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What is 4-H?
4-H is a nonformal, educational, youth develoment program. Ohio 4-H membership is based on a child’s age AND grade as of January 1 of the current calendar year. Eligibility for Cloverbud participation begins when a child is age 5 and enrolled in kindergarten. Eligibility for participation in 4-H projects and competitive events begins when a child is age 8 and in third grade. Any youth age 9 or above is eligible for project membership, regardless of grade level. Membership requires enrollment in an authorized Ohio 4-H club or group under the direction of an OSU Extension professional or an approved adult volunteer. A youth’s 4-H eligibility ends December 31 the year he or she turns 19. These are Ohio 4-H age/grade requirements and cannot be waived at the county level. The Ohio 4-H program is coordinated by County, Regional, and State 4-H Youth Development professionals, who are staff members of The Ohio State University Extension.
Over 600 youth belong to one of Adams County’s 27 community-based 4-H clubs. These clubs are led by more than 100 screened and trained adult advisors. Members have opportunities to strengthen their project skills at clinics and the annual Kids College, and they participate in annual skillathons and quality assurance programming. They develop leadership skills by serving as club officers and committee chairs. And, they participate in a wide variety of community service activities, including cleanup and painting at the fairgrounds, beautification projects, and roadside cleanups. Participating in the annual Adams County Fair is the highlight of the year for many of the 4-H’ers. At the fair, members showcase their livestock, horses, and non-livestock projects and receive feedback and recognition on their accomplishments.
4-H empowers youth to reach their full potential, working and learning in partnership with caring adults.
A world in which youth and adults learn, grow and work together as catalysts for positive change.
"I Pledge my Head to clearer thinking,
my Heart to greater loyalty,
my Hands to larger service,
and my Health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country, and my world."
The pledge tells what 4-H is all about. 4-H has as its goal the four-fold development of youth: Head, Heart, Hands and Health. The pledge was adopted by the delegates to the 1927 National 4-H Club Camp in Washington, DC. State club leaders voted for and adopted the pledge for universal use. The phrase "and my world" was added in 1973. The saying of the pledge has prominent place in 4-H activities at regular 4-H meetings, achievement days, and other club events.
"To Make The Best Better"
The motto was adopted at about the same time as the 4-H Club Pledge. Its intent is to inspire young people to continue to learn and grow, to make their best efforts better through participating in educational experiences.