4-H Youth Recruitment Back »

This article was written by Suzy Geppert, former SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Partnerships Field Specialist.

As school wraps up and summer activities begin to take hold I thought it was an important time to discuss “4-H Youth Recruitment”. The 4-H Military Partnerships website does a great job of addressing this through their 4-H 201 toolkit. This website is full of great information and resources for everyone from volunteers and advisors, to club members; once again proving that partnerships can provide outstanding guidance for positive youth development through a learning community structure.

Some key points to remember

Teens are growing up in an extremely competitive world. Recruit them to 4-H by using some of the following strategies:

  • Set up information tables in high traffic venues.
  • Go where youth and families already are.
  • Use your 4-H members as ambassadors and recruiters for your program.
  • Offer diversified projects that will appeal to EVERYONE!
  • Host a family night that contains displays on “4-H” possibilities.

Market your program's successes. Identify the things that have worked for you in your community and advertise. Utilize the following:

  • Facebook for communication and posting of events.
  • You Tube for posting video highlights.
  • 4-H Club Twitter accounts.
  • Podcasts.
  • Text Messaging.

Once you have identified which type of social media you will use consider the following when marketing your program:

  • Audience.
  • Purpose.
  • Goals.
  • Length of time.
  • Uniqueness.
  • Rewards, benefits, and incentives.

4-H provides youth with opportunities to develop life skills through civic engagement, career exploration, and team building allowing them to become competent professionals in the future.  Take time to recruit and invest in our youth. 

For more information on how you can play a role in 4-H recruitment practices contact your local 4-H Advisor, 4-H Field Specialists, or visit the 4-H Military Partnership website.

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