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Recognizing 4-H Members: Strategies for Volunteers Vicki Schwartz, Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development

By Jason Hedrick, Extension Educator, H Youth Development and Putnam County

Abstract

Recognition is an essential part of the 4-H experience. Recognition improves the learning experience for both youth and adults. It is easy for volunteers to build recognition into the 4-H experience by using the 8 Key Elements of Positive Youth Development as a framework for analyzing and improving their recognition efforts. 4-H is a diverse program with youth and volunteers who have different needs when it comes to recognition. Ohio State University Extension emphasizes the 8 Key Elements of Positive Youth Development in all aspects of programming and recognizes the value in using this framework to build recognition within 4-H. This can boost the fun in your 4-H group for members, volunteers, and parents. 1. Positive Relationship with a Caring Adult How young people come to understand what it means and what it takes to be a productive citizen, as well as the belief in themselves, depends largely on the adult role models and connection they have. A caring adult serves as a guide, mentor, and role model. • Be flexible. • Be patient. • Take time to explain. • Cultivate 4-H members ’ special interests. • Utilize 4-H members ’ unique talents. • Take an interest in personal lives (attend sporting events, band concerts, etc.). • Ask youth to assist with workshop preparation. • Write letters of reference. • Attend personal celebrations (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.). 2. Safe Environment—Emotional and Physical A welcoming environment is one that allows for a sense of belonging to develop, encourages and supports its members, and offers encouragement with positive and specific feedback. • Be respectful. • Be pleasant and appreciative

Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.192.9251
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