in the event of a tie. The president may not vote in matters of finances. Since the president is responsible for creating the meeting agenda, it is important they are familiar with the order of business. A typical meeting agenda would consist of:
- Call to order
- Roll call
- Secretary’s report
- Treasurer’s report
- Old business
- New business
- Announcements/leaders report
The President Elect’s job is to fill in for the president and presides over the meeting if the president is absent, therefore, the President-Elect must understand the roles and responsibilities of the president listed above. Additional responsibilities to consider giving the President-Elect includes following up with any committees to make sure they stay on task, having them responsible for the learning portion of the meeting and serve in the role of introducing presenters or guests.
The Secretary records all of the business of the meeting and a record of each member’s attendance. The Secretary provides a report at each meeting by presenting the minutes from the previous meeting. This can be done by providing a handout or by reading the minutes aloud and must be approved by the entire group. Once minutes are approved, they become the official record of the business that was conducted at the meeting. The Secretary should record full minutes as soon as possible after the conclusion of the meeting so that the discussion is fresh in their mind. Keep all meeting minutes in one safe place so they can be referenced as needed.
The Treasurer is responsible for keeping track of and reporting the income and expenses for the club. The Treasurer is responsible for writing checks for expenses, making any deposits into the club account, balancing the club check book, and preparing and reporting a treasurer’s report to the 4-H club. A treasury report must include previous balance from the last report, a summary of income and expenses since the last meeting. The Treasurer should be prepared to answer specific questions regarding income, expenses and current balance. Managing Money Wisely is a full financial manual for 4-H treasurers. This position also requires participation on the Fundraiser and Grant subcommittee.
The Public Relations Representative submits interesting reports and pictures of club activities, members and leaders to local newspapers, and radio and television stations. The Public Relations Representative should:
- Visit local newspapers, radio, and television stations to learn about their requirements for submitting news.
- Become familiar with the “how to’s” of news writing. You do not have to be an expert, but some helpful hints are included below.
- Report club news to the county Extension office for the county 4-H newsletter or for the county 4-H website.
. • Work with the Secretary to complete the 4-H Club Meeting Report form. Submit it to the state Extension office after each meeting.
- Arrive 30 minutes early to help set up for each meeting.
- Run social media accounts.
- Write “thank yous”.
The election of Officers will be held once a year at our Spring meeting. In special circumstances an emergency election can be held to elect a new officer to fill in for the rest of a term a previous officer did not finish. For an election to happen, there must be at least ⅔ of the Youth Council members present.
Members who wish to run for an Officer position must read through the list of “Officer positions and Duties” to choose what office(s) they wish to run for. Once you have picked the office(s) you want to run for, you will have to make a campaign. A campaign can be a written statement and or a speech on why you think you are best fit for the position.
The President’s original vote in any matter will be the deciding vote in the event of a tie. The president may not vote in matters of finances.
At the start of every year there will be a portion of a meeting dedicated to deciding what new committees we want in the group. Anyone can propose a sub-committee during this time and the Youth Council will vote on which proposals to accept.
During the same time, old committees will be reviewed to determine their impactfulness. If the Youth Council agrees with a ⅔ vote, a committee can be ended.
Anyone can volunteer to be a sub-committee chair when the committee is formed. The sub-committee chair must be a member of the Youth Council however, members of the committee can be from the Youth Council and outside 4-Hers. Every year when the sub-committees are reviewed, the sub-committee chair will also be reviewed.
By-Laws must be reviewed by the Executive Board and voted on by the Youth Council every-other year. However, if an issue arises, it must be brought up at one meeting and voted on at the next meeting. At the second meeting, half of the membership must be present and ⅔ attending must agree to the change for the change to be valid.
Enacted by Maine 4-H teen Council January 8, 1995
Revised by Maine 4-H teen Council on October 16, 1995
Revised by Maine 4-H teen Council on November 22, 1998
Revised by Maine 4-H Youth Council on February 22, 2023
Accepted by Maine 4-H Youth Council on February 25, 2023