California Guide for New Families
Alameda County 4-H Program: Resources Page
Community Club Meetings
Members participate in the club by coming to Community Club (CC) meetings. At CC meetings members and their families gather as a whole to address club business, socialize, and sign up to participate in club activities such as community service and outreach. CC meetings are also an opportunity for members to exercise their leadership skills through public speaking, using parliamentary procedure, and assuming positions of responsibility (club offices and committee chairpersons). Del Arroyo’s CC meetings usually take place on the 3rd Wednesday of each month from 6pm to 8pm starting in September and ending in June.
4-H members also participate by joining projects: hands on classes directed towards learning specific skills or building specific knowledge. Each project has an adult leader who either works with a teen leader or leads the project themselves. The content of the projects is determined by the interests and abilities of the leaders. Del Arroyo members are encouraged to join 3 or more projects, just in case one of their projects does not work out for them. 4-H members are required to join at least one project.
Del Arroyo performs and participates in several community service activities. It is a chance for members to use the skills they have learned to benefit our community and gain experience participating in that community. 4-H members are encouraged to sign up for committees over the course of the year and parents are encouraged to sign up as adult chairpersons of committees, working with the older members who are in leadership positions to build our community and provide all members with access to our collective skills, knowledge, and effort.
Alameda County 4-H sponsors events which members from all the clubs in Alameda County participate in. Sometimes a club will sponsor the event and sometimes a group of members will sponsor it. These events are a good way to get to know members from other clubs and gain a sense of opportunities outside the club.
One of the areas that 4-H emphasizes is record keeping. Each year, members assemble records of all the activities they did as part of 4-H and enter these activities into a Personal Development Report (PDR) form. Behind the PDR form, they place a Project Report Forms for each project they participated in, awards they may have received, and any other records of their activities during the year. This teaches them how to fill out forms and keep records, which can be invaluable later in life. If the member remains in 4-H from the time they are young until they are an adult, the record book provides them with a wonderful record of their years growing up. Ideally, members record their activities immediately upon completing them: at minimum it is good to keep a folder or box of all the papers (awards, contest records, project artwork, etc.) that come in during the year. It makes filling out the forms much easier.
Members who complete a record book are eligible for awards: the record book is how the adult leadership knows what awards to give to each member. Awards are pins that go on the 4-H hat. Each year, members get a stripe and a year pin, but there are more pins and patches that members can earn for their hats. The most frequently earned are the 100% attendance and uniform pins and the stars. Members 9 and older can earn Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum stars. There are also awards for a particularly well done record book or particularly strong participation in a project or in the club, and club officers earn pins. When older members “run out” of awards at the club level, there are county level awards and positions, and beyond that, state level awards and positions.
There is no requirement for members to wear a uniform, but members are encouraged to wear the uniform to CC Meetings and when appropriate at county and community events. Wearing the uniform builds a sense of community and identity, helps people outside out group to know that we are 4-H members, and teaches professional dress habits. The uniform is a white collared shirt, white bottoms, a 4-H scarf or neck-tie, and the 4-H hat. For CC Meetings, members can substitute the club t-shirt for the collared shirt and younger members don’t need to worry about finding white bottoms. Another CC Meeting alternative is to wear casual attire with a 4-H camp shirt or 4-H spirit shirt.