4-H Family Guide - A Nova Scotia Family's Guide to the World of 4-H

The four H's stand for
Head, Heart, Hands, Health.

4-H Pledge
4-H symbolizes the head, heart,
hands, and health portrayed in
this PLEDGE...

I pledge,
My head to clearer thinking
My heart of greater loyalty
My hands to larger service
My health for better living
For my club, my community,
and my country.

4-H Motto
‘Learn to do by Doing.’
Members learn by actively participating in hands-on learning experiences.

The Mission of Nova Scotia 4-H
“4-H is a youth organization which encourages care and
responsibility of our resources and builds positive life skills
to secure the future of Rural Nova Scotia”.

Welcome to 4-H

4-H in a Nutshell
Welcome to the world of 4-H! It is an exciting and fun program for young people. We are an organization dedicated to the personal development of youth while providing a positive impact on volunteers and communities in Nova Scotia. Most importantly, 4-H projects encourage members to ‘Learn to do by Doing”.

We give our members the chance to:

- Develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills
- Practice decision making; be a team player
- Win scholarships
- Learn to lead a meeting
- Practice public speaking
- Learn about agriculture food and life skills

- Make new friends
- Accept responsibilities
- Develop a positive attitude
- Gain self-confidence
- Be a good citizen

- Learn new skills
- Work with others
- Do their best
- Make a difference by helping in their community

- Maintain a healthy lifestyle
- Develop self confidence and improve self esteem
- Being aware of safety
- Set and achieve goals
- Use free time constructively
- Have Fun!

We do all this through “hands-on” learning.

In Nova Scotia, 4-H members have over 40 exciting projects to choose from each year. They include topics like computer, environment, woodworking, heritage, photography, along with traditional projects like large and small livestock, garden, floriculture, foods, crafts and sewing.

All projects have a leader’s resource guide and newsletters with up-to-date changes for each year. They are supplied to the 4-H members and leaders. Some local clubs develop their own projects and do them only at club level.

4-H members can also participate in local, regional, provincial, national and international 4-H opportunities.

Still Want to Know More?

4-H is open to all youth in Nova Scotia, whether they are from the city, a rural community or a farm.

Members must be at least nine (9) years old and no older than 21 (before January 1 of the current year).

Members who are age 9 - 13 are considered Junior members and members age 14 - 21 are Senior members.

4-H is a family affair and the entire family is welcome and encouraged to attend social events but children under the age of nine (9) cannot be a registered 4-H member.

Members pay a small annual membership fee, which goes to the Provincial 4-H Council to assist with any provincial events.

Our volunteers are our biggest asset, as the success of any project depends on their dedication and abilities.

Volunteers are committed to teaching new skills in fun and creative ways, organizing activities and helping 4-H members set and achieve goals. They are wonderful role models for members.

How Big is 4-H?

4-H isn’t just a Nova Scotia organization. In fact, there are over 7 million members in over 80 different countries.

In Nova Scotia there are over 2000 members and 1000 volunteers who form 100 4-H clubs and complete 4700 Projects annually. Across Canada, 4-H has over 35,000 members and 10,000 leaders!

4-H prides itself on being a leadership development program for youth that adheres to an alcohol and drug free program.

4-H Colours
Green and White
Green is for youth, life and growth
White is for purity

Been there, Done that - The History of 4-H
4-H is not new. It actually began in Nova Scotia in 1922 in Heatherton, Antigonish County when a calf club was formed for farm kids. This type of club was known as the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs, but the name was changed to 4-H in 1952.

Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs focused on the quality of the project or product and members worked hard to train the best calf, grow the largest crop or bake the finest cake. However in the 1950's the program began to focus more on the personal development of its members, rather than the quality of their products, so that they would become leaders within their communities. The emphasis of building future leaders through life long learning continues today.

4-H Requirements
Like any organization, there are certain “must do’s for members.

These are fairly simple. 4-H members must:

- Complete all project requirements for each project taken;
- Complete a record sheet (including cost, materials and activities);
- Take an active role in their club’s Achievement Day;
- Attend General and project meetings;
- Participate actively in club activities throughout the year.

