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Publication #4HCIM12

4-H Exploring Citizenship, Unit III - My Clubs and Groups1

This material was prepared by the Southern Regiona 4-H Citizenship Literature Committee through a grant from the Coca-Cola Company.2

The 4-H Exploring Citizenship: Unit III - My Clubs and Groups (4H CIM 12) is a citizenship and leadership publication for 4-H members ages 9-11. This unit helps 4-H members learn to function in organized groups so that they can be more effective participants. The accompanying leader's guide is Exploring Citizenship (4H CIL 20).

In EDIS this publication is DLN 4H 017.

Visit the 4-H Youth Development Curriculum Website for more information on related project material.

Click here to print or view the entire project.


You are about to begin the third unit in the 4-H Citizenship Project, "My Clubs and Groups."

In this unit you will learn:

  1. To be an active group member.

  2. To plan meetings.

  3. To conduct meetings.

  4. How to elect officers.

  5. The purpose of committees and how committees work together.

This unit should be completed in one year. Turn in this project book and the project summary found in the back of this book.

Have you thought of a 4-H club or group as a small democracy? A democracy is a form of government where the people themselves have a say in making the decisions that affect them. In your club you can have a part in decision making in the same way decisions are made in a democracy.

But you say, not everyone takes part in club activities. Some people sit back and let others do what needs to be done. So what does "just a member" do? No one is "just a member." Everyone has a part to play in the club or group. As a member, you can be on a committee; you can make a motion and do countless other things as well. Good citizenship is learning how to work with others and learning how to make decisions, and that is what this project is all about.

Part I - You, the Member

Citizenship skills in getting along with people are learned through many regular activities in a club or group. Mixers at a meeting, serving refreshments and many other activities involve leg work and individual responsibility for the good of the group. These social events give us practice in treating people with respect. Helping each person have a good time, drawing in the new members or the shy persons rather than ignoring them or pushing them out - these are citizenship responsibilities.

In growing from a child's simple acceptance of people to an adult's complicated interaction with them, we learn to respect others as persons, rather than exploit them as "things." Through 4-H, family, church and school, you can learn that it is more satisfying to live with independent people than to dominate. The 4-H experience can help you develop a sense of responsibility through common interests, rather that exploitation of one race, sex or group by the other.

Governing ourselves is a big responsibility for citizens in a democracy. As members serve on committees or hold offices, as they elect their representatives and support them, they are developing skills for self-government, and for later participation in formal political groups.

Many clubs or groups elect officers or select leaders and sit back and watch them work. The members speak up only to complain about things they don't like, but aren't willing to do anything to help make it better. Is your club or group like this? Can you think of some ways the members in your club or group could make the group better?

Things to do (Complete at least one)

  1. Make a list of all the ways you can think of for the members of your club or group to be better members. Read your list to the members.

  2. Write a "Member's Pledge" and use it in your club at the time officers are installed.

Part II - Preparing for Meetings

A club or group that gets things done and enjoys being together has good leaders and plans things carefully. In order for clubs or groups to work together in planning, the leader has to help them do two things: 1) Learn enough about the members so that the club is aware of the talents and skills of each member; and 2) Help the members use group discussion so that each member can have some part in the decisions that are made.

Group atmosphere is very important. It should be friendly and informal. Every member should feel welcome and secure. It should allow the members to express their ideas without hurting others' feelings. You want your club or group members to feel free to participate, to make suggestions and even sometimes to disagree with others. To have a strong club you must make everyone feel a part of the group.

Clubs or groups that get things done plan what they will do. The members are able to exchange ideas and plan with one another. The meeting room should be arranged so that the members are seated in such a way that everyone can be seen and heard. Chairs arranged in a circle or semi-circle work well for small groups.

Meetings are important to clubs and groups. The officers and leaders should carefully plan every detail of a meeting. Begin planning early so that every person on the program is notified and has plenty of time to prepare. If possible, give every person who attends the meeting a copy of the program or agenda or put it on a poster or on a chalk board. The following outline could be used for your club or group to follow in planning a program for the next meeting.

Meeting Outline

Call to order

Pledge of allegiance, 4-H Pledge

Roll Call

Introduction of visitors

Minutes of previous meetings read and approved

Reading of correspondence, if any

Reports of officers and leaders - list the reports to be presented

Reports of committees - list the reports to be presented

Old Business (taken from the minutes of the previous meeting)

New Business

Announcements - Announce the place, date and program topic for the next meeting

Adjournment of business meeting



Demonstration, etc


When arranging a room for a meeting you will want to properly display the flags. There are rules to follow in displaying both the American flag and the 4-H flag.

