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Exploring Citizenship Unit III: My Clubs and Groups

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

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 of the 4-H Citizenship Project, entitled "My Clubs and Groups." In this unit you will learn:

The Benefits of Belonging to a Club or Group

About You, the Member

How to Prepare for Meetings

How to Conduct Meetings

About Constitution/Bylaws

About the Election of Officers

About Committees

The project should be completed in one year. Review the Things to Do activities listed in this Project Book and decide what you would like to do. Select one activity in each Things to Do section. Circle what you plan to complete on those pages and list your overall My Clubs & Groups goals below. Turn in this completed Project Book and My Project Report Summary to your leader when you have completed this unit.

My Clubs & Groups PROJECT GOALS

List the things you want to do or learn in the project this year:

Part 1. You, the Member

You, the member, are an important part of your club. Citizenship skills such as getting along with people are learned through regular activities in a club or group. Get-acquainted games at a meeting, refreshments, and many other activities involve planning, hard 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, including new members, and encouraging those that are shy rather than ignoring them are citizenship responsibilities.

Through 4-H, family, religious groups, school, and other groups, you can learn that it is very satisfying to get along with other people. Your experiences in 4-H can help you develop a sense of responsibility for others, and be more understanding of differences.

Governing ourselves is the responsibility of the citizens in a democracy. When club members serve on committees and participate in the election process, they are developing skills for self-government.

Club members that hold office or serve on committees are not the only ones that must be prepared to work for the good of the club. Everyone's ideas are valuable and it takes the entire club to solve problems, plan events, and run meetings. Think of some ways the members in your club or group could make the group better and discuss them with a friend.

Things to Do

  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 your fellow club members and then discuss.

  2. The rules that govern your club are called a constitution, or by-laws. Read a copy of your club's by-laws. Your club may want to examine the by-laws and make changes. If your club does not have a set of by-laws, research writing by-laws for clubs. You may want to visit your 4-H office or search the Internet for examples.

  3. Based on your by-laws, what positions are available for you in the club? What roles would you like to explore? An officer position? Prepare a speech for your next club elections.



Put a picture of yourself here in club shirt attending a club meeting.

Do I Belong to a Group?

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

Create a list of the organized groups you belong to and what roles you have:

__ 4-H Club

__ School clubs

__ Student government

__ Church youth group

__ Community groups

__ Other




Where do you see adult role models working with youth, and what do they do?



What can you do to make sure youth who attend your club meetings feel welcome and included?



Member Initiations

Ceremonies can have special significance in an organization. In 4-H clubs, they give emphasis to occasions that club members and leaders consider having special meaning. Ceremonies are a way to express the values and ideals of 4-H with dignity and beauty. Initiation of new members should be held soon after the start of the club year or at an appropriate time during the year. The purpose of an initiation ceremony is to help new members feel they belong to the group and share in its opportunities and responsibilities. Below is a sample new member initiation ceremony.


If the ceremony is held in a room or hall, the United States flag, the 4-H flag, and flowers add to the ceremony. Soft music throughout the ceremony can make it more impressive. If candles are used, darken the room. Each 4-H member and the leaders may have a lighted candle, and one leader will need extra candles to give to each member. If candles are not used, pin a single flower or four-leaf clover on the new members.

The Program:

"Member Initiation" adapted from "Initiation of Members" LG 801, University of Missouri-Columbia, adapted by John A. Rutledge, Jr., Extension 4-H Specialist in 1980.

These youths [list the first names of new members] who stand before you wish to become Leader members of the ___________ 4-H Club.

President: With you who are about to become members of the 4-H Club, we want to share the purpose of 4-H. It is to help youth develop mentally, physically, and socially.

Vice President: Our motto is "To Make the Best Better." Repeat the motto with me [To Make the Best Better]. Repeat the 4-H pledge after me.