But the success of any club is directly related to the attitudes of its members. Outstanding clubs have members who are:

- Willing to try something new;
- Willing to meet new people;
- Willing to fully participate;
- Willing to cooperate with others AND most importantly;
- Willing to have FUN!

4-H Grace
(Sung to the tune of “Auld Lang Syne”)

We thank Thee Lord for blessings great
On this our own fair land
Teach us to serve Thee joyfully
With Head, Heart, Health and Hands

4-H has contributed to my personal development by teaching me important qualities such as patience and objectiveness. These qualities are imperative to becoming a community leader.

Tria, 4-H Member

The 4-H Club

The Make-Up of a Club
There is no minimum size for a project group, however, a group of at least 3 - 5 members is recommended. A 4-H member can select from 40 projects which include homemaking, livestock and non-livestock.

Club & Project Meetings
One of the first decisions a club makes is when and how often to hold meetings. There are general and project meetings. These may be held the same day or on separate days. There is no specific number of meetings which must be held. It will depend on the number of projects and the amount of business. Ideally, general meetings are held once a month.

Meetings are organized by 4-H leaders and can take many forms - from tours, to guest speakers, to demonstrations and much more. Since 4-H members “Learn to do by Doing” almost every meeting consists of some hands-on activities.

Depending on the type of project, members might judge a group of cattle, cook a new recipe, sew some clothing, complete a craft, work on a computer, play some games, go on a hike - the sky’s the limit!

The most common types of meetings in a 4-H club have are:

- One regular meeting at which both business and projects are covered. Generally this will suit a club carrying only one project, although extra project meetings may occasionally be necessary.

- Two meetings a month; one for business and perhaps some project teaching, and one for projects only. This will be better for clubs with more than one project group since each project can arrange its own meeting place and time for the second meeting.

- Large clubs with a number of different projects may find it best to hold all their project meetings separately with each project arranging its own schedule. Since it may be difficult to conduct business with a large number of members, much of the business may be carried on by the executive and committees.

The Club Executive
Each club has an executive, who work together to accomplish any goals the group sets and to make sure that meetings run smoothly. The executive may consist of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Club Reporter and Treasurer.

The Club President usually acts as the meeting’s chairperson, and works with the club volunteers to complete any business and keep the meeting running on time. The club President works with the General Leader to develop the meeting’s agenda.

The Vice-President is the assistant to the president and also helps to keep meetings running smoothly. They are responsible for introducing any guests. The Vice-President can also lead the meeting if the President is absent.

The Secretary’s job is to keep written notes on all club activities. They write a summary of each meeting, which is read at the next meeting.

The Club Reporter is a very important position. They let the public know what activities and events are going on within the club. They do this by writing small reports and sending them to the local media.

If the club has a bank account, the Treasurer keeps an accurate account of all the money collected and spent. They will report at each meeting on the status of the account.

Meetings of whole club may be held every two months, for example. These meetings will give general direction to the business of the club (such as approving executive decisions and appointing committees). Many clubs also have a social evening as part of the meeting. Project groups may take turns to provide a program of demonstrations and recreation.

The important point is to work out an arrangement to suit your club.

What Would Be the Program for a Typical 4-H Club Meeting?
Every 4-H meeting should have variety. Nothing kills 4-H spirit like having the business part of the meeting drag on for the entire time available. It is important that a recreation or educational program be included along with the business meeting.

A suggested meeting outline is as follows:

- Opening - 4-H pledge and perhaps an activity
(5 minutes).

- Business Meeting (15-20 minutes).

- Program - project session or special program (30-45 minutes).

- Recreation 30 min.

I believe that the benefits of my 4-H career have moulded me into the strong, independent, goal oriented person that I am today.

Emily, 4-H Member

How Is a 4-H Club Organized?

When a community wishes to become involved in a 4-H program, a community representative should contact the Agriculture Resource Coordinator at the local agricultural office. The 4-H Specialist would then call on the person who made the contact, discuss the program in full, determine the extent of interest, local leadership potential, and community needs of the youth.

A meeting date would then be set when prospective members and their parents and other interested persons in the community could meet with the Agriculture Resource Coordinator.

