You can join 4-H any time of year, but the best time to join a 4-H Community Club is in the fall of the year when the 4-H year begins (September)*
The first step in joining 4-H is to choose a Community Club. For a current list of Community Clubs, click here.
Community Club: Involves members of a variety of ages and interests. In Waukesha County the average size for a community club is 20 to 25 members, but it may have more than 100 members. All members attend the “general” club meetings, which may be held monthly throughout the year. Club meetings include group-building activities, business and educational programs. Each member also participates in one or more project groups. These meet on a variable schedule at other times throughout the year under the guidance of a volunteer project leader.
When and where are 4-H Club Meetings?
Each 4-H Club has its own meeting date and location.With 18 4-H Clubs to choose from in Waukesha County, you should be able to find a location and meeting day that fits into your schedule.
What do 4-H clubs do at Meetings?
There are usually five general things that might happen at a 4-H club meeting; conduct business meetings, recreation or social activities, project work, community service work, and special interest programs. Sometimes the whole meeting is devoted to one thing. Sometimes they have a short business meeting, work on their projects for a while, and then have recreation.
How long are 4-H club Meetings?
Many clubs meet for an hour or two, but it depends on the club’s agenda for the evening.
Who plans the program for the club?
Members of the club. If the club is small, this might be done at a meeting of the whole group. If the club is large, ideas come from everybody and a committee puts together a program.
How do I choose a Club?
Most families choose a club based on its meeting location and/or meeting day of the week. Others choose a club because they have friends in that club. There are no residency restrictions (including county) when joining a 4-H club. (There are also a few project-based clubs such as horse and livestock.)
Families are welcome to “drop in” on a 4-H club to check it out or contact the 4-H leader in charge of a club before joining a club. For leader contact information see below or call the Waukesha County 4-H office at 262-548-7774
The next step is to enroll in the Waukesha County 4-H program electronically using 4HOnline.
4HOnline Overview (For a step-by-step guide for the online enrollment process click here**.)
A family profile and member profile for each youth and/or adult volunteer will need to be set up. This information should be entered by a parent/guardian.
Besides the basic information on 4HOnline, two critical pieces shape your 4-H experience: The first is your e-mail address. By providing a current e-mail address, you will be kept informed of important meetings, deadlines, and other information regarding projects your child has signed up to participate in.
Each family with youth members will enroll in 4HOnline and pay an enrollment fee of $40, which supports Waukesha County UW-Extension. Please make enrollment checks ($40.00) payable to Waukesha County UW- Madison Extension. To pay county enrollment fee online, click here.
Community Club leaders can also collect county enrollment fee payments to be turned into the UW-Madison Extension Office and should collect club dues, if applicable. As always, 4-H families with no youth members (adult volunteers) do not have to pay an enrollment fee. However, they must enroll in 4HOnline. Enrollment fees are non-refundable.
Community Club families may be eligible for a partial enrollment fee waiver if they cannot afford the $40/family. Families approved for this waiver will pay an enrollment fee of $15. All questions regarding this fee waiver should be addressed to the 4-H Office.
*Youth joining a Community Club after March 1 will be unable to show their 4-H projects at that year’s County Fair and will not be eligible for awards or for the discounted rates for summer Camp.
**If you are a returning 4-H family and came here to find step-by-step re-enrollment instructions, here they are: 4HOnline-Re-Enroll.**
Club level participation – Be sure to attend club meetings and events. The best way to know what is going on and coming up is to be there and hear about it for yourself.
Participation in county events – Get involved in county events; participate in Showcase, Curtain Call, Basketball, etc. Enjoy yourself! (See 4-H events below)
4-H Projects – Attend every project meeting you can! Project leaders are a wonderful resource – take advantage of their wealth of knowledge, learn from them! Begin working on your 4-H projects now. Do not wait until two weeks before Fair.
Livestock Projects - Youth enrolled in Beef, Dairy, Goat, Poultry, Rabbit, Sheep, and Swine projects are encouraged to complete YQCA, Youth for the Quality Care of Animals training and the Wisconsin State Fair requires it. More information can be found on Wisconsin's Youth Livestock Program website.
Club leadership – During your first year in 4-H, you will not likely be an elected club officer, but pay attention because you may want to get involved in that in the future!
Record Book tracking – Youth in 3rd grade and above are encouraged to document all their 4-H activities at the club, county, and state level in a Record Book. The Record Book is also used to track community activities and the progress of a youth in each respective 4-H project. Many 4-H members will attest to the benefit and importance of Record Books and record keeping as they apply for higher education, prepare their resume, and submit applications for jobs. However, the benefits of keeping a Record Book continue in the next section.
Civil Rights Statement: University of Wisconsin, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Wisconsin counties cooperating. An EEO/AA employer, University of Wisconsin provides equal opportunities in employment and programming, including Title VI, Title IX and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.