1) When displayed on a platform or stage, the American flag is to the speaker's right, and the 4-H flag is on the left.

Figure 1. 

2) When displayed on the audience's level, the American flag is on a staff to the audience's right, and the 4-H flag is on the audience's left.

Figure 2. 

3) When displayed on a wall, the American flag is above and behind the speaker with the blue field uppermost to the observer's left.

Figure 3. 

After a meeting or ceremony you may need to fold the American flag. You can learn to fold the flag properly in the following way:

1) Hold the flag lengthwise and fold it in half. Next, continue to hold the flag lengthwise and fold it once more so that it is 1/4 the original width.

Figure 4. 

2) Starting at the end with the stripes, fold the flag over into a small triangle.

Figure 5. 

3) Continue to fold the flag into triangles.

Figure 6. 

4) Complete the folding with the blue and stars on top.

Figure 7. 

Things to do (complete at least one)

1) Plan a club or group project on flags. Find a book on flags and teach your club or group how to display the flags in the right way.

2) Make a meeting check list or rating sheet for your club. See an example in Appendix A in the back of this book.

3) A skit, "The Ghost of a Dead Meeting" is in the back of the book (Appendix B). Study the skit and have your club perform it. The skit will help you learn how a meeting should be conducted.

Part III - Conducting Meetings

When your club or group comes to a meeting they will need someone to be in charge of it. The person who presides at a meeting is referred to as chairman, chairperson or chairwoman. Whatever you prefer to call this person, he or she will preside at your meeting. In this publication, we will use the term "chairman" which is the title approved by the National Association of Parliamentarians (NAP). They stress that the word Chairman belongs to the office the same as the title of President or Secretary.

A. Presiding at Meetings

The main responsibilities of the chairman is to conduct meetings properly. Everyone has the right to speak. For every member to have the right to speak, the chairman must insist that people have permission to speak. If everyone talked at once no one would be heard and nothing could be decided. A good chairman guides his/her group in making decisions. He or she leads the group in orderly discussion to reach conclusions the majority agrees upon. A good chairman is faithful to his or her duties, understands the problems the group is discussing and has the leadership ability to guide the group decision.

B. Directing Meetings

The chairman should direct the business of the meeting in an orderly manner. There are "Parliamentary Rules" which help groups to conduct business. It is important that the chairman understands these rules.

Parliamentary procedure give us the right way to make a motion, to second a mothion and to amend a motion. Robert's "Rules of Order" are the oldest and most recognized set of rules on the best ways to conduct business meetings. The rules were first printed in 1876 by General Henry M. Roberts of the Engineering Corps, United States Army. If you will follow these rules, they will help keep your group orderly, and help you reach decisions with less confusion. If your chairman is fair in using these rules, both the majority and minority in your clubs and groups will be heard and respected.

The size of the group will usually determine how strictly the rules are followed. With larger groups it will be necessary to follow the rules very carefully. With small, informal groups you will need to use only the basic rules for making motions, seconding motions and amending motions.

C. Making Motions

A motion is a formal way of getting an idea, proposal or plan of action before a group. Motions are part of theorderly way of conducting a meeting. Motions call for discussion and action by the group.

1) How a motion is made and handled by the group.

a) Addressing the Chair

The member wishing to present an item of business, discuss a motion, ask a question or give information related to the subject, must first address the presiding officer. The membe will say, "Mr. President," or "Mr. Chairman," or "Madame President," or "Madame Chairman," or use a special title if he or she has one, but never a personal name.

In small, informal groups the person who wants to be recognized will need to stand to address the Chair. In large, formal groups the person wanting to speak will need to rise, give his or her name, and any other identification necessary so the Chair will know who is speaking. The correct way to address the Chair is "Mr. or Madame Chairman, (your name) of (name of your4-H Club)."

b) Chair recognizes speaker

The chairman will recognize the person by calling his or her name, or by saying, "The Chair recognizes the person in the front row." After the person is recognized, he or she is free to speak.

c) Motion is made

The person recognized by the Chair makes a motion by saying, "I move that Saturday be set as the time for our 4-H party." "I move," are the proper words to use in presenting a motion or item of business.

