Pathways to Deeper Involvement with 4-H

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Dr. Richard Clark

It’s hard to believe but the end of the school year is rapidly approaching. For many schools spring break is only a week or two away. It’s time to begin thinking about how we engage our school-based club members in 4-H over the summer months. This is especially true if the members are finishing their last in-school club experience. We lose a large number of members during the summer following their 5th grade year. This is because they don’t have a clear pathway to on-going involvement.

This spring, let’s plan a few summer activities to keep them engaged. Think about summer camp, day camps, project clubs, county fairs, or honor clubs. Let the members know about activities prior to their departure from school:

  • Have brochures available for camps.
  • Give handouts to parents related to summer opportunities.
  • Market the summer 4-H program during Extension Month.
  • Help parents prioritize family summer experiences and avoid conflicts with summer 4-H programs.

Let’s help parents understand that 4-H is year round and that the experience doesn’t stop when the school year ends!