I pledge my head to clearer thinking [I pledge my head to clearer thinking]

My heart to greater loyalty [my heart to greater loyalty]

My hands to larger service, and [my hands to larger service, and]

My health to better living [my health to better living]

For my club, my community, my country, and my world [for my club, my community, my country, and my world].

Reporter: The 4-H club emblem is a green four-leaf clover with the letter "H" on each leaf. The green four-leaf clover symbolizes youth, life, and growth. The four H's stand for head, heart, hands, and health.

President: The treasurer will give us the 4-H creed.


I believe in 4-H club work for the opportunity it will give me to become a useful citizen.

I believe in the training of my head for the power it will give me to think, plan and to reason.

I believe in the training of my heart for the nobleness it will give me to be kind, sympathetic and true.

I believe in the training of my hands for the ability it will give me to be helpful, skillful and useful.

I believe in the training of my health for the strength it will give me to enjoy life, resist disease and to work efficiently.

I believe in my country, my state and my community, and in my responsibility for their development.

In all these things I believe, and am willing to dedicate my efforts to their fulfillment.

Secretary: We are glad to have you as members of the _________ 4-H Club. You are now members of one of the world's largest youth organizations. 4-H clubs are sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture and in our state by the University of Florida/IFAS Extension Program in partnership with Florida A&M University. There are 4-H clubs in every state and in many other countries of the world.

President: You are now familiar with the purposes of 4-H work, the extent of the organization, the 4-H emblem and what it symbolizes, the 4-H motto, and the 4-H creed. Are you willing to live up to the ideals of 4-H clubs?

New Members: I am.

President: Do you wish to become a 4-H club member?

New Members: I do.

President: As a 4-H member, you will be expected to attend meetings regularly, learn the 4-H pledge, take an active part in our club, and keep your parents informed of your progress. After you have entered your names on the secretary's book, you are club members [the membership leader leads them to the secretary's table where they enter their names. Other members might sing an appropriate song during this time].

President: Now take a candle from our club leader, _________________. Light it from their candle and then take your place in line with the other members [while the new members light their candles, music may be played softly or hummed by all members].

Leader: May the 4-H light shine in your home, your club, your community, and your world. Let us close by singing together (4-H or patriotic song).

Things to Do

  • Plan an icebreaker or get acquainted game to do with your 4-H club


  • What ice breaker game did you lead?


  • Was it easy or difficult to introduce yourself to someone new? Why?

  • Was it difficult to lead a get-acquainted game? Why?


  • What did you learn about yourself through this activity?

  • Why should you include everyone in the icebreaker/get acquainted game?


• After you have led an icebreaker, how will the experience affect your participation in an activity someone else is leading?

Part 2. 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 club or group members to work together effectively, the leader must 1) encourage the members to know the strengths and talents of each member; and 2) have an open discussion among the members to make decisions.

Meetings are important to clubs and groups. The officers and leaders should carefully consider 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 a projector screen. To make it easier for the group to conduct business, 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.

Club Meeting Best Practices

  • Good meetings take place in a safe and inclusive environment.

  • Advisors and/or club leaders meet prior to the meeting to plan the agenda for the business meeting.

  • Agendas are prepared for the meeting in advance and there is a copy for each member.

  • Chairs and/or tables are arranged in a circle or rectangle so members are facing each other. Avoid back rows whenever possible.

  • The room is straightened up after the meeting. The meeting room should be as neat and clean as it was when your group arrived.

The following outline could be used for your club or group to follow in planning a program for the next meeting.

Order of Business for a 4-H Meeting


Call to Order

Pledge of Allegiance and 4-H Pledge

Roll Call and Introduction of Visitors

Secretary's Report

Correspondence (read by secretary or president)

Treasurer's Report

Any Officer's Reports

Committee Reports

Unfinished Business

New Business

Advisor's Report and Announcements

Adjourn the Business Meeting

Educational Program

Recreational Program/Refreshments

When creating an agenda, you can find additional information on each meeting part in the 4-H Volunteer Training Series: Running a Smooth Business Meeting publication, 4H344 (

Flag Set-Up

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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 ¼ the original width.