d) Motion is seconded

All ordinary motions must be seconded. This is to show the group that two people want the subject discussed. A motion should receive a second soon after it is made. If it does not receive a second the motion is dead and cannot be acted upon by the group. The member wishing to second the motion does not have to be recognized by the Chair. In small groups the member wishing to second the motion does not need to stand but says, "I second it." In large, formal meetings it is proper to stand and say, "Mr. Chairman or Madame Chairman, I second the motion."

e) Before a motion is voted on by the group, the Chair will restate the motion and then ask, "Are you ready for the question?" the motion is restated so that everyone understands before they begin discussing.

f) Motion is discussed

After the chairman has restarted the motion, it is open for discussion. Any member of the group has the right to discuss the motion after they receive permission from the chairman to speak. All discussion must be about the motion or the speaker can be ruled out of order by the chairman. An example of each step is in the proper way to present a motion follows:

Tom Rushing: (rising) "Mr. Chairman, Tom Rushing"

Chairman: "Mr. Rushing"

Mr. Rushing: "I move that our club set the last Saturday in the month as Community Clean up Day"

Mr. Young: (without rising) "second the motion"

Chairman: "It has been moved and seconded that our club set the last Saturday in the month as Community Clean Up Day. Is there any discussion?"

g) Motion is voted on

After the vote has been taken, the chairman will then announce the results. The chairman may say "The 'ayes' have it, and the motion is carried," or "The 'nos' have it and the motion is lost." Once the results have been announced by the chairman, the group can deal with another motion or other matters of business.

D. Ways to Respect one Another

In addition to knowing how to make and amend motions there are some rules of courtesy members should follow in every meeting.

  1. Only one subject or item of business can be before the group at one time. No new item of business can be introduced or discussed until the one being discussed is voted on.

  2. Every member of the group has an equal right to speak and be heard.

  3. The will of the majority must be carried out, but the rights of the minority must also be protected.

  4. Every member has the same rights as any other member. Every member can introduce a motion, debate a motion and vote on a motion.

  5. The business and discussion should follow good rules of courtesy. Before you speak you should receive permission from the Chair. Do not talk to other members when someone else has the floor.

Things to do (complete at least one)

  1. Invite a person to your group to speak on parliamentary procedure. Ask the person to speak on making and disposing of motions, ways to amend motions and the various kinds of motions. Have your leader make out a simple test after the talk and let the members take the test. Afterwards, have a club discussion on what you have learned.

  2. Plan a mock meeting in which members of your group rotate in presiding. Appoint someone as parliamentarian, (your adult leader) then let members of the group practice making motions. In this way you can have fun while you sharpen your skills in both presiding over a meeting and making motions.

Part IV - Election of Officers

The elections of officers is important in every 4-H club or group. Clubs or groups are made up of people with different ideas and abilities. The only way to get things done is for someone to lead. Every club or group needs leaders, and a good way to get leaders is by electing them.

A. Qualification of Officers

Before officers are elected, your group should spend some time discussing the things you are looking for in your leaders. You might want to think about such things as regular participation, experience in the club or group, ability and willingness to serve as an officer.

By setting standards for officers, your group can avoid a popularity contest in the election of officers. The best leader for your club or group might not be the most popular person or the best athlete.

B. Nominating Committee

Most 4-H clubs or groups elect a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and reporter. Usually, a 4-H club or group will have a constitution and by-laws that tell you how to go about electing officers.

The method that is used most often is the nominating committee. A nominating committee can be either elected by the group or appointed by the president. The nominating committee will nominate one or more persons for each office in the club or group.

When a meeting is called to elect officers, the nominating committee will present the names it has selected for election by the group. Before the names presented by the nominating committee are voted on, the chairman will ask for nominations from the floor. This means that any member has the right to nominate someone other than the ones present by the committee. Remember, nominations do not require a second, and a member may nominate only one candidate for each office.

Any member can offer a motion to close the nominations. A motion to close the nominations requires a two-thirds vote of those present and voting.

C. Voting on Nominations

Your club or group will probably decide for itself what method of voting it will use to elect officers. Usually, the by-laws will fix the percent of vote necessary for election to office. If there are not rules for you to follow, you can use one of several methods. Your chairman may call for a show of hands, a standing vote or a secret ballot to decide who the officers will be. In this case a simple majority will elect a person. Usually, when more than one officer is being voted on, the names are voted on in the order in which they were presented to your group.

D. Installing Officers

Newly elected officers are usually installed at a special meeting. Through a special program, the officers are called before the group and the out-going chairman, 4-H agent or special guest reads the requirements for the office to the newly elected officers. The person reading the requirements asks each officer if he or she understands the duties of the office to which they are elected, and if they will accept the responsibilities of the office. This should be a time when all members pledge their support to the newly elected officers of their club or group.

