Extension's most often recognized or acknowledged youth development program is the classic Missouri 4-H club program.
4-H brings young people ages 5–18 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 their communities. Through 4-H, young people learn to:
- Meet the diverse challenges of today’s world
- Build self-confidence
- Learn responsibility
- Make positive decisions
Read more to discover how to become involved in 4-H.
4-H clubs are open to ages 8 to 18. Clubs meet monthly for group activities and club business. Each club elects officers and has an approved adult leader who supervises club activities. Club members also enroll in projects in their areas of interest.
With projects on more than 75 topics, 4-H has something to interest every child. Here are just a few of the opportunities 4-H offers — geocaching, robotics, international exchanges, horsemanship, pets, starting a business, arts and crafts, raising animals, woodworking, photography and gardening.
Marion County 4-H clubs include:
- The Coffee Creek 4-H Club, which meets at 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month at Philadelphia Community Center.
- The Fabius 4-H Club, which meets at 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month at Fabius Community House.
- The Lucky Four 4-H Club, which meets at 4 p.m. on the second Sunday of every month at Immanuel Lutheran School in West Ely.
- The Mt. Zion Country Clovers 4-H Club, which meets at 6:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month at the FCS Financial Building in Hannibal. Find us on Facebook.
- The Pleasant Day 4-H Club, which meets at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of every month at Monroe City Christian Church.
- The Silver Spurs 4-H Club, which meets at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of every month at First Presbyterian Church in Palmyra.
- The Stone 4-H Club, which meets at 7 p.m. on the last Wednesday of every month at the United Methodist Church in Monroe City.
- The Taylor 4-H Club , which meets at 6:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month in Taylor.
Clover Kids clubs
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, 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.
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.
Young people are welcome to join at any time. The 4-H program year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. Certain activities may have participation deadlines.
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.