4-H brings young people, ages 5 to 18, and adults together to learn everyday skills through hands-on learning. Working on activities from animal and plant sciences to robotics, 4-H'ers learn problem-solving skills that can make a positive impact upon our community. Through 4-H, young people learn to:
There are several active 4-H Clubs in Cole County. See our 4-H Clubs page for the full list and more information. 4-H is about more than plows, sows and cows. Shooting Sports is the fastest growing project but with so many projects choices everyone can find something to meet their goals. 4-H is open to all youth ages 5-18.
How to join
Joining 4-H is as easy as contacting the extension center. A staff member will explain the enrollment process and membership dues. In addition to dues, some projects may require a small investment to get started, and there may be a fee for materials, trips or other activities.
The 4-H year begins October 1st but we accept enrollment year-round. The 4-H program year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. Certain activities may have participation deadlines.
Steps to become a 4-H member:
Choose a club. Feel free to visit any club that is scheduled at a time and location that is most convenient for you.
Clover Kids introduces 5- to 7-year-olds to the 4-H experience. In Clover Kids, children learn how to get along with others, work in groups and explore their interests while building self-confidence. Clover Kids do not enroll in projects or raise animals, and do not participate in competitive events, contests or shows.
Please do not let cost be a burden. Sponsorships of 4-H projects, trips, contests and activities are available by submitting the application for sponsorship. Funding for sponsorships comes from two sources:
The 4-H Foundation of Cole County – Providing financial support for 4-H projects and members since 2006. Please visit our website to learn more about the 4-H Foundation of Cole County, including upcoming fundraising events and how to apply for sponsorships!
4-H Council policies
Member in Good Standing Policy:
Complete 1 demonstration during the 4-H year (hands-on, PowerPoint, team, speech, etc.)
Attend 50% of club/group meetings. New members must attend 50% of meetings from the time of joining a club.
Enroll in at least 1 project and complete 6 hours of project work receiving guidance from a recognized adult volunteer. Certain projects may require a certified instructor and may have additional requirements (such as Shooting Sports, SportFishing, Horse Bowl, etc.)
Members must enroll and have dues paid to club by December 31 each year. Late enrollments will be assessed a $5 late fee. (Added February 2016)
New members enrolling after January 1 need to pay dues to club in a timely manner. (Adopted September 2012)
Secondary Club Member Policy:
The 4-H Member from a surrounding county is encouraged to join their home county's program first. If special circumstances exist that make it a burden to participate in their home county, the member must request in writing their reason for wanting to join Cole County's program.
Project Leaders will determine if there is room to accommodate the youth.
If accepted, the member must complete the following steps:
Join a Cole County 4-H club as a second club in 4-H Online
Pay Cole County dues plus any club dues
Participate in Cole County fundraisers
(Adopted May 2015; effective October 2015)
Cole County Club in Good Standing Policy:
Club must hold minimum of four meetings
Special Interest Clubs: Must have 2 members
Community Clubs: Must have 5 members from 3 families (Adopted February 2016; effective October 2016)
Must have at least 1 recognized club leader and at least 1 recognized project leader who conducts a meeting and provides a minimum of 6 hours of instruction.
4-H Member and Volunteer records must be entered in enrollment system in a timely manner (Re-enrollment completed by Jan. 1st)
Plan, Implement and Evaluate a community service project.
Turn in club audit packet by due date.
Participate in rotation of countywide committees and fundraisers.
Appoint a representative to attend 50% of 4-H Council meetings
Clubs not adhering to these policies will have their charter revoked. (Adopted May 2015; effective October 2015)
Be a 4-H volunteer
Adult volunteers are essential to 4-H. Adult volunteers serve as club or project leaders, help with county or regional events, chair committees and organize fundraisers. You don't have to be a parent or grandparent of the 4-H member to get involved. All volunteers are screened for child abuse and neglect, as well criminal records, before they are accepted and each year thereafter. As a volunteer, University of Missouri Extension will provide you with training so you will be well-prepared and successful as an adult leader. The orientation includes information on 4-H history and the educational framework, the characteristics of age groups, character development and safety.
Steps to become a Cole County 4-H Volunteer:
Enroll in 4-H Online (Missouri's 4-H Enrollment Database). Documentation of a volunteer applicant's full contact information, desired volunteer role and agreement with Missouri 4-H policies (e.g., Confidentiality, Youth Protection) is done through online enrollment in the Missouri 4-H Online system. Applicants need to set up an adult volunteer profile.
Complete background checks. All new volunteers must complete the Annual Background Check Consent Form (LG639). The form should be mailed or delivered to the Cole County Extension office. The Missouri 4-H office will send a postcard to volunteer applicants once the screening is successfully completed.
Attend Volunteer Orientation. This one-time requirement helps new volunteer applicants understand the depth and breadth of the Missouri 4-H Program. In-person training is the best format; however online orientation (and feedback form) is located within 4-H Online. Contact our office for the next in-person session.
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