Things to do

  1. After your 4-H club has elected officers, plan an installation ceremony. Find out how other clubs or groups install officers. Ask your leader to help you plan the installation ceremony. (See Appendix C for an example.)

  2. Clubs need rules to guide the members in their activities. Write a set of rules for your 4-H club. (Rules are sometimes called a constitution). Choose a name for the club, then write the rules that will govern your club. The rules will include the number of officers and their duties, the committees needed, how often the club will meet, etc. When you have finished writing the rules, ask for a club meeting to discuss them. If the members approve, ask them to officially adopt the rules for your club. (See Apendix D for a sample constitution.)

Part V - Committees and Comittee Assignments

Every 4-H club or group appoints committees that help do special things and keep members involved and active.

A. Types of Committees

There are two types of committees, standing committees and special committees.

  1. An example of a standing committee is a membership committee. Standing committees are appointed to carry out a specific part of the regular work of the group.

  2. An example of a special committee is an awards committee. Special committees are appointed for a special purpose.

B. Appointing Committees

The President of the club will usually appoint the committees. He or she may do this after talking with other officers in the club.

C. Conducting Committee Meetings

Committees are never very large in numbers. This allows members to have a better opportunity to share their ideas with the other committee members. Although committee meetings are informal they should have an order of business to discuss and they should be led by a chairman.

D. Making the Committee Report

Every committee will want to reach some decision about the things it was asked to do. After the committee has reached a decision, it will want to report to the club or group. The report can be either written or oral. The committee will usually be told by the officers what type of report to present. Before the report is presented all members of the committee should be able to see or hear the report. After the report is presented it shoudl be acted on by all the members of the organization.

Things to do (Complete at least one)

  1. How well does your club or organizaiton use committees? Does it have standing committees like a membership committee, a fund raising committee or a social committee? Does it appoint special committees like a study committee to find and report special information, or a food committee to buy food for a club social event? Make a list of the standing committees in your club and their duties.

  2. Study your club membership to see how many members are on committees. If every member of your club is not on some committee, present the information to your club president or leader and ask them to involve more members.


"Robert's Rules of Order," General Henry M. Roberts, with a Guide and Commentary by Rachel Vixman.

Appendix A

Table 1. 

Appendix A - 4-H Meeting Evaluation Sheet





Meeting Plans

Total Possible Club Score
5 Prior arrangement made for necessary visuals and materials 10
5 Members reminded of meeting (reflected by attendance)    
Meeting Atmosphere
2 2 Lighting & ventilation adequate 10
2 Seating arrangement comfortable    
2 Table, chairs, flags, gavel provided    
2 Atmosphere warm, friendly, congenial and enjoyable    
2 Room identified as 4-H meeting place    
Meeting Procedure
10 Good parliamentary procedure 25  
10 Recommended order of business followed    
5 Started and stopped on time    
Officers, Committee Chairman
10 Each officer performs his responsibility 20  
5 Committee chairman make reports    
5 Monthly community project report    
Meeting Program
10 Business, education, recreation balanced 20  

Significant number of members involved in:

-discussion of club plans and activities

-educational talks, demonstrations, etc.

-recreational skits, stunts, games and songs

5 People speak loud enough to be heard    
  Reflects courtesy and mutal respect 15  
  Total 100  
  *Bonus Points: Individual 4-H project reports (2) 10  
  Total 110  
20 extra points for a demonstration given to the club (must include posters, introduction, body, and summary) total - 130 points. It must show evidence of preparation.

Appendix B

The Ghost of a Dead Meeting

By Treva Sawatski, State 4-H Agent, Arkansas

President: Well, I guess it's time to get started with the meeting. We're already about 20 minutes past the time. We'll have a song led by the song leader.

Song Leader: I don't know what to sing, and I can't remember any of the 4-H songs without my book.

Ghost: The president should see that all meetings begin at the time and close at the time the group has decided upon. The president should have a picture of the work of the club at all times, and should work directly with those who are supposed to give the program for the meeting. The song leader should have a song picked out and ready to lead.

President: Since it's getting late, and there's no one here from the County Extension Office, let's just skip the ritual this meeting.

Ghost: A lost opportunity. Club members should express loyalty to their group and keep their purposes before them. The president should always try to be on time and carry each meeting on in an orderly manner.

