What is 4-H?
4-H is America’s largest youth development organization. The purpose of 4-H is to provide a supportive setting for all youth to pursue the projects and interests they love, all while serving the community and gaining valuable life skills.
What do the 4 H’s in 4-H mean?
The 4 H’s stand for head, heart, hands, and health. Our organization’s title is directly connected to our 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."
What is Rockingham County 4-H?
New Hampshire 4-H is the youth development program of UNH Cooperative Extension, and Rockingham County 4-H is one of 10 county 4-H programs in New Hampshire serving youth from all over the state. 4-H operates on many levels of the community. There are events, programs, workshops, and opportunities on both the Rockingham County level and the State level (even the National level).
How old do you have to be to join 4-H?
Our programs are primarily geared towards youth ages 8-18. However, we have ways for your 5-7-year-olds to participate as a “Cloverbud.” If you are older than 18 and still want to express the 4-H spirit, you can take advantage of our many volunteer opportunities.
How do I get involved in Rockingham County 4-H?
Simply put, you can participate any way you want! We have amazing Clubs and afterschool programs in most towns. We also host several county-wide events that you can casually attend and enjoy. Rockingham County 4-H is infamous at the Stratham and Deerfield Fairs every year. County-wide “SPINs” are Special Interest courses that are implemented like fieldtrips or workshops and introduce you to a new hobby or project area, or scaffold more advanced concepts in favorite project areas.
How do I find a local 4-H Club?
Our list of Clubs and afterschool programs is a great place to start. To get connected with a club, complete our 4-H interest form, and a 4-H staff member will be in touch to find out more about your interests and put you in touch with a Club Leader that fits your interests and location.
Who leads 4-H Clubs?
The best people in the world lead 4-H Clubs. No joke! 4-H Volunteers lead Clubs, and you can be sure they are truly invested in giving their attention and skills to your children because they do it for free. 4-H nationally gets over a billion dollars of time and expertise from our Volunteers every year. Why on earth would they do that? Because giving your children skills and opportunities is incredibly rewarding for them, and 4-H supports and empowers them to make the maximum impact possible. All 4-H Volunteers are supported by a professional staff, including the county 4-H Program Manager and Field Specialists who are University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension staff members.
What are 4-H Club meetings like?
4-H youth work on projects of all kinds within four general program pathways; Agricultural Science, Civic Engagement, Healthy Living, and STEM. Some Clubs specifically focus on one of these pathways. Other Clubs generally dabble in all four. Youth have opportunities to present and showcase their projects at the county fairs and other county, state, and regional events – but most of the learning and skill development happens in the Clubs. 4-H Club members build leadership by electing officers and conducting their own business meetings, work together on community service activities, meet new friends, and of course, have lots of fun.
What if I don’t necessarily want to join a club?
There are still many ways to be involved! 4-H is committed to bringing you programs wherever you are, and maybe joining a Club is not for you at this time. Youth and families who want to attend county-wide events and SPINs or work on 4-H projects independently are recognized as “independent members” or “participants”.
How do I officially enroll in 4-H?
4HOnline is our official enrollment database. Registering in 4HOnline allows you to manage your 4-H clubs and projects, ID 4-H animals, and sign up for events. Enrollment as a club member or participant is required to register for our county events and SPINs. If you need help enrolling, check out our Enrollment Guide for NH Families.
How do I get involved as a 4-H volunteer?
There are many different kinds of opportunities to support Rockingham County 4-H through volunteering – see all of them here. To volunteer as a Club leader, project leader, or SPIN facilitator, there is a volunteer application and onboarding process. We are here to get you started and guide you through it – start by completing the 4-H Volunteer Application online.
Can parents be involved in 4-H Clubs?
Parents can and should be involved in 4-H Clubs. Speak to the Club Leader to define the best role for you!
How do I start a local 4-H group?
Screened 4-H Volunteers can start a 4-H group aka “Club.” There is a more involved orientation process for Club Organizational Leaders that is designed to bring their vision into reality and highlight the extra responsibilities. We are here to get you started and guide you through it – start by completing the 4-H Volunteer Application online.
Have a different question? Contact us at Rockingham.4H@unh.edu or call our office at 603-679-5616.