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About 4-H

4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.

What is 4-H?

The 4-H program is all about people sharing, doing, and learning together in all kinds of projects, events and activities through local clubs, special interest clubs, school-based and after-school programs and individual memberships. For more information on 4-H, please visit the national Web site.

Members can choose 4-H Projects that fit their interests, abilities and the places where they live. Projects involve hands-on learning, setting goals, and evaluating one’s progress. 4-Hers can compete with their projects in contests at the local, state regional or national levels.

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.

YO PROMETO USAR . . .
Mi CABEZA para pensar más laro,
Mi CORAZON para una mayor lealtad,
Mis MANOS para dar un servicio mayor, y
Mi SALUD para vivir mejor, por mi Club,
mi Comunidad, mi País, y mi Mundo.

4-H Goals

To increase a member’s knowledge in a variety of project areas, while teaching life-skills such as decision-making, public speaking, and leadership.

These goals can be accomplished through communicating in a group, working cooperatively and being responsible. Members can learn through experience, preparing, designing and evaluating their projects.

Interested parents and other adults have opportunities to grow through working with 4-H members.

4-H Mission

4-H empowers youth to reach their full potential working and learning in partnership with caring adults.

While activities focus mainly on the local 4-H Club, members may also participate in group activities and events such as fairs, trips, camping, teen leader trainings, fundraising, achievement programs and county, regional and state learning opportunities.

What Can 4-H Members Do?

  • Make new friends
  • Learn by doing
    • Serve their community
    • Become a teen leader
    • Enjoy the outdoors
    • Enjoy 4-H activities with their families
  • Explore their interests

Go Places

4-H is national program that helps young people develop knowledge and skills to become capable, caring and contributing citizens. Membership in 4-H is open to all youth, ages of 5 to 19, without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or marital/parental status.

Youth in 4-H participate in all kinds of projects, events, and activities through local clubs, special interest clubs, school programs, and individual memberships. Members choose projects to fit their interests, abilities, and the places where they live. 4-H projects involve hands-on learning, setting goals, and evaluating progress.

While activities focus mainly on the local 4-H Club, members may also participate in group activities and events such as fairs, trips, camping, teen leader trainings, fundraising, achievement programs and county, regional and state learning opportunities. The program relies on parent and adult volunteer participation to help youth reach their potential.

4-H is a non-formal educational youth development program of the Cooperative Extension System. The program reaches 7 million youth in all 50 states, U.S. territories, and military installations worldwide. It is the largest youth-serving program in the world with members in 82 countries.

Clubs and Projects

What is a 4-H Project?

Members choose projects to fit their interests, abilities and the places where they live. 4-H projects are tools used to teach youth personal growth, development, appreciation of diversity, and life skills such as responsibility, sound decision making, initiative and appreciation.

More than 150 projects are available, including gardening, sewing, pet care, rocketry, insects, careers, wildlife, raising large animals, cooking, creating Web sites, geographic information systems, babysitting and much more. 4-H projects involve hands-on learning, setting and achieving goals and evaluating one’s progress.

What is a 4-H Group or Club?

Members may belong to an organized club or special interest group, participate in a school enrichment program or out-of-school program, or study alone with a parent or other adult. They may meet on a formal basis with elected officers and hold regular meetings, or meet informally to work on projects.

While activities focus mainly on the local 4-H club, members can also participate in group activities such as fairs and other events, trips, camping, teen leader trainings, fundraising, community service programs, achievement programs, and county, regional and state learning opportunities.

4-H Membership Encourages:

  • Independence and friendships
  • A sense of belonging
  • A spirit of generosity
  • Opportunities to master life's challenges

4-H is a non-formal educational youth development program of the Cooperative Extension System. It is the only youth organization based at land grant universities and often the first experience many young people have with higher education. Every state has a land grant university. Penn State is Pennsylvania’s land grant university.

Penn State’s 4-H Youth Development Division of Cooperative Extension is responsible for planning, organizing and supervising 4-H work throughout Pennsylvania. County Cooperative Extension educators supervise 4-H in the individual counties.

The 4-H program relies on adult and older teen volunteers or family members to guide 4-H members as they work on projects and participate in activities. The leader teaches 4-H’ers how to think—not what to think—and helps them to reach their potential.