President: The secretary will read the minutes of the last meeting.

Secretary: I couldn't come last time so Anne Belle took the minutes, and she forgot to bring the book.

Ghost: Hm-m-m. She didn't even bother to get the book from Anne Belle. The secretary should try to always be present and take careful minutes. It's almost as important for her to get the book to the meeting herself.

President: How much money do we have from the pie supper and cake walk?

Treasurer: I don't know just how much. I think the main leader knows.

Ghost: It is important that all finances be kept up with by the officer in charge of that responsibility, and that accurate reports be given to the club when requested. The club bank account should be changed to the new officer after election each year.

President: Is there any unfinished business?

4-H'er: We talked all meeting last time and never did decide what kind of refreshments to have at the Christmas party.

Ghost: A president should think about special problems to bring up at a meeting and make notes of them. The secretary should give the president a list of unfinished business. The president should not allow a meeting to run on and on with discussion when a committee can be appointed to decide on the matter.

4-H'er: What about that meeting that some of us were supposed to attend?

President: Oh, yes, I got a letter from the Extension office; but I don't know where the letter is, and I can't remember much about it.

Ghost: It is very important that all communications concerning the club be brought before the club at the first possible opportunity.

President: Are there any visitors who wish to join? Will the secretary please give the three boys in the back of the room some enrollment forms?

Secretary: Oh, I forgot the cards. They are somewhere at home.

President: We were going to divide up into different groups to talk about our projects but it's getting late. So, are there any other programs or business to be present to the club? Carolyn, are you and Joe ready to give your demonstration?

Ghost: This president didn't even find out if the program was prepared.

4-H'er: (Getting ukp and putting on coat.) I move that we adjourn.

Ghost: Any member should be recognized by the chair before taking the floor.

President: The motion to adjour has been made and seconded. All in favor say "I." The meeting is now adjourned....just a minute, everyone. Who will get up a demonstration for next time, and who will see about getting the clothing project started?

Ghost: There has already been a time in the meeting when all business should have been brought up. At the close of a meeting the members should feel a club "togetherness" and a spirit of accomplishment, and should not be settling "last-minute" business.

Appendix C

4-H Officer Installation

Members parts - Leaders and Officers

Property - Five clover parts made from construction paper (4 leaves and stem).

The leader may be the outgoing president, the adult leader or another selected person. The leader should call the name and office in order of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Publicity Chairman, Program Chairman. Ask each to step forward as his or her pledge is read. He should respond when asked and return to his place at your left. As each answers, he should be given a portion of a green paper clover (4 leaves and a stem).

Leader - Leadership ranks high among our many rich heritages. It has come to us through the memory of accomplishments by some of the great pioneer men and women - Washington, Adams, Franklin, Jefferson and Lincoln, to name a few.

Through their leadership, they have given us our freedom which, unfortunately, we often take for granted. To take this heritage of freedom for granted is the first step toward losing it. Through good leaders, we can perserve it.

Good leadership is blessed with many qualities, qualities which we can develop through serving as leaders in our 4-H club. Now, I will ask those who have been elected to lead our club as officers this year to come and stand to my left as I call your name.

(Name), as President of our club for this year, do you pledge your "Head" to clearer thinking that will lead us in paths of service to our schools and community, in paths of knowledge so we can learn new skills and in paths of fun so that we will enjoy meeting together? If so, answer, "I do."

(Name), as Vice-President of our 4-H club, do you pledge your "Heart" to willing and loyal service to our club? Will you serve as a strong right arm to our President, and perform your duties faithfully? If so, answer, "I will."

(Name), as Secretary-Treasurer (call both names if two are elected for separate offices) of our 4-H club, do you pledge your "Hands" to larger service as you keep the records of our meetings and perform the duties of your office? If so, answer, "I do."

(Name), as Publicity Chairman, do you pledge your "Health" to better living through 4-H club work so that all people will kow the benefits of our 4-H club? If so, answer, "I do."

(Name), as Program Chairman, do you pledge to help us learn more about our club, our community and our country through well planned programs throughout the year? If so answer, "I do."

Each of you has been given a part of a 4-H clover. No part can stand alone, but you must all work together to give life to the clover.

As member of the (Name) 4-H Club, we also pledge ourselves to help you perform the duties of your offices and to live up to our club pledge.

All stand and repeat the 4-H Pledge in unison.

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.

(All may be seated)

Appendix D

Example Outline

Constitution and By-Laws

(Name of your Club)

Article I

Name and Purpose

Section 1. The name of this organization shall be...

