There are many recognition opportunities for 4-H members — awards, trips, scholarships, and other honors. Extension agents, volunteer leaders, and 4-H members find out more about these opportunities through the Tennessee Awards and Recognition Handbook. Rules and regulations governing eligibility of 4-H members participating in state award and recognition programs are also included. Listed below are just a few.
What is 4-H Honor Club?
The 4-H Honor Club is organized statewide and provides recognition, primarily within counties, of junior high 4-H members who have demonstrated consistent leadership ability and have been active members in their clubs and communities. Tennessee 4-H Honor Club is one of three recognition levels that an outstanding 4-H member may achieve during their 4-H career. 4-H Honor Club membership is granted to those 4-H’ers who have shown exceptional 4-H project work and a willingness to share what they have learned with other 4-H’ers as a junior or teen leader.
You don’t have to have won a lot of awards to be an Honor Club member…just be an active participant in your local 4-H club. You don’t win membership in the Honor Club, you earn it. You’ll score points for Honor Club membership for everything you’ve done as a 4-H member. Participation is the name of the game when it comes to 4-H Honor Club! Here are a few things you need to do:
- Participate — complete your 4-H projects; make presentations; prepare exhibits; and attend 4-H events.
- Be a leader — help other 4-H’ers with their project work; serve in a leadership role with a group of younger 4-H’ers at an event or in your club; conduct a 4-H promotional activity.
- Be a good citizen — perform service activities in your community.
- Write a paragraph about your most rewarding experience as a 4-H junior or teen leader.
To be eligible for Honor Club, 4-H members must submit an application, be endorsed by their local 4-H leader, and approved by the state
4-H office. You can get an application from your 4-H agent or fill out the one available on this Web site. AFter you complete your applicaiton form, give it to your 4-H agent. If you score enough points, you can join the more than 2,400 Tennessee 4-H members who already enjoy the benefits of being an 4-H Honor Club member. Upon acceptance, a member receives a 4-H Honor Club certificate and an Honor Club key.
Are you in at least the sixth grade? Have you been an active 4-H member? Do you enjoy leadership and citizenship activities? Then, maybe you can become a Tennessee 4-H Honor Club member!
Honor Club is for junior high (sixth, seventh, and eighth graders) and senior (ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth graders) 4-H’ers who have been active members of their local clubs. Membership is based on an application form. Anyone who can score a minimum number of points on the Tennessee 4-H Honor Club application can become a member. It’s not hard. You get points for everything you do…completing your projects, participating in events and activities, making presentations, helping other 4-H’ers, volunteering in your community…you even get points just for joining 4-H!
Anyone can become an Honor Club member if they’re just willing to participate…and participating is fun! Why not start working on your application today? Contact your county 4-H agent for an application or click the following link:
And what if you earn Honor Club membership? Then what? That’s when the fun begins. You’ll be part of a club with members just like you; 4-H members are doers and want to get involved with their friends in 4-H activities.
In most counties, Honor Club meets as a countywide club on a monthly or quarterly basis. Honor Club members become involved in educational, recreational, and community service activities. These activities could include helping with 4-H shows, fairs, and workshops; making window displays; serving as project leaders; attending weekend camps; special trips or tours; dances and parties. Honor Club members might be involved in bike-a-thons, tree planting, Christmas caroling, and hiking trips. A favorite activity of Honor Clubs is taking exchange trips where 4-H members have the opportunity to visit 4-H members in other states.
All in all, Honor Club can be anything and everything you want to make it. Opportunities for citizenship and service activities and leadership and project development are key in Honor Club work. The tables below denote the number of new 4-H Honor Club members each county has initiated in the given year.
And…Honor Club is only the first step in Tennessee’s recognition program for outstanding 4-H members. Senior members can earn a spot in All Stars through their citizenship and community service work. All Stars is the second step leading to the final step of recognition. Vol State is the highest recognition a Tennessee 4-H member can earn, and it all starts with the 4-H Honor Club.
What is 4-H All Stars?
Tennessee 4-H All Stars is the second level in the Tennessee 4-H recognition program for outstanding 4-H members. Through active participation in their 4-H clubs, 4-H’ers in seventh through twelfth grades can earn points to become members of the 4-H Honor Club. Once they complete the eighth grade, Honor Club members may apply for membership through their county office in 4-H All Stars. Membership in All Stars is based on SERVICE, which is the All Star motto.
The 4-H All Stars program was started in West Virginia in 1920 by Mr. William “Teepi” Kendrick, the state 4-H Club leader. The organization then spread to other states. According to “The Torch,” a 1956 publication by the West Virginia 4-H All Stars, “During the summer of 1948, Tennessee 4-H Club members organized two All Star Chapters. The Western District consecrated 23 members and the Central District 42. This came about through the interest and work of Paul Rose, Virginia All Star and Club Specialist of Tennessee. [Two] Virginia All Stars went to Tennessee to help with organizing the first chapter. Tennessee now has three districts set up with officers in each district.”
Tennessee held its first State All Star Conference on August 20, 1949. Following this conference, the All Stars completed a formal constitution, which stated that the organization would be known as the District Chapter of the 4-H All Stars and would be associated with the 4-H development program of the Agricultural Extension Service. At this time, not every district had an All Stars chapter, so the group decided not to elect state officers. However, in the 1950s the district Big Chiefs formed a State All Star Council. In 1955, District Scribes were added to the State Council and the first state officers were elected. The state officers included Big Chief, Lesser Chief, Scribe, Newsletter Editor, Scout, and Medicine Person.
