4-H Clubs and Programs

4-H Clubs and Programs

4-H in Putnam County

Welcome to Putnam County 4-H!
4‑H Youth Development Programs are grounded in the belief that kids learn best by doing. Kids complete hands-on projects in many areas where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. Kids can concentrate on one focus area or they can try a variety of programs throughout their 4‑H experience.

Regardless of the project area, all 4‑H programs include mentoring and career readiness as core elements.

The Putnam 4-H Program offers a diverse range of topics and interest areas, for youth ages 5-19.Program areas range from science and technology to clothing and textiles, and so much more, 4-H provides fun, educational opportunities that empower young people with skills to lead for a lifetime and become the foundation for future success.

Some of the many benefits of joining 4-H

  • Public speaking workshops
  • Public Presentation opportunities
  • Eligibility for leadership & educational trips
  • Eligible for year-end awards
  • Ability to register for NYS 4-H Summer Camps
  • County & State Fairs participation
  • Community service opportunities
  • and many more

What Are 4-H Clubs?

Traditional 4-H Community Clubs focus on multiple projects and involve members of a variety of ages and interests. Community clubs normally have monthly general club meetings that can include icebreakers, teambuilding activities, club business and educational programs. Youth participants will gain self-esteem, leadership skills as well as social-emotional development and general life skills. A traditional club must have at least (5) youth members and (2) adult volunteers.

Annual 4-H Club Membership Fee: There is an Annual 4-H Club Membership Fee of $35 per youth, regardless of how many clubs you take part in! Some clubs & special programs may charge an additional fee to cover supplies, materials & promotional fees! The Annual Fee covers any/all 4-H Club participation between October 1st - September 30th!

Pending availability, membership into an existing club is generally open between September and June, although it’s typically best for NEW Members to start with a club at the beginning of the school year. 4-H Clubs are ongoing, and many youths remain with their club for years. Leadership and community service are essential elements of every 4-H Club and provide youth with an opportunity to develop valuable life skills and connect with a caring adult volunteer. Please complete the INTEREST FORM on this page per child for notifications on the traditional clubs below.

4-H STEP (Short-Term Exploratory Projects) Programs:

Combine concepts of special interest groups with the 4-H club model. 4-H S.T.E.P. Programs generally meet once a week for 3-8 weeks and are designed to provide an opportunity for youth to explore a particular project area in a shorter period of time, while learning about the larger 4-H program. The 4-H S.T.E.P. Program Leader may be an approved 4-H volunteer, a community professional and/or CCE 4-H staff. A 4-H S.T.E.P. Program must always be staffed by (2) approved adults. 4-H S.T.E.P. Program offerings vary throughout the year and registration is first-come, first serve. 4-H S.T.E.P. Programs are designed to ‘spark’ a youth’s curiosity and provides an opportunity for youth to explore 4-H without the commitment of joining a club. Many youths take part in a S.T.E.P. Program and often transition to a traditional 4-H Club.

4-H S.T.E.P. Program Fees: The fees for 4-H S.T.E.P. Programs vary depending on the cost of supplies and materials, rental space fees, the length of the program, and other costs associated with running the program. NOTE:  Must be a current 4-H Member to Register

Ages: Putnam 4-H offers age-appropriate activities and programs for youth:

  • 5 to 8 years (Cloverbuds)* Requires Parent Involvement
  • 5 to 12 years* May Require Parent Involvement
  • 8 to 12 years
  • 12 to 19 years

How 4-H Helps Youth Succeed
Today, more than ever, parents are looking to provide their children with safe, educational and fun activities. Research done on the impact 4-H club involvement has on children is incredibly positive. A strong 4-H club acts as a “mini-community,” where children gain developmental assets.

How much time is involved?
It depends on the 4-H Club and/or activity your child is involved with. Parent participation is generally required for any program open to youth ages 5-8.However, we encourage parents play an active role in their child’s 4-H experience. Most 4-H Clubs generally meet twice a month for about 2-hours each meeting. 4-H STEP Clubs typically meet weekly for 3-8 weeks. Children who want a broader experience can opt to be involved in more than one club. A child’s success in the program will be greater when families are involved.

PARENTS - PLEASE NOTE: Most of our 4-H Clubs & Programs are run by volunteers who donate their time, energy and in many case, sometimes even supplies. It is important to be respectful of our volunteers by making a commitment to the program when you sign-up. You can demonstrate respect and teach your child valuable life skills by:

  • Arriving on-time
  • Notifying the club leaders when you cannot attend it to a meeting or program
  • Staying home when sick
  • Responding to text messages & emails in a timely manner
  • Coming prepared to meetings
  • Actively participating during club time
  • Contributing and helping out when asked or when you can
  • Practicing good cell-phone etiquette
  • Observing & enforcing the 4-H Code of Conduct

Club Support
4-H staff provide a general orientation as well as project and resource training several times a year. Trainings are localized around the county to give you easy access. In addition, the monthly newsletter & website provide helpful information on subject matter, training dates and resources for volunteers.

Awards and Recognition

4-H Members & Volunteers are recognized for both individual and group work done on the club level. There may also be additional opportunities on a regional and statewide level.

Last updated September 5, 2023