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Capitol Corridor, Solano County
University of California
Capitol Corridor, Solano County

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


How much time does 4-H require?

I would like to enroll my child, or become an adult volunteer myself. What is my next step?
Contact a Community Leader in your area to see what projects are currently offered, and find out if there are openings in the club.  Enrollment is processed through local clubs and most clubs begin taking enrollment in mid-August.  Ask about visiting a club meeting to see what it is like.

How much time does 4-H require?
Currently there are 11 Community Clubs located throughout Solano County. Community Clubs have one general meeting each month.  The projects within the Club also meet at least once per month.  Club meetings are generally held at a local school or community center on a regularly scheduled basis.  Project meetings are scheduled at the convenience of the members and leaders (usually one hour long).  The 4-H Club year usually starts with the new school year, in September and ends June 30.

What age groups participate in 4-H?
Youth are eligible to participate in 4-H clubs as primary members if they are five years old as of December 31 of the program year.  Youth enroll as regular members if they are nine years old by December 31 of the program year.  Youth remain eligible for membership until December 31 of the year in which they turn 19 years old.

What happens at 4-H meetings?
The 4-H members in a club elect their officers and plan, implement, and evaluate an annual plan of work.  An adult volunteer leader coaches the club's officers and members in these activities and guides them as they acquire leadership skills.  Any parent or adult may join the discussion during a 4-H meeting, but only the 4-H members vote on matters that are brought before the club.  The meetings also enable members and parents to get together to share experiences and interests. One of the good things 4-H offers is an opportunity to enjoy learning with family and friends.

Who can be a volunteer leader?
The 4-H program depends on adult volunteers—often the parents/guardians of members—who are willing to invest their time, energy, and resources to lead projects and provide educational experiences for youth in their community. Kids and adults spend time together learning new skills, developing hidden talents, making new friends, and having fun.

Adults who are responsible and who demonstrate respect and confidence in youth make effective leaders.  The role of 4-H volunteers includes mentoring youth and coordinating activities.
Volunteer leaders must be at least 18 years old, although additional age restrictions may apply for certain roles and responsibilities.  (For example, event chaperones must be at least 25 years old.)  In order to provide a safe environment for kids, all prospective 4-H volunteers are required to:

*Complete an Adult Enrollment Application, which includes a code of conduct and confidential self-disclosure statements;
*Submit to and receive criminal record clearance from the California Department of Justice (DOJ) through LiveScan electronic fingerprinting; and
*Complete orientation offered by the county 4-H program staff.

Following DOJ clearance, completion of orientation, and payment of a nominal fee ($20.00 in 2015-16), volunteers are appointed for a one-year term, renewable annually.

How can parents of 4-H members support the program?
There are many ways you can support the 4-H program.  You are vital in helping your child to get the most out of the 4-H experience. You can:
»Support and guide the project work of your child.
»Provide financial support for your child's project work.
»Provide transportation.
»Help your child secure needed materials or equipment.
»Offer assistance to the project group and to the 4-H program.

What are the projects?
4-H isn't just for members with animals.  The official list of projects includes things like: automotive, bicycles, small engines, woodworking, food, clothing, food preservation, camping and outdoor adventure, leathercraft, photography, vegetable gardens, computers, graphic arts, wildlife, creative arts and crafts, workforce preparation, leadership, marine science, and citizenship.  Learn by doing in an atmosphere where learning is fun is a basic philosophy of 4-H. The project is where the learning by doing takes place.  Within the project, members find things to learn, things to do, things to make, and things to explore.  Project work is then summarized by a form of record keeping.  Projects are only limited by what the members are interested in and the availability of adult volunteers.

Is 4-H expensive?
There is a minimal program fee for the 4-H program.  In Solano County, for the 2015-2016 Program Year, it is $60.00 for youth and $20.00 for adult leaders/volunteers. This annual program fee is used to cover the cost of insurance for participants, as well as the cost of printing forms and free publications, operating costs for statewide committees, program costs for statewide advisors, and program salary support.

It is rare that a group or club can do anything without funds.  Money may be collected from members to cover the costs of project materials and 4-H events.  The 4-H member must receive fair value in goods and/or services for any money collected.  To prevent misunderstandings, it is a good idea for a parent/guardian to stay informed about any 4-H work that requires funds from a member.  Local clubs raise money in various ways, but 4-H policy forbids gambling, wagering, or raffles of any kind.

Do I need any special insurance?
4-H accident and illness insurance is mandatory and included in the cost of enrollment.  The Community Leader in your club can tell you about this insurance and provide an informational leaflet.  The leaflet explains what medical costs are covered in case of an accident or illness that occurs during any 4-H work or while traveling to or from official 4-H meetings and events.
Do 4-H members have to wear a uniform?
There is no 4-H uniform requirement.  While caps and scarves and uniform items are available, they are never a requirement for membership.  Some livestock shows and local fairs do require 4-H'ers to wear uniforms when exhibiting animals.  When this is the case, check with your project leaders for the requirements.

How do youth benefit from 4-H?
In 4-H, you will have the opportunity to:
  •  Develop initiative and assume responsibility.
  •  Develop leadership skills and be of service to others.
  •  Develop the ability to live and work cooperatively with others.
  •  Acquire knowledge and skills and explore careers.
  •  Achieve satisfaction from work and accomplishments.
  •  Choose from alternatives and plan a satisfying life.
  •  Develop a positive self-image.
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