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

  3. Continue to fold the flag into triangles.

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

Things to Do

  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. Prepare the agenda for your next club meeting.


  • What skills did you learn from creating an agenda?


  • Are agendas easy to prepare?


  • How can you use the skill of writing agendas in the future?

Part 3. Conducting Meetings

Have you thought of a 4-H club or group as a small democracy? A democracy is a form of government where the people 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 they are made in a democracy.

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 the chair or president.

Duties of the Chair

The main responsibilities of the chair, or president, is to conduct meetings properly. Everyone should feel welcome and secure, and they should know that they have the right to speak. For every member to have the right to speak, the chair 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 chair guides the group to make decisions agreed upon by the majority. A good chair is faithful to their duties, understands the problems the group is discussing, and has the leadership ability to guide the group to a decision.

For more information on the duties of the chair, or president, refer to the Florida 4-H Officers' Handbook (4HGCM10;

Running an Effective Meeting

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

Parliamentary procedure gives us the right way to make a motion, to second a motion, 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 follow these rules, they will help keep your groups orderly and help you reach decisions with less confusion. If your chair is fair in using these rules, both the majority and minority in your group will be heard and respected.

In Florida 4-H, our constitution states that the most recent edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall be the authority on all points of parliamentary procedure not otherwise specified in this constitution or in standing rules of the council. Unless otherwise stated in their by-laws or constitutions, clubs, county councils and district councils should use Robert's Rules of Order

Additional tips for effective meetings include:

  • Maintain order and control during meetings. Be courteous, but firm.

  • Encourage your club or group members to feel free to participate, to make suggestions, and even sometimes to disagree with others in an appropriate way.

  • Check frequently on the progress of committees and ask for a report from each chair.

  • Delegate responsibilities and make sure that everyone gets to serve on a committee or have a job in the group at some time during the year.

  • Be courteous to guests and introduce them.

  • Let the advisor know well in advance if you cannot attend a meeting, so that the vice president will have time to prepare to take over the role of the president and preside over the meeting.

  • Start on time. Tap the gavel twice to begin the meeting, whether or not everyone is present. If the chair is late, the co-chair should start the meeting.

  • If your meeting has a specific ending time, make sure you adjourn the business meeting on time.

  • Keep the business meeting easy to understand.

  • Do not allow discussions to drag on too long. If they do, call for a vote.

  • Encourage as many members as possible to participate. Don't be afraid to call on quieter members and make an effort to include everyone.

  • Use a gavel and good parliamentary procedure.

  • Be courteous. Communicate upcoming events, dates, and responsibilities.

  • Set behavior standards early in the year. Remind members of standards when necessary. Set goals with the club and work diligently to reach them.

  • Work closely with your group advisors.

  • Make sure members, not adults, are running the group. Always seek advice from adults.

Making Motions

A motion is a formal way of getting an idea, proposal, or plan of action before a group. Motions are part of the orderly 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 member will say: "Mr. President," or "Mr. Chair," or "Madame President," or "Madame Chair." A special title may be used if they have one, but never use a personal name.

In small, informal groups, the person who wants to be recognized will not 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 Chair, (your name) of (name of your club.)"

b. Chair recognizes speaker

The chair 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 day 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 the motion," or "I second it." In large, formal meetings, it is proper to stand and say, "Mr. Chair, I second the motion."

e. Motion is restated

Before a motion is voted on the 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.

EX: Tom Rushing: (rising) "Mr. Chair, Tom Rushing."

Chair: "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."

Chair: "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?"

f. Motion is discussed

After the chair has restated 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 chair to speak. All discussion must be about the motion or the speaker can be ruled out of order by the chair.

g. Motion is voted on

After the members have discussed the motion, the chair "puts the motion to a vote." The chair will say, "Is there any further discussion?" The motion is then voted upon. Both the affirmative (aye) and negative (no) votes must be taken. The chair will say, "All those in favor of the motion (the motion is restated) say "Aye." All those opposed say, "No."

