4-H Club Operating Guidelines
Goals and Philosophy of the 4-H Program
The purpose of 4-H is to provide opportunities for young people to:
- Develop their highest potential in leadership and citizenship abilities.
- Appreciate the value and dignity of work.
- Acquire knowledge and skills through 4-H project materials and activities.
- Develop attitudes and abilities to cooperate with others.
- Learn to accept and carry out responsibilities.
- Be of service to others.
Projects, club activities, and club meetings are tools used to help youth achieve these purposes.
The following Guidelines were established by the Potter County 4-H Advisory Committee for guidance in operating a 4-H club.
Article I Membership
Members must be at least 8 years of age and not have passed their 19th birthday by January 1st.
The Cloverbud Program is designed as an opportunity for 5-7 year olds to learn about 4-H and life skills. There are restrictions as to projects that can be taken based on safety and availability of resources.
- All 4-H members must be enrolled in the Potter County Extension Office by June 1st.
- Horse Members - Youth carrying the 4-H Horse Project must be enrolled by June 1. Projects must be declared in the Extension office by June 1st, using the Horse ID Certificate. A $25.00 PA 4-H Horse Program yearly fee is also due and payable at the time of enrollment.
- Dairy Members - Youth carrying the 4-H Dairy project must be enrolled by June 1st of the current year. All animals showing in the Junior 2 year old class and older classes must be registered in the members name by January 1st of the current year. All animals showing in the yearling and calf classes must be registered in the members name by June 1st of the current year.
- Market Members - Youth carrying a market project (beef, sheep, swine, rabbit, goat) must be enrolled in an organized 4-H club before the animal can be registered for the sale.
- December 31 - Beef members
- April 1 - Rabbit Members
- May 1 - Sheep, Swine & Goat members
- Members participating in the 4-H Dairy and Livestock Breeding Animal Leasing program must have their project plan/lease in to the Extension Office by June 1st of the current year.
- Members must attend 60% of local club meetings in order to be eligible for project completion, county 4-H events and participation in 4-H events at Fair. First year members must attend 60% of the meetings from the time they register in a 4-H club.
Number of meetings held Number of meetings you must attend 6 4 7 4 8 5 9 5 10 6 11 7 12 7
**Committees and individual clubs have the right to have required meeting attendance above the 60% limit, no committee or club may set the meeting limit under 60%.
Summer Enrollment for Out of County Youth
For those members who spend the summer here and would like to show, it has been recommended in order to meet attendance requirements that they attend meetings in their home county during the school year and attend summer meetings here. The club in Potter County must hold summer meetings. This would be a meeting exchange program. If there are any interested members, they need to set this up in advance with club leaders and 4-H agents in both counties. It will be a written agreement.
College students not living in the area should attend 40% of meetings, including filed trips to be eligible to show at fair/round-up shows.
- Any member who chooses not to participate in competitive events may still complete their project for the year under the guidance of the local leader and the Extension Office.
- Members may choose to participate in other optional activities to enhance their educational experiences, such as 4-H Horse Shows, Jr. Dairy Shows, 4-H Livestock Shows, Jr. Livestock Sale, Fashion Revue, Teen Leadership Activities, and Premier Exhibitor. Members are responsible for completing registration and following guidelines of participation at these events and activities.
- Members who fail to attend events they register for will be required to reimburse the 4-H Advisory Fund the amount of the event scholarship.
- Returning members must complete at least one project to be eligible for participation in any regional, state or national 4-H activity or event the following year.
- All members shall adhere to the 4-H members code-of-conduct at all 4-H events, following each events policies and rules. Infractions will be handled by the Potter County 4-H Advisory Committee and the Extension office.
- Attend 60% of local club meetings.
- Members must complete project record book for that year and turn books in to the Extension Office by the end of August.
- To be eligible for county level awards, you must complete at least one project during the current year.
- All youth carrying an animal science project are required annually to participate in training regarding three specific “Good Production Practices” before July 1 or they are not eligible to show or sell their project animal.
Each member will participate in an approved community service project with the club or as an individual.
Article II Club Organization
- The 4-H activity calendar will run from October 1 to September 30.
- A club must at least hold six regular club meetings a year, not to include trips or special events.
- It is recommended that a club have a minimum of 5 members.
- There shall be a local club organization with the necessary officers and duties. Club meetings are to be conducted by the club officers.
For regular club meetings there will be absences and excused absences.
- Absences are when a member does not notify a leader that he/she will not be at a meeting.
- Excused absences are when a member notifies a leader that he/she will be unable to attend a meeting due to school events, church events, or other.
- A member cannot count six excused meetings as six meetings attended.
- Make-ups for excused meeting will be determined by individual clubs.
- Canceled/rescheduled meetings shall not count as an absence if the member would have been at the regular scheduled meeting or cannot attend the rescheduled meeting. Clubs will still need to hold six regular meetings.
- Each year clubs will be audited to maintain sound fiscal management. Clubs must turn in required financial records to the Extension Office. Each January all clubs will complete the PSU Financial Report.
Article III Volunteer Leaders
- All adults who wish to become 4-H volunteer leaders must be screened by the Extension Office before participating in 4-H events.
- All adults must complete the Penn State background checks.
- A person no longer age eligible for 4-H must wait one year from the time they leave 4-H until they apply to be a 4-H leader.
- If a leader is inactive for a year, they must repeat the screening and clearance process.
- All 4-H Volunteer Leaders shall adhere to the 4-H Leaders code of conduct at all 4-H events. Infractions will be handled the Extension staff.
- Leaders must attend yearly training.
Article IV Fundraising
All fundraising events must be approved by the County Extension Office. Forms for fundraising events must be turned in to the Extension Office 30 days before the scheduled event for approval.
Article V General Operation
All county owned educational materials (books, videos, games, etc.) are a county resource and will be housed in the Potter County Extension Office for all clubs and members to access by a library check-out system.
Article VI State Operational Procedures
These guidelines have been established to meet specific needs within Potter County/District 3. There are also Penn State 4-H Program Policies and Procedures that must be followed. They can be found at the Penn State 4-H website: http://extension.psu.edu/4-h
Established 2/2/95, Revised 1/2009, 2013