How to Join Polk County 4-H
Research shows that, 4-H delivered through community clubs have the most impact on youth as they provide multiple layers of positive youth development experiences. They are youth led, volunteer driven, and agent supported while providing the longest participation duration which enables the development of the four essential elements-belonging, mastery, independence and generosity.
In Polk County, the youth attain meaningful life skills enabling them to become resilient young adults who can effectively communicate, develop and maintain positive relationships, through their participation in 4-H community clubs.
4-H is open to youth ages 5-18, as of September 1. Youth develop their skills and talents by participating in club activities, projects, events, and much more throughout the 4-H year.
4-H enrollment is open all year but if you are interested in showing at the county youth fair, Steps 1-3 of the annual enrollment process need to be completed by November 1.
How to Join 4-H
- Check out the Projects, Camps, and Events pages to learn about what Florida 4-H has to offer
- Check out "Polk County 4-H Clubs" on the Member Resources page to learn about the 4-H clubs and activities available in Polk County
- When you are ready to participate in Florida 4-H, ask your parents to complete the Florida 4-H Youth Enrollment Process described on the Member Resources Page under "Annual Enrollment Process"
The Florida 4-H Youth Development Program requires an annual $ 20.00 membership fee for Community Club Members 4-H ages 8-18. You will be prompted to pay this fee on the Florida 4-H website, during the enrollment process
- Forward the payment confirmation to your 4-H club leader and ask them to confirm the registration in 4honline
Until the enrollment is reviewed by the 4-H office, the enrollment status will show PENDING. This process can take several months, but it does not limit the youth's participation in 4-H club activities, events, and competitions.
Once the Polk County 4-H office approves the enrollment, the status will be made ACTIVE.
How Can You Participate?
In Polk County we have more than 35 community clubs that you can choose from to participate in 4-H.
The goals and structure of 4-H clubs vary according to the needs of the members they serve. Some clubs offer one project topic that all members experience together at the club meetings. Others offer a selection of projects delivered through project meetings held apart from the clubs' main meetings.
Some other ways of participating in 4-H are through after school programs (if your school offers 4-H), joining county council, residential camps and many other activities.
Ways Do Clubs Engage Youth?
Clubs usually engage youth by involving them in various projects, recruiting youth officers to lead business meetings, provide volunteering opportunities, and special interest programs.
Each club schedules programs and activities based on interests of the youth members and availability of resources, and also engages them in beyond the club opportunities at county, district, state and national level activities.
Where Do Clubs Meet?
This depends on the group. Community clubs and special interest clubs may meet at community centers, farms, churches, libraries, 4-H office etc. wherever members of the club decide, in advance.
After school and In-school programs meet in the school premises and are open only to the students attending the schools.
Some clubs meet once a week, others once or twice a month. It is important to have a regular meeting time and venues and hence they are mostly decided during the first couple of meetings at the beginning of the year.
What Do I Need To Consider When Joining A Club?
Polk County has over 35 clubs currently spread out around the county, so families may have several clubs nearby to choose from. The family may also choose a club based on membership (e.g. age of members) and project area, depending on how well they align with the family and the youth's interests.
It is also important to consider a club's meeting location and schedule. A list of the current clubs is available at our office, and we do our best to match a family with a club that meets their needs and interests.