What is 4-H?

4-H is a non-formal educational, youth development program offered to individual's age 5 and in kindergarten to 19.  Youth are involved in hands-on, experiential learning that allows learning by doing.  All 4-H programs focus on active involvement and quality experiences which stimulate lifelong learning of values and skills.

Who can join?

Youth, age 5 and in Kindergarten through age 18 as of January 1st of the current year, may join. Accommodations can be made for youth with disabilities. For information, contact us at 740-695-1455.

Where do I sign up?

Join a club near your home or school. Experience 4-H with a friend, invite them to join with you. Contact the Belmont County Extension Office at 740-695-1455, to enroll today.

When should I sign up?

Join anytime!...But you must be enrolled by our county's 4-H enrollment deadline of April 1st to take advantage of all 4-H opportunities, including participation in the Belmont County Fair.

What is there to do?

Members, age 8 and in 3rd grade to age 18, as of January 1st of the current year, select 4-H project(s) to explore through club and county activities. Choose from more than 200. Use the 4-H Family Guide to learn about each and every one. Cloverbud members, age 5 and in Kindergarten until age 8 and in 3rd grade participate in non-competitive activities exploring a variety of fun, hands on interest areas.

Cloverbud Basics

Ohio's 4-H Cloverbud Program is for youth age 5 and in kindergarten until they reach age 8 and in the third grade.

Cloverbuds explore areas of healthy lifestyle, earth/environment, citizenship, plants and animals, consumerism and family science, science and technology, personal development, and community expressive arts.

The primary goal of the Cloverbud program is to promote children's healthy development—mentally, physically, socially, and emotionally.The Cloverbud program provides an excellent opportunity for children to reach his or her highest potential because early life experiences, even subtle ones, affect future development.

The Cloverbud program is developmentally-age appropriate, therefore it is:

  • fun and positive
  • leader-directed
  • activity-based
  • noncompetitive
  • success-oriented
  • group-centered
The Cloverbud program allows for and encourages creativity and play.
  • The goals of Ohio's Cloverbud program are for children to develop:
  • self-understanding (self-esteem)
  • social interaction skills (getting along with others)
  • decision-making skills
  • learning skills (learning how to learn)
  • mastering physical skills

Children possessing these life skills are less likely to have problems with drug use, school failure, delinquency, and depression later in life.

Click here for more information on Cloverbuds in Ohio or contact the Belmont County Extension Office at 740-695-1455.

The 4-H Emblem

In 1907 or 1908, the first emblem used nationally was designed by O. H. Benson, superintendent of Wright County (Iowa) schools, as a three-leaf clover with three "H's" signifying head, heart, and hands. A four-leaf clover design with H's appeared informally around 1908.

As the story goes, one sunny June morning in 1906 at a one-room country school near Clarion, Iowa, 11 pupils were spending their recess outside searching for four-leaf clovers. They had plucked seven clovers when a visitor drove up, the Superintendent of schools. At the teacher's suggestion, the children surrendered their good luck charms and placed the seven clovers into the hands of the superintendent. He said, "I've been looking for an emblem for the agricultural clubs and the schools of the county, and you have just given me that emblem, the four-leaf clover; it will help explain to young and old the message of a four square education." (In those early days, 4-H was known as "four-square education," which was based upon education, physical, moral, and fellowship development.)The 4-H emblem is a highly valued mark within our country's history. As such it was granted a very unique status; it is in a category similar to the Presidential Seal and the Olympic emblem. It is protected by the federal government and is under the responsibility and stewardship of the Secretary of Agriculture. The "18 USC 707" marking that appears along the right lower leaf is coding that protects the use of the clover.

The 4-H Colors: Green is nature's most common color and represents youth, life, and growth. White symbolizes purity and high ideals.

The 4-H Motto: "To Make the Best Better"

The 4-H Motto refers to each member. It means that each member will do the "best" that he/she possible can in whatever is attempted. The member will then strive to improve the next time so his or her initial "Best" becomes "Better". The 4-H motto encourages members to stretch their abilities and capacities to reach greater achievement within their own potential.

The 4-H Pledge

The 4-H Pledge states how 4-H goes about helping youth develop and grow in positive ways. As the pledge is recited, hand motions add extra emphasis to the head, heart and hands, as seen here.

The 4-H Creed

I believe in 4-H Club work for the opportunity it will give me to become a useful citizen.
I believe in the training of my HEAD for the power it will give me to think, plan and to reason.
I believe in the training of my HEART for the nobleness it will give me to be kind, sympathetic and true.
I believe in the training of my HANDS for the ability it will give me to be helpful, skillful, and useful.
I believe in the training of my HEALTH for the strength it will give me to enjoy life, to resist disease, and to work efficiently.
I believe in my county, my state, and my community and in my responsibility for their development.
In all these things I believe, and am willing to dedicate my efforts to their fulfillment.


 

40 Questions you always wanted answered about Ohio 4-H,
but never asked!

Click here to find the questions and answers