For more than 100 years, 4-H has been providing "hands-on" learning experiences to youth in McHenry County. The philosophy that learning by doing teaches skills that will be used, transferred and remembered throughout life is still valid today. With today's rapidly changing world, this philosophy is still quite important as youths learn through specific projects skills that can be transferred, such as decision making, communicating with others, understanding why community involvement is important, and an appreciation of diversity.
The 4-H Program is the Youth Development Program sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension. The four "H's" provide the focus for the 4-H Program, focusing on developing youth's head, heart, hands and health. 4-H provides a "learning by doing" philosophy to help our youth develop their whole being.
4-H Members are found in both rural and urban settings throughout McHenry County. Members must be 8 years of age as of September 1 and can remain in the program through age 19. The Cloverbud Program is offered to youth ages 5, 6 and 7 years and is a non-competition based pre 4-H program.
Leadership skills are developed through 4-H experiences such as serving on planning committees, becoming an officer, attending regional, state and national events.
Adults often express that they can always tell a 4-H member, because they are the youth that are capable of speaking in front of an audience, they have strong organizational skills, their work ethic is positive, and they are open-minded regarding others.