Who Can Join 4-H?
As with all Cooperative Extension programs, 4-H is open to all youth, regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.
- Age: Any young person ages 9 through 18 may be involved in Kentucky 4-H. Some counties offer Clover Bud activities for youth ages 5-8. Whether to offer Clover Bud activities is a county decision. Once a young person reaches age 19, he/she is too old to be a participant but may become a volunteer in the 4-H program.
- Gender: 4-H participation is open to both boys and girls.
- Geographic Locations: 4-H happens wherever kids live--in large cities, in small towns, in rural areas, on farms, and even on military bases. 4-H clubs and groups strive to meet in facilities where all youth feel welcome.
- Participation Options (referred to as "delivery methods" by Extension staff): Generally, there are seven ways kids opt into 4-H.
- Organized Club--an organized group of youth who meet throughout the year and elect officers. There are four types of 4-H clubs--a) "community clubs" which meet at times when kids are not in school; b) "in-school clubs" which meet during school hours; c) clubs which meet during after-school child care; d) clubs organized on military bases for the children of military families.
- Special Interest/Short Term programs--group of youth who participate in a series of learning experiences on a topic of special interest to them such as a sewing group or robotics group. The group may meet several times but perhaps not throughout the year.
- Camp--group of youth participate in overnight or day camp.
- School Enrichment--classrooms of youth who participate in 4-H as part of the school curriculum.
- Individual Study--individual youth who participate in 4-H as a family but do not affiliate with a 4-H club/group.
- School-aged Child Care--youth participate in 4-H while in school-aged child care.
- Instructional TV/video--Few counties offer this method; eventually it might be replaced by technology based groups such as virtual 4-H clubs.
- Membership dues--In general, Kentucky 4-H clubs/groups do not have membership dues. 4-H activities may involve pay-as-you-go fees for participation in specific learning activities. The lack of membership dues should not imply that participation is always free. Efforts are often made locally to raise private funds to ofset some of registration fees for youth whose family cannot afford the expense.