If the vote is close, the chair may call for a count. The chair will then ask members to stand or raise their hands and count them.

h. Results are announced

After the vote has been taken, the chair will then announce the results. The chair may say, "The 'ayes' have it and the motion is carried," or "The 'no's' have it and the motion is lost." Once the results have been announced, the chairman and the group can deal with another motion or other matters of business.

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

  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. Complete the "Let's Make Trail Mix" activity found in Florida 4-H Officers' Handbook (4HGCM10; or create a game to teach parliamentary procedures.

  3. List all the business meetings you have attended this year (add more pages, if needed):

  4. Write up a motion and add an amendment for it. List your motion and amendment below.


Table 1. 



Type of Meeting (4-H club, student government, commission meeting, etc)

Number Attending the Meeting

Your comments of how the procedure was used & handled

Level of meeting (club/county/district/other)

i.e. 1/17/15

4-H County Council


Members learning motions




Teaching Parliamentary Procedure: Let's Make Trail Mix

(Originally printed with permission from University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension)

Learning to use parliamentary procedure is an important part of a club meeting, and this activity can be a fun way for members to practice making motions, seconding them, and voting. When completed, there will be refreshments for the club.

Materials needed:

  • Large Bowl

  • Large Spoon

  • Serving utensils: paper cups, napkins, etc.

  • Ingredients for trail mix

      • Several choices of cereal

      • Raisins

      • Nuts (ask about allergies)

      • Different types of candies

      • Pretzels

      • Other items as desired

      • Include one or two items that could be questionable for trail mix


  • Display the ingredient and talk about the importance of using parliamentary procedure to insure a successful business meeting.

  • Explain that by using the process of making trail mix, members will learn how to make a motion.

  • As members go through the process of deciding what ingredients they will put in the trail mix, they will need to correctly make a motion for each ingredient they want to add ("I move that ____ be added to the trail mix").

  • Then ask for a second, discuss, and take a vote.

  • Continue for each ingredient to be added.

  • Once the trail mix has been completed, the members can eat it for a snack.

Part 4. Setting Club Goals

Goals are those things your club wants to accomplish. Consider your group goals from last year and identify areas that could be improved. Also think about new things your group might want to try this year. Use these ideas to help your group set two to three goals for the year. Goals should be specific and measurable. Goals should also encourage participation while meeting the needs and interests of the club members.

Begin your club year by establishing goals. Brainstorming and working as a group will help you get everyone engaged in planning for a successful year.

To brainstorm with your club members, ask them the following questions. Ask question #1 first, then question #2. List all ideas, even the far out ones.

  1. What would you like to do as a club?

  2. What would you like to learn about?

Then prioritize by voting on each question, starting with the responses to question #1. Allow each member to vote on 3‒5 items to come up with a ranking of the answers from most popular to least popular. Record the responses and ranking to both questions and give to the club leader.

Example of club goals:

  1. Enroll 5 new members by March 20th.

  2. Increase family participation.

  3. Have 100% of members complete at least one project record.

  4. Have 100% of members participate in one community service-learning project.

  5. Have at least 50% of members give at least one demonstration or illustrated talk.

Things to Do

Work with your club on setting goals. Brainstorming and working as a group will help you get everyone engaged in planning for a successful year.


How did your club go about setting goals?

Did any issues come up and how did you solve them?


How could you use technology to decide a group's goals?

Part 5. Election of Officers

The election 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.

Qualification of Officers

Before officers are elected, your group should spend some time discussing the things you are looking for in your leaders. Educating the group about the duties of each office helps ensure that the most qualified members are elected to those positions. The best leader for your club or group might not be the most popular person or the best athlete. Officer duty descriptions can be found in the Florida 4-H Officers' Handbook (4HGCM10;

Nominating Committee

Most 4-H clubs or groups elect a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, reporter, recreation leader, historian, sergeant at arms and parliamentarian. The process of how to nominate and how to elect officers should be stated in your constitution and by-laws.

