NC State Extension

Join 4-H

4-H is the largest youth organization in the United States with more than 7 million participants. 4-H is best identified by its green four-leaf clover with an H on each leaf. The four H’s on the emblem stand for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. 4-H is the only youth organization based at land-grant universities and the first experience many youth have with higher education.

The NC 4-H Youth Development Program welcomes you to get a glimpse of what 4-H is all about. Take time to participate in an upcoming event or attend any of the various open houses available during the year to connect with other youth and adults and learn more about what 4-H has to offer. Connect with the 4-H community as a 4-H member or as a volunteer today. Visit your local Extension county-based website to learn more.

How can I join NC 4-H?

There are many ways:

  • Join a 4-H club that’s in your area!
  • Start a 4-H club . . . just 5 members and an adult is all you need!
  • Join a special interest group–a group that gets together for a short time to learn about one thing, or to participate in one activity!
  • Enroll as an individual and explore the project of your choice!
  • In your school, look for 4-H school enrichment programs!
  • Your local county 4-H agent is your key to getting started in 4-H. They can tell you what clubs already exist in your county, what projects are being worked on, how to start a new club, or how to participate on your own.

Why should I be interested in 4-H?

Because you get to “Learn by Doing” and meet new friends that share your interests. You can participate in projects where you make something, develop a skill, raise and/or train an animal, join a virtual club with kids from anywhere in the world! There are numerous projects available to you, including foods, clothing, public speaking, models, aerospace, wood science and livestock.

You begin by reading and researching your interests. You can select one or more projects, and receive a project manual, which guides you through the activities. Click here to see a list of available 4-H manuals. These projects are geared to your age and abilities. A 19 year old is expected to do a more advanced project; a 10 year old could be working at an introductory activity.

You, as a 4-H member, decide what you want to learn and do as you explore your project. This allows you to move at your own pace, and gives you important skills in setting and working toward goals.

You don’t have to join a club to be in 4-H, but it is the most popular way to participate. Clubs generally meet twice a month on a regular schedule, which is determined by the members of the club. During meetings you learn how to accomplish the goals of your projects, how to run a business meeting, and how to do demonstrations about your projects. The clubs may plan recreational activities, community service projects, fundraisers and field trips.

As a 4-H club member, you have the opportunity to meet new people, make new friends, learn about projects, and participate in club trips and activities, and more. Each club is unique, as YOU determine the focus of your own club.

4-H Opportunities in North Carolina

Click on the link below for a handout on all of the wonderful opportunities 4-H has to offer in North Carolina.

NC 4-H Opportunities

4-H Youth Development Research

Page Last Updated: 7 months ago
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