Join McDonald County 4-H in the mission to empower young people, grow the future leaders of the world as well as create a safe, diverse, and inclusive environment for all.

Empowering young people

4‑H is America’s largest youth development organization — empowering nearly 6 million young people with the skills to lead for a lifetime.

Missouri 4-H

More than 57,000 members strong, Missouri 4-H is an active, dynamic organization of young people who are learning, growing and preparing to be the leaders of today and tomorrow — making a REAL difference in their community, country and world. 4-H gives youth opportunities to gain leadership, citizenship and life skills through fun and innovative hands-on activities. 4-H is committed to serving youth of all abilities.

Our mission: Engaging youth as valued, contributing members of their communities in partnership with caring adults.

Our vision: A world in which youth and adults learn, grow and work together for positive change.

Your experience: Build friendships at camps, conferences and events as well as club and project meetings. Showcase your work and creations at fairs and competitions. Dive into exciting activities that interest you!

For questions or more information about joining 4-H in McDonald County, you may contact the McDonald County youth program associate (YPA), Kirby Douglass.

About 4-H

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 meet the diverse challenges of today’s world, build self-confidence, learn responsibility and make positive decisions.

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.

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.

Joining 4-H is as easy as contacting your local extension office. 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.

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.