The method used most often is to require interested members to complete an officer candidate application (a sample candidate application can be found in the appendices). When a meeting is called to elect officers, the chair or leader will present the names it has for the election. After the names are presented, the chair will ask for additional nominations from the floor. This means that any member has the right to nominate someone other than the ones presented by the chairman or leader. 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.

Voting on Nominations

Your club or group should decide what method of voting it will use to elect officers. Usually, the constitution/by-laws will establish the percentage of vote necessary for election to office. If there are no rules for you to follow, you can use one of several methods. Your chair or leader 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.

Installing Officers

Newly elected officers are usually installed at a special meeting. The officers are called before the group, and the outgoing chair, leader, 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 the club or group (sample installation ceremonies can be found in the appendices).


The constitution was meant to be a short document defining the primary characteristics of the organizationits name and purpose. The second document, called the bylaws, define how the organization is to be managed. "Bylaws" are simply the rules that govern the day-to-day functions of the various officers, committees, departments, and members. Today, it is common to combine the constitution and bylaws into one document named simply "Bylaws."

Bylaws are divided into "articles" covering duties and responsibilities of the board and its officers, committee procedures for decision-making, and general "housekeeping matters." The following topics will be among those included in the bylaws of most nonprofit organizations:

name of the organization; purpose; powers and duties of officers and certain committees; location of the meetings; Procedures for selection of officers; voting procedures; procedure for amending the bylaws.

In your bylaws, 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. See 4-H Volunteer Training Series: Adopting 4-H Club Bylaws (4H338; for sample club bylaws.

Things to Do

Plan an installation ceremony. Find out how other clubs or groups install officers (see appendices for sample ceremonies).

Share: Which installation ceremony did you choose and why?

Process: How would you, as an officer, have felt different if you were elected and your club never had an installation ceremony?

Apply: When else do groups or clubs use ceremonies?

Place a photo of the installation ceremony and attach the script here

Part 6. Committees

Every 4-H club or group appoints committees that do particular tasks and keep members involved and active. The committee might be made up of members who volunteer to serve, or members that are appointed by the club president or chair. If an appointed committee is used, the chairman should be reminded of the benefit of having different ages, sexes, and project interests represented on the committee. Some clubs find it useful to invite a volunteer to meet with a planning committee. The committee seeks input from the members and develops a tentative plan that is brought back to the members of the club for approval.

Types of Committees

There are two types of committees: standing committees and special committees, also known as ad hoc committees.

  1. Standing committees are appointed to carry out a specific part of the regular work of the group. Examples of standing committees are "Ways and Means" (which deals with fund raising), "Community Service," and "Membership."

  2. Special (ad hoc) committees are appointed for a special purpose. Examples of a special committee are for the annual awards ceremony, a club banquet, or holiday party.

Appointing Committees

The chairman or president of the club will usually appoint the committees. The president may do this after talking with other officers in the club. The president may also call for volunteers for specific committees. Things to consider when creating committees are who the chair of the committee will be, who its members will be, and how many club members will serve on it.

Conducting Committee Meetings

Committees are a critical part of a 4-H club. The number of members in each committee is small so members 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 chair. When groups plan and supervise various club activities, they develop a sense of teamwork. Appoint club advisors or volunteers to help committees be successful.

Duties of the committee chair:

  • The chair should meet with advisors to prepare a meeting agenda in advance and have a copy for each member.

  • The meeting should be conducted in an orderly and business-like manner.

  • The chair must make sure all participants are given a chance to speak, but must also keep the committee focused.

  • The chair should prepare a report to present to the club at the end of the meeting.

  • The chair needs to follow up on the committee's work.

Things to Do

List three standing committees and three ad hoc committees you think your club should have and present them to your club president.