Section 2. The purpose of this organization shall be...

Article II


Section 1. Membership shall consist of...

Section 2. Members must...

Article III


Section 1. The officers of this organization shall be...

Section 2. The officers of this organization shall be elected...(when and how)

Section 3. The duties of the officers shall be...

Article IV


Section 1. The members of the (Name of Club) shall meet...

Section 2. A majority of the membership shall constitute a quorum (the number of members required to be present in order for the club to conduct business)...

Article V


Section 1. This constitution may be amended by a (number required) vote of the members...


The By-Laws contain all the other standing rules of such importance that they should be placed out of the power of any one meeting to change. These should also be divided into Articles and Sections.

I hereby certify this to be a true and accurate copy of the Constitution and By-Laws adopted by and for the ...


Approved: Date __________________________________

"My Clubs and Groups" Project Summary




Grade in school__________________________________

Years in 4-H_____________________________________

Years in Citizenship Project_____________________

Name of 4-H Club or Group________________________

My Goals:_________________________________________

1. You, The Member

What I did________________________________________

What I learned____________________________________

How I shared my knowledge with others_______________

2. Preparing for Meetings

What I did__________________________________________

What I learned____________________________________

How I shared my knowledge with others_______________

3. Conducting Meetings

What I did________________________________________

What I learned____________________________________

How I shared my knowledge with others_______________

4. Election of officres

What I did________________________________________

What I learned____________________________________

How I shared my knowledge with others_______________

Committees and Committee Assignments

What I did________________________________________

What I learned____________________________________

How I shared my knowledge with others_______________

Additional club and group activities in which I have been involved______________________________________________________

Citizenship in Other 4-H Projects

Citizenship responsibilities in earning and spending, and in many other areas of life, are practiced through 4-H projects. These are a central part of your 4-H experience. Learning to sew or build a birdhouse is not citizenship education in itself, but there are citizenship responsibilities that go along with learning such skills. These skills can be used to help you and others. You can help yourself by:

  • Broadening your interests and knowledge.

  • Developing self-confidence and self-discipline.

  • Developing an awareness of job opportunities.

  • Learning how to make intelligent decisions.

  • Getting pleasure from interesting activities.

At the same time, you can help others by:

  • Standing on your own feet and being less dependent.

  • Serving family and friends through project skills.

  • Helping younger members learn.

Additional Citizenship Units

Good citizenship involves more than understanding and participation in government. Good citizenship is important in relationships with your family, friends, and neighbors. Good citizenship is important to your 4-H Club and other organizations you belong to. It means understanding and appreciating yourself and your heritage, and having the same respect for other people and their heritages.

The citizenship project is made up of a series of seven units. You have probably used some of these units in previous years and you may take the other units in the future.

The citizenship project consists of the following units:

Unit 1 Me, My Family and My Friends

Unit 2 My Neighborhood

Unit 3 My Clubs and Groups

Unit 4 My Community

Unit 5 My Heritage

Unit 6 My Government

Unit 7 My World

4-H Pledge

The 4-H Pledge is an outline for the 4-H Citizenship Project. Citizenship education through 4-H should provide threefold learning - knowing, feeling, acting.

I Pledge

My Head to clearer thinking

Understanding - using our heads for clearer thinking, getting information and understanding issues.

My Heart to greater loyalty

Attitudes - using our hearts to appreciate our rights and feel our responsibilities.

My Hands to larger service, and

My Health to better living for my Club, my Community, my Country, and my World.

Skills - using our hands and healthy bodies and minds to put into practice what we understand and feel we should do.

4-H Citizenship Pledge

We individually and collectively pledge our efforts from day to day to fight for the ideals of this nation.

We will never allow tyranny and injustice to become enthroned in this, our country, through indifference to our duties as citizens.

We will strive for intellectual honesty and exercise it through our power of franchise.

We will obey the laws of our land and endeavor increasingly to quicken the sense of public duty among our fellowmen.

We will strive for individual improvement and for social betterment.

We will devote our talents to the enrichment of our homes and our communities in relation to their material, social and spiritual needs.

We will endeavor to transmit to posterity this nation, not merely as we found it, but freer, and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.



This document is 4HCIM12, one of a series of the 4-H Youth Development Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1986. Revised July 2002. Reviewed May 2015. Visit the EDIS website at


Publication contact: Joy Jordan, Ph.D., associate professor/ 4-H Youth Development Specialist, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.