The organization has changed and adapted over the years to best represent the young people of Tennessee. However, the core values have remained the same. From the very beginning of the organization, 4-H All Stars have sought to be of service to their community. An early All Stars leader in Maryland said, “No greater attainment can be achieved by the 4-H Club member than to so conduct his life that he will enter into All Star activities. The desire to get ahead of the other fellow will get a candidate nowhere. Club members will not try to down others, but will try to raise themselves. Our great 4-H Club motto, ‘To Make the Best Better,’ is in its greatest degree exemplified by the 4-H development of one who has been selected for membership in the All Stars.”
The emblem of the 4-H All Stars is a 4-H clover with a red, five-pointed star and a diamond chip. The red star stands for courage, which is needed to meet our daily problems. The five points of the star symbolize knowledge, strength, truth, beauty, and love. The diamond is made of our most precious stone and sheds its light in the dark.
Are you interested in becoming a 4-H All Star? The first step is to be a member of the 4-H Honor Club.
The All Star application is the last page of the Honor Club application (the pages should stay attached).
According to the Constitution and Bylaws, the following qualifications apply for selection of nominees for All Star initiation:
- Active 4-H Club member*
- Must have completed the eighth grade*
- Must be a member of the Tennessee 4-H Honor Club*
- Outstanding leadership ability
- Commendable character
- Above average project work
- Willingness to serve
* The first three qualifications are required.
Contact your county Extension agent for more information on becoming a 4-H All Star.
The 4-H All Star motto is “SERVICE.” 4-H All Stars exhibit this motto through county, regional, and state service projects to benefit their neighbors at home and around the world. Although some things in Tennessee 4-H are changing, the All Stars’ commitment to service isn’t one of them.
County All Stars groups can submit their projects for the Don Bowman Award and the Peggy Davis Award, which are presented annually at Roundup. Service is included in local, regional, and state All Star conferences and meetings.
You can strengthen your service experience by turning it into a service learning project. How? It’s simple! Look at your community, decide what the needs are, and plan a project to meet the needs. Then, to make it true service learning, think about the skills and knowledge you can gain through the project and make those things your learning objectives. Conduct your project and reflect on what you’ve done. Then, evaluate and celebrate your accomplishments!
Each of the three regions elects officers to lead their regional All Stars. Along with the state officers, the regional Chiefs, Deputy Chiefs, Scribes, and Advisors make up the state 4-H All Star High Council. The Council members and other regional officers meet annually to discuss All Stars, set the state service theme, elect state officers, strengthen their leadership skills, and much more.
Tennessee 4-H has three awards that are available only to 4-H All Stars. Each award is presented at State Round Up and All Star Conference and recognizes individuals or groups for their outstanding efforts throughout the year. Check out the awards described below and see how you can best display and be recognized for your service efforts.
The Don Bowman Award
The Don Bowman Project Award recognizes county All-Star groups for their most outstanding service project. To enter, each county should report all service activities using Form 591 and submit the forms to their regional office. Only one project may be recorded on each form; however, a county may submit as many forms to the region as they would like.Each region will select the best quality service project from all entries to submit to the State competition. A panel of judges, selected by the State 4-H Office, will then select a State Winner from the three Regional Winners. Each regional winner will receive a certificate and a $10 cash award. The winner of the Don Bowman Project Award will be announced at State 4-H All-Star Conference. The county submitting the winning entry will receive a plaque and a $50 cash award.
The Peggy Davis Award
The Peggy Davis Service Award recognizes county All-Star groups for their completion of the most service contact hours. To enter, each county should report all service activities using Form 591 and submit the forms to their regional office. Only one project may be recorded on each form; however, a county may submit as many forms to the region as they would like. Each region will then select the county that submits the most service contact hours using Form 591. The county’s entire collection of forms should be sent to the state 4-H office for review. A panel of judges, selected by the state 4-H office, will conduct an official count to determine a state winner.
Each regional winner will receive a certificate and a $10 cash award. The winner of the Peggy Davis Service Award will be announced at State 4-H All Star Conference. The county submitting the most service contact hours will receive a plaque and a $50 cash award.
- Each county submitting at least one Form 591 will receive a certificate of participation.
Vol State is the final step in Tennessee’s three-level recognition program…Honor Club, All Stars, and Vol State. The Vol State Award is the highest honor a Tennessee 4-H’er may receive. Members are inducted in an impressive candlelight ceremony on the final night of Tennessee 4-H Roundup.
To give deserved recognition to 4-H members and others on a statewide basis who have particularly outstanding records in project achievement, leadership, and service in 4-H.
- Members must be an active 4-H member.
- Members must have been enrolled in the eleventh or twelfth school grade on January 1 of the current calendar year.
- Members must be an active 4-H All Star.
- Members must be in attendance at State 4-H Roundup.
- Each county may recommend two members. In addition to these two members, a county may recommend one member or each 100 or major fraction thereof senior 4-H members in the county and one member for each 10 or major fraction thereof active 4-H All Stars in the county.
- County Extension agents will indicate during the 4-H Roundup preregistration all members who are recommended to receive the Vol State Award. Ten dollars per nominee will be submitted to the regional office on the date announced by the regional staff.
- Once approved by the regional staff, the names are forwarded to the state 4-H office for final approval.
Tennessee 4-H Youth Development recognizes that volunteers are essential to delivering the mission of our program. The Tennessee 4-H Volunteer Awards and Recognition program provides various opportunities to recognize the many outstanding volunteers that serve in our organization. Learn more about recognition opportunities in Tennessee 4-H on our Volunteers page.