1. _________________________ 1. _________________________

2. _________________________ 2. _________________________

3. _________________________ 3. _________________________

Making a 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. Some things the committee will want put in its report are 1) the business discussed, and 2) the decisions made. 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 should be acted upon by all the members of the organization.

Sample Committee Report

Clover County 4-H, Community Service Committee Report, September 17, 2018

The Community Service Committee presents the following recommendation to the council:

  1. Each member of the Community Service committee will contact different civic groups to ask for ideas on service projects with their group.

  2. The council will discuss and select one and then apply for a Community Pride Grant this fall.

Respectfully Submitted,

Chris Clover, Chair


Rose Lee

Tim Taylor

Dolly Smith

Sally Carter

Ex-Officio Mr. President

I move that the council accept the committee report as read.

Things to Do

Your Ways and Means committee has met to discuss its upcoming car wash. Circle the items that would be appropriate to include in the committee report:

  • Price

  • Jeff mentioned he was going to the beach next weekend

  • Name of the committee

  • Date of car wash

  • Age of committee members

  • There was not enough chairs for everybody to sit during the committee meeting

  • Location of car wash

  • The money will be used for summer camp scholarships

  • Annie will be wearing new sandals to the car wash

  • Who is bringing which supplies

Part 7. Using Technology for Meetings

Technology is integrated throughout our lives, including our group meetings.

Etiquette when Meeting via Technology

When using technology for a meeting, rather than meeting face-to-face, etiquette is more than a courtesy; it is a requirement for effective meetings. As with all new technology, patience must be practiced. Be sure to test your connections before the meeting and have a back-up plan if technology fails.

Best practices for meeting via online platforms, like Adobe Connect, Skype, Zoom or GoTo Meeting:

  • Invest in a good quality microphone or headset. Avoid using speakerphone or wireless mics. Position the microphone close to your mouth, but not so close as to overload the microphone.

  • Have your club leader or advisor work with you to set up online meetings.

  • Log on early to make sure that the technology is working.

  • Make sure that all club members receive the link to log onto the meeting several days before the meeting is held.

Part 8. Club Recognition

Club recognition systems exist to recognize clubs for their performance. Clubs may strive to reach specific standards of performance just as individual club members work to achieve standards. Florida 4-H provides four levels of recognitionbronze, silver, gold, and emeraldfor 4-H Club attainment. Each of the four levels of standards are available for clubs to achieve. Criteria for Club Performance Standards, also called Standards of Excellence, can be found under the Awards and Recognition section of the Florida 4-H website. For more information about 4-H Club Awards and Recognition, speak to your 4-H club leader or Extension agent. Clubs turn in their applications and receive awards through their county Extension 4-H program (counties may choose to present different awards than are listed below for recognition of the performance standards).


Club will receive a BRONZE Clover Certificate and name printed in the 4-H newsletter.


Club will receive a SILVER Clover Certificate and name printed in the 4-H newsletter.

GOLD Clover

Club will receive a GOLD Clover Certificate and name printed in the 4-H newsletter.


Club will receive an EMERALD Clover Certificate, name printed in the 4-H newsletter and name in the news article submitted to the local newspaper for publication.

Things to Do

Talk with your club leader or 4-H Extension agent about opportunities for club recognition. If opportunities exist, make a plan with your club to apply for recognition.

Share: Does your county offer club recognition opportunities? If so, does your club plan to submit the application?

Process: How do your fellow club members feel about completing the necessary requirements to receive club recognition?

Apply: What else do organizations do to recognize groups or clubs?

Appendix I―Meeting Evaluation Sheet


Table 2. 

Use this checklist to do a quick evaluation of your 4-H club's meeting.


All the Time


Not Often

Meeting was well planned


Each officer did his/her job


President used an agenda


Secretary had minutes prepared


Treasurer had report prepared


Business meeting moved along well


All members took part in discussion


Meeting room was set up when members arrived


Meeting place was comfortable


There was a program or activity


The program was interesting


Recreation was included


Recreation was well-led


Refreshments were served


Each member spoke at least two times during the meeting


Adapted from materials developed by Colorado State University Cooperative Extension.


