Successful 4-H Experiences
Meaningful and successful 4-H experiences include the following components:
4-H’ers enjoy doing things that
- are fun, exciting, and result in learning;
- can be finished and have meaning; and
- involve the use of their senses such as touching, smelling and tasting.
Youth find meaning in a 4-H experience through interaction by
- learning to talk to and work with all kinds of people;
- learning to examine new ideas and to apply them; and
- learning to use such things as equipment, libraries, bicycles, fabric, magazines, lakes, animals, the backyard, or a computer.
4-H will help people learn to make decisions when they are involved in
- clarifying the need;
- setting goals;
- planning the steps to reach their goals;
- finding the help they need;
- doing the things they planned;
- assessing their progress; and
- sharing results.
4-H can provide reinforcement for learning by
- acknowledgement from friends, parents, and leaders; and
- appropriate rewards and awards.
This is a final stage in value development. 4-H can provide an opportunity to publicly share what has been made, learned, believed, or accomplished through
- public speaking;
- creating an exhibit;
- developing a demonstration; and
- performing a skill or talent.
4-H provides opportunities for people to learn leadership by
- showing how to do something rather than doing it for them;
- encouraging observation and listening;
- supporting with encouragement;
- showing sincere interest;
- staying ‘just out of the way’;
- helping a person do things her/his way; and
- giving praise when needed or earned.
4-H can provide situational and individual alternatives in
- learning opportunities;
- policies and requirements;
- roles, role definitions, and job descriptions;
- ways to be involved; and
- expected outcomes.
Use of resources
4-H allows people to be creative with resources, including those from
- themselves: using their natural abilities, solving problems, expressing ideas, sharing with others, being a helper to others, learning from others;
- other people: parents, siblings, friends, neighbors and leaders in the community;
- activities: trips, events, gardening, home repair, sewing, playing music;
- the environment: trees, soil, plants, insects, animals, , rocks, lakes;
- things: their home and the things in it, things in their neighborhood and community, books, writing and art supplies, multimedia.
- Think of things related to a specific project that are important and could be fun to learn.
- Think of people, places, and things in your community that could help kids learn important things in fun ways.
- Plan with members for people, places, and things the project group will use for fun and learning this year.
- Contact the resource person and arrange for a visit.
- Let the resource person know what you want the kids to do, learn, hear, see.
- Remember to thank resource people, too.
- Libraries may be willing to set aside shelf space for 4-H learning resources. Talk to your librarian.