We are so excited that you are ready to join 4-H! Advance through the following steps to complete the enrollment process and start your families membership.
Step 1: Determine how you would like to join
Are you starting your own club?
If you have three families total and are interested in starting a brand new club, contact the 4-H office and the Local Extension Educator will set up and orientation meeting with you.
Are you interested in joining an existing club?
Waseca County has a number of community clubs that meet all over the county. Check out the meeting map and contact the club leaders for the 4-H clubs you might be interested in joining. Clubs may be gathering in-person, virtually or a combination of both.
How do I choose?
Typically clubs meet in person on a monthly basis. Clubs may be meeting in person, virtually, or a combination of both. After you enroll in 4honline and choose a club, the leaders will contact you to let you know how they are meeting this year.
Most people look for a club that is close to your home or meets at a convenient date or time for your family. The majority of clubs don’t have a specific project focus.
Shop around: You can engage with as many clubs as you like before you choose one. Visit as many clubs as you like until you find the right fit.
When you have chosen a club it's time to sign up. (You can enroll before you settle on a club. If that is the case, choose “Independent” when you enroll and switch your club name later in our system.)
Are you interested in joining as an independent member?
You can join as an “independent member”. This means you are not attached to a particular club, but can access all other 4-H programs on the county, state and national levels. We do recommend that families join a club as it provides a place where you can connect with other families and build relationships. However, independent members can still have a great experience in the program as well. You can start as independent but join a club at anytime if you wish.
Step 2: Enroll on 4Honline.com
- Before your first event or county activity you must sign up here using 4-H Online. Enrollment starts in the fall but members can join anytime during the year.
- You will have access to 4HOnline with the username and password you create and you can go in and change your information at any time.
Step 3: Select your projects
The foundation of 4-H is project learning
In 4-H, youth design and participate in their own education and activities, from creating a family tree to wiring a lamp or creating an art piece. This learn-by-doing model teaches kids essential skills needed to succeed in life, such as problem-solving, decision-making, coping, communicating and responding to the needs of others. We call this life skills.
Members can choose what projects they want to learn about and what events and activities they want to attend.
Choosing one or two projects is a great way to begin in 4-H.
- Use the Project Selection Guide to determine which projects your child(ren) are interested in exploring.
When you sign up for a project online:
- It means that is an area you are interested in learning about. You will be sent direct emails regarding any upcoming learning experiences on the county and state level that applies to that project.
- If you are interested in exploring the project more, youth will decide what it is that you want to explore and create some goals that will help you achieve your desired project result.
- Project learning can result in a project that you can exhibit at the county fair or other 4-H event throughout the year. However, you are not required to exhibit a project just because you signed up for it.
- For the most part, project learning is self-directed. If there are no county or state level offerings available to you, connect with a local resource or mentor to help you achieve your goals.
Step 4: Get the most out of your 4-H experience
- Take part in 4-H club meetings.
- The more a youth is involved in 4-H, the more they get from the experience. As they get older they can expand their experience by volunteering to help or sharing their knowledge and skills.
- Check our website frequently for the most current program offerings. Descriptions, dates, and times will help you choose how you can be involved in county and state 4-H events and activities. Click on “downloads” for more resources.
- Please contact your club leader or our office with any questions: 507-835-0600 or email@example.com
Parents/Adults Are a Key to the Success of 4-H
Parents or guardians are encouraged to attend the club meetings to keep informed and to support your youths involvement. 4-H is typically not a “drop and go” program.
If you want to volunteer, you can help as a Project Leaders to share your knowledge and/or skills with youth or as an Event Leader by guiding club’s involvement in a 4-H event or activity. Volunteers are the heart of 4-H. If you are interested in becoming a screened volunteer we have a three part process for you to complete. Read about the process here. 4-H pays for the background check for volunteers. Share your specific talents, provide general help on the club or county level. 4-H staff can help connect you to a volunteer role that aligns with your goals.
4-H focuses on family involvement as many events/workshops are designed for the whole family to attend.
Amy Nelson, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development, Waseca County, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mattea Dann, Extension Support Staff, Waseca County, email@example.com