Group of kids outdoors
4-H emblem

4-H emphasizes learning-by-doing to develop life skills and practical skills, while having fun! Clubs serve as a cornerstone of the 4-H youth development experience. Clubs are organized groups that meet regularly, focusing on a series of educational experiences. Club meetings are a great way for youth to learn basic meeting structure and parliamentary procedure. Families are encouraged to help organize a new 4-H club — which is easier than you may think! Extension 4-H staff provides guidance and resource materials. Adult volunteers must be at least age 19 and pass a background check. 4-H volunteers and members are required to officially enroll in 4-H. Youth and clubs choose from over 50 projects to explore!

For more information about helping start a club in Lancaster County, contact Extension Associate Kristin Geisert at 402-441-7180 or

Nebraska 4-H Start a Club

Club Organization

Clubs must have at least 5 youth members from at least 3 families. If you know other families you'd like to start a club with, that is great! If not, Extension staff can set you up with other families wanting to start a club.

  • Club leaders — also known as organizational leaders — club leaders coordinate meeting times and agendas. They also are responsible for club enrollment information.
  • Project leaders — clubs may or may not have project leaders who provide leadership for specific projects.
  • Parent volunteers — also known as assistant leaders — provide valuable guidance to youth.
  • Club officers — youth members often choose officers to run their meetings. Officers may include president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, pledge leader, recreation leader, caller and/or historian.

4-H Meetings

Clubs decide how often and when to meet based on members’ schedules and goals. On average, clubs meet once a month, though each club is different. For example, some clubs meet year-round, other clubs meet spring through the fair and some clubs only in the summer.

Meetings can be held at members’ homes or at community places, such as a community center, library or school.

Leaders and members decide how to run their own meetings, but a suggested format is:

  • Business meeting (10–20 minutes)
  • Project activity (40–80 minutes)
  • Recreation (10–20 minutes)

Clubs usually participate in one or more projects together. In traditional 4-H clubs, members complete several projects a year. There are also 4-H clubs which focus on one particular area, such as robots, sewing, rabbits or horses. Youth often showcase their projects at the Lancaster County Super Fair!

Many clubs give back to their community through community service.

FAQ's for Starting a 4-H Club

If I have never been a member 4-H, do I qualify to start a club?

Yes, you do! There is no previous experience required.

What other information is available to help me get started?

The Lancaster County 4-H website has many resources, especially on the Club and Member Resources webpage. You may also go to the statewide Nebraska 4-H website for additional information.

Is there training available?

Yes, leader trainings/updates are available twice each year; once in the spring and once in the fall (these are offered in-person and via Zoom). There is also a comprehensive Leader Guide new leaders are given that is a helpful resource.

How many youth can I invite to join my club?

The minimum number of members is five from at least three different families. If you want to start small, you can. However, your club may be as large as you wish. There are no maximum restrictions.

Will it be difficult to find club members interested in joining my new club?

Since the 4-H program is very popular and has a good reputation, typically it is not difficult to find youth who want to join a 4-H club.

What if I do not know enough youth to meet the minimum number of members?

4-H staff may assist in identifying families who wish to join a new club.

Is there a cost to set up a club?

There are no fees associated with starting a new club. However, clubs often have their members pay dues to cover the cost of activity supplies and snacks/drinks used during club meetings.

What ages of youth qualify to be in 4-H?

Youth may join 4-H when they reach the age of 5 by January 1 of the current year. Ages 5–7 are considered Clover Kids. Traditional 4-H’ers are age 8–18 by January 1 of the current year. Clubs may have a combination of Clover Kids and traditional aged youth. Some clubs are exclusively one age group or the other.

Where shall I meet?

The club leader chooses the location of the club meetings. Some club meeting location examples are a private home, school, church, neighborhood clubhouse or community center.

Is there liability insurance available if the place I meet requires this?

Yes, 4-H staff will obtain a certificate of insurance from the University of Nebraska to satisfy a venue’s insurance requirements. The cost of this insurance is covered by the University of Nebraska. It is provided at no cost to the club.

How often does my club need to meet?

The club leader can determine how often their club will meet. Many clubs meet once each month starting in the fall until the start of the Lancaster County Super Fair in the summer.

How many times is a club required to meet each year?

There is not a required number of times a club must meet each year. However, it is recommended a club meet at least six times each year. If a club wishes to obtain the Club of Excellence designation, it will need to meet at least six times each year.

What projects do I teach?

Many leaders share their expertise with their members which comes from their profession, hobbies, special skills or from their previous 4-H experiences. It is recommended a leader reach out to their member parents/guardians/grandparents to share and teach the members their special skills, etc. Community members may also be invited to teach on various topics related to their profession and talents. In addition, there are 4-H project books available on numerous topics which can be used by club leaders and families. Many of these books may be viewed and purchased at the Extension office or ordered online at UNL Marketplace or at Shop 4-H.

Where and how do we enroll?

All 4-H members and volunteers must enroll or re-enroll every year, using 4-H Online. Visit for step-by-step instructions. The process is easy and only takes a few minutes. New members will need to know — and select — their club name, as well as select at least one project for enrollment to be complete. Projects may be updated through June 15.

How do 4-H volunteers and youth learn about upcoming 4-H events and opportunities?

Lancaster County 4-H events and opportunities are announced in the NEBLINE newsletter, 4-H weekly e-newsletter, 4-H Facebook private group, other social media and occasional e-mails. Club leaders are mailed spring and fall packets with helpful resources. The Lancaster County 4-H website is kept up-to-date with information.

NO FEES to join Lancaster County 4-H!**

**Lancaster County 4-H is supported by the Lancaster County government and Nebraska Extension

I started the 4-H club because I had been in 4-H when I was younger and I wanted my children to have these same positive experiences

Megan Bauman