Information for Parents

Information for Parents


At home:

  1. Encourage your child to take an active role in the club. Help him or her set priorities about activities and events by scheduling time wisely.
  2. Get to know the youth and families in your club. Volunteer your home for project meetings and other get-togethers, or help with car-pooling to other locations.
  3. Let your child know you’re interested in his or her 4-H experiences and projects. Help set priorities and goals based on your child’s needs, interests and time. Encourage him or her to follow through with commitments by attending meetings and completing tasks and assignments.
  4. Be available when your child needs you for information, guidance and support. Make sure he or she know you’re there to help when needed. However, refrain from completing 4-H projects, record books, award forms or other tasks yourself.
  5. Praise your child’s efforts and progress on projects or other experiences. Comment on what’s being learned instead of putting all the emphasis on winning.
  6. Help your child learn that “doing your best” is more important than “being the best.”
  7. Avoid criticizing or blaming your child for not winning blue ribbons or being selected for awards. Instead, look for ways to help him or her cope with disappointment.

At 4-H club and county events:

  1. Participate with your child in 4-H club meetings and other club and county events.
  2. Stay in touch with your child’s club and project leaders. Let them know you appreciate the time and effort they’re contributing.
  3. When possible, volunteer your time and talents to lead or assist with projects and other club and county 4-H events.
  4. Work with other 4-H parents, adults and youth leaders to make sure 4-H policies, rules and procedures reflect what’s best for the youth.
  5. Support your 4-H Youth Development staff’s efforts to emphasize and promote the educational value of 4-H events and activities.
  6. Work with other 4-H parents and volunteers to make sure competitive events will be handled in a manner that’s healthy and beneficial for all youth involved.
  7. Let 4-H leaders and others know you are appreciative of their efforts by providing positive and constructive feedback.


At the Club Level:

What is a Club Chairperson?
A club chairperson is an adult volunteer who serves as the general leader of the 4-H club. The club chairperson is responsible for the organizational aspects of the club and serves as the liaison with the county 4-H leadership. Club chairpersons advise the youth in making decisions for the club and may delegate tasks to other leaders and parents.

What is a Club Advisory Board?
The club advisory board is a group of volunteers who support the club chairperson and assist with his or her responsibilities. Club advisory board members also advise the youth in making decisions, running club meetings and planning club activities.

What is a Project Leader?
A project leader is an adult volunteer who helps 4-H members as they learn, make and do things in a specific project. Project leaders hold educational meetings with groups of 4-H members or with individual members at the club level.

What is an Activity Leader?

An activity leader is an adult volunteer who is responsible for organizing and conducting club activities, such as music or drama, softball, and community service activities.

What is a Club Officer?
A club officer is a youth who has been elected by the club members to fill a specific role as an officer of the club: president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and so on. Each club officer has specific duties and responsibilities related to planning, running meetings and other club operations.

What is a Junior Leader?
A junior leader in a specific project is an older 4-H member who has several years experience in that project. The junior leader assists the project leader in teaching other youth about the project.

What does it mean to be a 4-H parent?
4-H parents are a very important part of the 4-H member’s experience. Parents are encouraged to attend club meetings, project meetings and county events with their children. Parents are also encouraged to volunteer to help with club activities and events whenever possible.

Regardless of the level of active involvement, it is very important for the member to have their parent’s support. Children need their parents to support their commitment to 4-H, the decisions they make and the goals they set. The 4-H member will have a much more positive experience with the support of the parents!

At the County Level:

What is the 4-H Leaders Council?
The 4-H Leaders Council is composed of Senior Council and Junior Council. Together, this group of adult and youth volunteers sets policies, makes decisions and raises funds for the county 4-H program. Junior Council also plans and conducts county activities. Monthly Junior Council meetings are open to any 4-H youth in grade 7 or above, and monthly Senior Council meetings are open to any 4-H adult volunteers.

What is the Executive Board?
The Executive Board is composed of the officers of the Junior and Senior Councils. The Executive Board meets monthly to plan the Council meetings and is advised by the 4-H Youth Development Agents.

What is a Project Committee?
4-H project committees are adult and youth volunteers who are responsible for projects at the county level. They plan and conduct educational meetings and activities in specific projects that are open to any youth in the county enrolled in those projects.

What is a Key Leader?
Key leaders are experienced adult volunteers who serve as subject matter resource people for project leaders, members and parents in specific projects. They are available to assist with project meetings and help members on an individual basis.


What is UW-Extension?
UW-Extension, or UWEX, is a “campus” of the University of Wisconsin system that is found in all 72 Wisconsin counties. UW-Extension administers educational programs in four major areas: 4-H Youth Development, Family Living Education, Community Resource Development and Agriculture/Agribusiness.

What is an Extension Agent?

Extension Agents are university faculty and staff members of UW-Extension. In Rock County, each of the program areas is assigned at least one Extension Agent. Although the primary responsibility for the county 4-H program rests with the 4-H Youth Development Agents, other Extension Agents in Rock County work with specific aspects of the 4-H program.

What is the role of the 4-H Youth Development Agents?
The 4-H Youth Development Agents are the faculty and staff members who administer the county 4-H program. They provide educational leadership for the program, serve as advisors to the Leaders Council, and assist key leaders and committees in providing educational opportunities for youth and adults.

Where are the Rock County UWEX Offices located?
Rock County maintains two UWEX offices and employs the secretarial staff. The 4-H Youth Development staff is located at the Janesville office in the Courthouse, 51 S. Main Street in Janesville, phone 757-5690. The Beloit office is located in the Olympian Center, 431 Olympian Blvd. in Beloit, phone 363-6272.