banner photo of 4-H programs

4-H Membership

4-H is open to any youth who is at least 7 years and not 19 years of age on January 1st of the calendar year. We have a special program for 5 and 6 year olds called CT Explorers.  Please contact your local 4-H office to see if an Explorers club is available in your area.  There is no charge to become a member. Interested youth should contact their local Extension Center. They will either be referred to an existing club leader, provided information on independent membership or the possibility of starting a group in their area will be explored.  Registration as a 4-H member is completed through an online enrollment system.

There are many ways interested adults can become 4-H volunteers. Interested adults should contact their local Extension Center. Those wishing to start a 4-H group will receive training and complete application and screening process.4-H Club Involvement: Do you surf the internet? Do you have a family pet you take care of? Would you like to learn more about gardening and the environment? What about making or building things with your hands? How about helping others.
If you have an interest, chances are we have something for you!

Anywhere from 5 to 25 or more youth members meet in organized 4-H groups led by trained adults and teen leaders. 4-H groups can meet in volunteer leader’s or member’s homes, community centers, school-aged child care centers and other public buildings.

A 4-H member in good standing meets the following guidelines:

  • UConn 4-H members must be at least 5 years and not 19 years of age on January 1st of the project year
  • Selects projects for in-depth study
  • Records what they learn (record books)
  • Attends meetings regularly (if a member of an organized group) and is an active participant
  • Completes a community service project (or becomes involved in a group community service project)
  • Participates in some form of public presentation
  • Has projects evaluated

Members may enroll in more than one county or across state lines in order to take advantage of the diverse opportunities offered. In order to do this, they must enroll in a specific and different project area in each county or state. For example, if a youth participates in a rabbit project in one county, they are not eligible to enroll in that project in another county or state. In order to be considered for county/state awards, members must submit in writing their choice for county or state affiliation to the Extension Office.

4-H Explorers Program

The 4-H Explorers Program is a unique membership category that is age appropriate for youth 5 and 6 years old (as of Jan. 1 of the program year).  These programs require more adult supervision and the focus is on cooperative learning rather than competition.  The Explorers programs follows a set of program guidelines based on developmental appropriateness.

4-H Explorers do not take on projects:  Explorers programs are activity based and not project focused.  As the name implies, 4-H Explorers engage in hands-on activities that introduce the entire scope of 4-H programs.  They do not have one specific project area that covers a year of meetings.  Explorers experience the broad spectrum of topics offered by 4-H.  Leaders are trained in the policy, curriculum and developmental stages of 4-H Explorers.  Contact your county 4-H office to see if there is an Explorers program near you.

4-H Explorers Handbook

Independent Member Involvement

No clubs in your area? Do you have a special interest that you want to pursue? Does your schedule not “fit in” with others? Is transportation a problem?

As an independent member you can work on your project, at your own pace, with the help and guidance of a local Extension professional. And as an independent member you can participate in county, state, regional and event national 4-H programs!

School Involvement

Programs can be run during and after school. Child care centers and after school programs can run 4-H clubs as part of their program. Some activities include: Animals in the Classroom, Learn to Earn and environmental activities. Ask your teacher about including 4-H programs during and after school.

4-H mentoring program participant

girl with amphibean

boy with robot

Two students making food in a kitchen

Emily Syme holding Jersey heifer at Auerfarm Fall Fest for 4-H premier showmanship