Appendix 2—Sample Officer Installation Ceremonies

A. County 4-H Council Officer Sample Installation Ceremony

Each officer's duties are different for different clubs; this installation ceremony is provided as a sample. Talk with your club advisor and see what duties need to be changed for your club.


"We have elected new officers for our County 4-H Council. Tonight we are going to install our new officers for the coming 4-H year. Election to Council office is both an honor and a privilege. I now light this candle, which is a symbol of our Council's spirit and strength. The light of this candle will then be passed on to each of our new officers."


LEADER: (lights candle)

"(President) _________________, I pass on to you this light, symbolizing the torch of leadership. As our president, use it to spark the excitement and enthusiasm for 4-H in all of us. We will be depending on you to conduct our meetings in the best interests of all 4-H members and leaders. We will look to you to provide us leadership which will help our council to grow stronger."

(Hand the lit candle to the president)

President: "I accept this light, and the privilege of serving 4-H that comes with it. I will do my best to meet the challenges of leadership and to keep this light burning throughout the coming year."

(President steps back)


LEADER: (lights candle)

"(Vice President) __________________ I pass on to you this light, symbolizing the glow of unity. As our vice-president, use it to show that strength comes through unity. We are relying on you to support our president and other officers, and to take leadership for various council activities."

(Hand the lit candle to the vice-president)

Vice President: "I accept this light and the privilege of serving 4-H that comes with it. I will do my best to strengthen our 4-H council and will take leadership for next year's awards program and for other council activities whenever needed."

(Vice president stands next to president.)


LEADER: (lights candle)

"(Secretary) ____________________ I pass on to you this light, reflecting the actions of our council. Use it to reflect accurately what we accomplish and the decisions we make. As our secretary you are responsible for keeping accurate record of all council business."

(Hand the lit candle to the secretary.)

Secretary: "I accept this light and the privilege of serving 4-H that comes with it. I will do my best to fulfill the responsibilities of council secretary."

(Secretary stands next to vice president)


LEADER: (lights candle)

(Treasurer) ________________________ I pass on to you this light, symbolizing the trust your council has in you. As our treasurer, we rely on you to keep us informed of our council finances, and to guide us in our fundraising efforts."

(Hand the lit candle to the treasurer)

Treasurer: "I accept this light and the privilege of serving 4-H that comes with it. I will do my best to fulfill the trust our council has in me."

(Treasurer stands next to secretary.)


LEADER: (lights candle)

"(Reporter) ______________ I pass on to you this light, symbolizing the rays of communication. Use it to keep others informed about what our council is doing. As our reporter we rely on you to provide a prompt report of council activities to our local news media."

(Hand the lit candle to the reporter)

Reporter: "I accept this light and the privilege of serving 4-H that comes with it. I will do my best to keep others informed about council activities."

(Reporter stands next to secretary)


LEADER: (lights candle)

"(Historian) ___________________ "This light symbolizes the history of our County 4-H Council. As Historian, we are relying on you to keep an accurate and complete record of all our Council does."

Historian: "I accept this light and the privilege of serving 4-H that comes with it. I will do my best to keep an accurate and complete record of our County Council."


LEADER: (lights candle)

"(Recreation Leader(s) ______________________"This light symbolizes the friendship and excitement our Council promotes. As Recreation Leaders, we are relying on you to bring fun and fellowship to our meetings and activities."

Recreation Leader(s): "We accept this light and the privilege of serving 4-H that comes with it. We will bring fun and laughter to all of our Council meetings and activities."


LEADER: (lights candle)

"(District Council Delegates) ___________________________________________________________

This light symbolizes the strength and enthusiasm of the ________________ County 4-H. Take it with you and share it with our District 4-H Council. We are relying on you to represent our concerns and interests in the District Council. Keep us informed about what is happening in our District."

