4-H Opportunities

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4-H Project Records

Project records highlight what a 4-H’er has learned and done in a specific project area for a period of 12 months. The books are judged in age categories of: 5-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-15 and 16-18. They are submitted to the County 4-H office at the end of your 4-H year. The top county winners in each of the curriculum areas are then submitted to Raleigh for district competition. These are due in January. Contact your 4-H Agent for the deadline.

If you need help thinking of ways to include more community service and citizenship into your record book, be sure to check out the following documents. They should be able to help! And remember, you can always contact your 4-H Agent if you need help completing your record book.

Community Service Ideas-University of Nebraska

Citizenship Ideas

4-H Cumulative Records

This is an accumulation of up to three years of 4-H project work in a major project area. Records are submitted in age categories of 13-15 and 16-18. These are due in January. State winners receive cash awards.

4-H Presentations and Public Speaking

Presentations are a method of presenting information by demonstration or illustrated talk for competition, while a Public Speech involves no props. The time limit is generally between 5 and 12 minutes, with specific time regulations in specific categories. Two county winners in each age group (9-10, 11-13 and 14-18) are selected in a county competition held annually every spring to advance to the district competition held the third week in June. In the 9-10 category, the first place winner from district competition goes on to compete at the State level. In the senior age divisions, the first and second place winners can compete at state. State winners in sponsored categories receive cash awards. In specific categories, the state-winning 14-18 year olds may go on to compete at the national level.

4-H Ambassadors

Applicants must be at least 13 years old and a 4-H member for two years as of January 1. Ambassador registrations and portfolios must be approved by a county 4-H professional before submitting to the state 4-H office. 4-H’ers may earn Bronze, Silver, Gold  and Emerald Ambassador levels by completing portfolios for each level. Each level has specific requirements. A 4-H member can only achieve one Ambassador level per portfolio submission. Ambassadors portfolios are submitted in April and October.

Application, Interview, Resume & Essay (AIRE)

Due the first week of May to the County 4-H office. Applicants must be at least 14 years old as of January 1. This program is used to select the delegations to attend National 4-H Congress, National 4-H Conference and the International Leadership Conference. Participants must complete a two-page application and submit a resume of no more than two pages. The resume should highlight the 4-H’ers achievements, project work and leadership throughout their career. The County 4-H Agent must sign off on the application before it is submitted. Interviews are held during 4-H Congress.

Teen Retreat

The North Carolina State 4-H Program is divided into five districts; West, South Central, North Central, Northeast and Southeast. Each district has a teen council and elected officers. These teen officers help to plan the district-wide 4-H events for the year, including: District Activity Day, Teen Retreat, and other district teen activities. Teen Retreat is usually held in March and is a lock-in type leadership building retreat that generally offers training and workshops centering around the state 4-H project. 4-H’ers ages 13 to 18 are able to attend. District teen council officers are elected at Teen Retreat.

NC 4-H Congress

Held the third week of July, NC 4-H Congress is the culminating 4-H event for the year. The event is geared for teen 4-H’ers ages 13-18; however, junior 4-H’ers may attend part-time if they were named district presentation winners. Congress is held on the campus of NC State University. Activities of the week include: State Fashion Show, State Talent Show, State Presentation Finals, Honor Club Tapping, State-level Hands-to-Service Project, State 4-H Council Officer Elections, Banquets, Dances and lots more.

4-H Camps

The North Carolina 4-H Camping Program offers programming for 4-H’ers of all ages. Counties generally take a delegation of 4-H’ers (ages 8-14) to one of the 4-H camping centers for 4-H Junior Camp each summer. County camp locations and dates change each year. A few of the general 4-H camps utilize Leaders In Training. These are 4-H’ers not quite old enough to be a full time camp counselor – but at least 16 years old. LIT’s generally work at a camp for a week to gain counselor experience. Other 4-H Specialty Camps available are: Fur, Fish and Game, Shooting Sports, Horse, Marine Science, Cloverbud and others. Camp recruitment begins in January of each year.

4-H Electric Congress

North Carolina 4-H Electric Congress is a FREE educational event designed to recognize excellence in the Electric Program throughout the state. Electric Congress travels from region to region of the state, thus allowing for a variety of programming opportunities for everyone. 4-H members participate in workshops, meet their Power Company Representatives, and interact with other electric winners. 4-H’ers must be at least 11 years old to attend. Counties may send 2 project winners, 2 cumulative record participants, and one program recruiter. April 15 is the deadline to register. 4-H Electric Congress is usually held the 2nd week of July.

Livestock and Horse Shows

Each county and district offers a wide variety of animal shows. Generally, the following shows are offered across the state: District Horse Show – held in May, State 4-H Horse Show – held the second week of July, State Dairy Judging – held the end of June, State 4-H Horse Bowl – March, State 4-H Horse Judging – April, State 4-H Livestock Judging and Skill-a-thon – July. There are also opportunities for youth to an animal at the Central Piedmont Livestock Show and Sale that occurs every April.

4-H College Scholarships

High School Seniors may apply for 4-H scholarships. The application is due to the County 4-H office in January. Applicants need only complete one application form to apply for numerous scholarships at the county and state level. Several of these scholarships are restricted to youth that meet certain criteria. The County 4-H Agent receives information on these scholarships in early December. Scholarship awards range in amounts from $500 to $2000.

NC 4-H Honor Club

A 4-H’er must be 16 years of age or older as of January 1 to apply. Membership is based on a point system involving community service, 4-H activities, leadership and citizenship. Applications are due to your county 4-H office the first week in January. To be inducted is the highest honor available in North Carolina 4-H.

4-H Group Awards

There are several group awards that clubs and other 4-H groups can apply for each year. The NC 4-H Honor Club sponsors the NC 4-H Community Service award. This award is given judged on ONE community service project completed by a 4-H group. Return with supporting materials to your county 4-H office in mid-February. The 4-H Electric Group Form is also due mid-February. A club/group or county program can submit for this award. The form for these awards can be downloaded from the NC 4-H website. State 4-H Project awards change each year with the state 4-H project theme. These awards are generally due in May to the State 4-H office and are presented during NC 4-H Congress.

4-H County Council

Youth ages 11-18 help plan county 4-H events such as Achievement Night, Talent Show and Summer Fun activities. Members also help promote 4-H involvement and take on officer roles in the council. Contact your 4-H Agent for more information.

OMK Visual Arts Contests

Photography Contest—8 X 10 size images in color or black and white. The themes include: Images of America, Spirit of Patriotism and Celebrating Our Soldiers…Past and Present. Entries are due end of April.

4-H Horse Communication Contests

  • Short Story Writing – 200 to 1000 words, typed, double-spaced or handwritten in ink
  • Poetry – less than 50 lines, typed, double-spaced or handwritten in ink
  • Essay – 200 to 1000 words, typed, double-spaced or handwritten in ink
  • Drawing – matted size 9”x12” to 18”x24”, pencil, chalk, charcoal, pen and ink, or pastels, matted w/3” border
  • Painting – matted size 9”x12” to 18”x24”, watercolor, acrylic, oil, or tempura (Juniors only), matted w/3” border
  • Crafts – woodworking and craft items including horse and rider
  • Photography – 5”x7” – 10”x12” mounted, black-and-white or color
  • Poster – Standard 22”x28”, ANY horse related topic
  • Sewing – articles to be worn by a horse or rider (blanket, saddle pad, grooming apron, boot bags, etc.)

Entries are due the end of April along with a $5 entry fee. Short stories, poems and essays are due the end of April. All other non-writing horse entries are due the middle of June.

Photography Contest

Youth may submit up to four photographs for judging: one each in Nature’s Beauty, 4-H in Action and a TBD category. Photos may be in color OR black and white and any size, 8″x10” or smaller will be accepted. Entries in the 9-12 and 13-18 year old categories will advance to the State Competition. Entries are due at the beginning of June.

4-H Poster Contests

Youth may enter the Poultry, Dairy, Career, Beef Contest(s); or can enter all four. Poultry and Dairy entries are due the second week in July. Beef posters are due the end of May and Career posters are due first part of June. All entries must be on standard poster board (22” x 28”). Entries from 5-8 year olds will only be judged on the county level, while the winners in the 9-18 year olds will advance to the state competition. All entries will receive 4-H scholarship dollars. NO clipart or copyrighted material (cartoon characters, etc.) are accepted — original artwork only. No cut-out letters, etc.

  • Dairy Poster Contest – The theme changes every year. Due the middle of June. Age divisions are 5-8, 9-12, 13-15 and 16-19.
  • Beef Poster Contest – The theme changes every year. Due the beginning of June. Age divisions are 5-8, 9-12, 13-16 and 17-21.

4-H Shooting Sports

The Randolph County 4-H Program has a Shooting Sports 4-H Club (Super Sharp Shooting Stars 4-H Club). They meet throughout the year and learn how to shoot shotgun, rifle and archery. Twice a year, they have the opportunity to compete in a district Wildlife competition and State 4-H competition.

4-H Forestry Judging

Enjoy the fall leaves as you participate in tree identification (25 species), tree measurement (15 trees), forest insect identification (10 species), forest disease identification (10 samples) and forest evaluation (as a team). Teams consist of  3-4 members and the contest is typically held in Raleigh at the Schenck Memorial Forest.

4-H Horticulture Contest

The contest is a great way to introduce the very cool stories that plants are hoping to tell. Youth learn to recognize and identify some of the most important horticultural crops, learn criteria influencing quality and to be able to answer questions and solve problems relating to the art and science of horticulture. There are three portions of the test, including knowledge, judging and identification. You can compete individually or as a team.

4-H at the Fair

4-H’ers may enter crafts, decorated cakes, photography, entomology (insect) collections, and exhibits at the N.C. State Fair. Entry forms are due at the end of September and entries must be received the week before the fair opens (check the current year’s fair catalog for specific rules).

All 4-H events or activities operate under the 4-H Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedure. The NC 4-H Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedure is a condition of participation in 4-H events and activities.