DELEGATES: "We accept this light and the privilege of serving 4-H that comes with it. We will do our best to represent _____________________ County 4-Hers in our District with honor and hard work."

(Delegates return to original place in line)


INSTALLATION LEADER: "On behalf of the 4-H Council and all ________________ County 4-H Members and Leaders, I wish to congratulate each of you. You have been elected because we feel you can do a good job as our leadership team. Remember, as an officer you are part of a team. Support and encourage each other as you work together to lead our Council. We will help you in any way we can. On behalf of our County Council I present to each of you your Council Officer Pin. Wear it proudly during the coming 4-H year.

I present to you our officers for the 20___-20___ _______________ County 4-H Council.

(Lead applause) Blow out the center candle and return to your seat."

Officers: "Please blow out your candles and return to your seats."

President: "Return to the podium and continue the awards program."

B. Sample Ceremony—Tools Theme


The Installer has, on a table, the following carpentry tools: hammer, blueprint, pencil and ruler, tool box (small), power drill, saw, and steel wool. The officers are at the front of the group in the following order: president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, reporter, recreation leader, and other officers:

Installer: "As officers for the _____ 4-H Club, you are builders who form a work crew. Each crewmember has special work to do and a tool that symbolizes this work."

"_____, you are president. This hammer symbolizes power and order."

(Present hammer) "You have many responsibilities. You will preside at club and executive committee meetings. You will be ready at any time to give your services for the best interest of the club. You must protect its good name and strive always to further its ideals and purposes."

"_____, this blueprint symbolizes careful planning and organization." (Present blueprint) "You, as vice president, must be able to preside in the absence of the president. You will help plan in the absence of the president. You will help plan and announce each program. You will strive in every way to aid in promoting our 4-H programs."

"This pencil and ruler symbolize taking notes and marking carefully the progress and achievements of our club." (Present pencil and ruler) "_____, as secretary you will keep track of our club membership roll and keep a complete record of what takes place at each meeting."

"_____, this toolbox symbolizes the safekeeping of tools that are used for building." (Present toolbox.) "As club treasurer you will keep track of our club finances. You will keep an accurate record of all receipts and expenditures."

"_____, you are reporter. The power drill symbolizes making noise." (Present power drill) "You will make a lot of good noise for our club as you keep people informed of the activities and progress of our club. You must work in cooperation with the local and area newspapers, giving them an accurate and true account of our club meetings. You also will let them know of activities and events that they might like to cover with a staff photographer or reporter."

"_____, steel wool is used to put on a shine." (Present steel wool) "As recreation leader(s), you will put the shine and polish on the club meetings, not with steel wool, but with an activity or game."

"As club officers you must strive to build a strong club that will last even after you leave the club, just as a carpenter builds a strong, sound house to last after he or she is gone."

Adapted from: Welcome to 4-H!!! Basics for New Leaders. Aufdenkamp. UNL Extension 4-H.

Appendix 3―Sample Candidate Application

Name: _______________________________ Club: ___________________________

Years in 4-H: ________

4-H Age Division Please circle one: Junior Intermediate Senior

  1. List the offices you would like to be considered for, in preferred order:

  2. List the projects you are enrolled in and have taken in 4-H:

  3. What offices have you held? Club: County:

  4. What elected offices have you held other than 4-H?

  5. What do you feel are your strongest leadership skills/experiences?

  6. Why do you want to be a 4-H Council Officer?

  7. What would your goals be for the upcoming year, if elected as a Council Officer?

This 4-H member is in good standing in _________________________ Club.

4-H Club Leader (signature):___________________________ Date:__________________

Additional Citizenship Units

Good citizenship involves more than understanding and participating 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. 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

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.


Publication #4HCIM12

Release Date:November 29, 2018

Reviewed At:January 13, 2022


About this Publication

This document is 4HCIM12, one of a series of the 4-H Youth Development Program, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1986. Revised July 2002 and November 2018. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edufor the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

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.


  • Sarah Hensley
  • Stacey Ellison
  • Vanessa Spero