At this time, the Agriculture Resource Coordinator would outline the 4-H program, would display project material available, would learn what the interests of the members would be in 4-H, and learn from the adults present how much community support a 4-H club would receive. At this meeting, the club could become organized.

What Materials Would Be Required by a Newly Organized 4- H Club?

- Leader Screening forms
- General Leader Kit
- Secretary and Treasurer Record Books
- 4-H Parliamentary Procedure Guide
- Registration Forms (one for each member and leader)
- Livestock Judging and Showmanship Guides
- Project manuals ( one for each project )
- Project newsletters and record sheets(one for each member and leader for each project - these arrive in January each year).
- Parliamentary Procedures Guide
- Planning an Achievement day
- Record Sheet Tips
- Homemaking Judging Guide

These materials can be obtained from the 4-H Specialist. Periodic newsletters are also sent to
4-H families from the 4-H office.

At the Initial Meetings of a New 4-H Club, What Decisions Should Be Made?

- Decide on a name for the club.
- Decide on what projects the club will offer
- Decide on who the leaders of the club will be.

Elect club officers as follows:
- President
- Vice-President
- Secretary
- Treasurer
- Club Reporter
- Committees as required

- Decide on a regular time and place for meetings. General club meetings are usually held once a month.

What Projects Are Available to 4-H Members in Nova Scotia?

There are over 40 projects from which to choose. Below are a few of the different options:

Homemaking Projects - Sewing, Foods, Crafts, Cake Decorating, Heritage

Livestock Projects - Dairy, Beef, Light Horse, Sheep, Dog, Waterfowl, Goat, Poultry, and Rabbit.

Non-Livestock projects - Woodworking, Floriculture, Garden, Junior Leader, First Aid, The Great Outdoors, Small Engines, Fisheries, Welding, Computer, Vet Science, Exploring 4-H and Photography.

4-H has helped me to grow and become a better person. It has taught me that life is not always about red ribbons and trophies. It is about having fun and meeting new people and most importantly succeeding within yourself.

Lindsay, 4-H Member

4-H Parents are Important to the 4-H Club!

In order to have a successful 4-H club parents must be supportive of their child’s interests. To help parents understand what 4-H is and what is expected of them, leaders must take a special effort to inform, ask and involve them.

- Supportive parents encourage their children to learn and grow with all the aspects of 4-H.

- If the parents are keen, enthusiastic and willing to help in any way they can, it helps to create the same attitude in the club member.

- Parents can help carry the load of the club leaders by volunteering their time.

- Parents may become 4-H leaders if they understand the program better and see what it can offer the children and leaders.

What Parents Can Ask About 4-H

4-H parents are a valuable and important part of the 4-H club. The success of the 4-H club depends on conscientious, dedicated parents and leaders who’s goal is to give children a well rounded, positive and varied experience in 4-H.

Some questions to ask:

- What will their child gain from being in a 4-H club? What are the objectives of the 4-H program? What do the children learn?

- What is expected of their child as a 4-H member? What is involved in the project and how much will it cost?

- What is expected of them as parents? What are they expected to provide in the way of project material? How often must they provide transportation? When are the meetings? How can they help their child succeed in 4-H?

Your Role as a Volunteer 4-H Leader

What Do 4-H Members Expect from Their Club Leaders?

A 4-H member would like a leader with the following qualities:

• Sets a good example;
• Is patient;
• Is a creative teacher or locate someone who can help with a project;
• Is understanding and earn the respect of the members;
• Has a good sense of humour, teach on the members level;
• Is easy for the member to talk to and a good listener;
• Gives constructive criticism and praise when necessary without comparing to other members,
• Divides the work equally between all members. Most of all, they are interested in children and their development as knowledgeable and caring citizens.

4-H has taught me the importance of hard work. It has taught me responsibility, determination and perseverance. 4-H has helped to develop my communication and social skills. It is a program that has shaped and influenced my morals and values... something that will always carry with me.

Melissa, 4-H Member

What Is the 4-H Leaders Role?

4-H leaders are volunteers who work with 4-H members. Some leaders possess a particular skill or expertise and others volunteer their time because they like to work with and help youth develop leadership skills.

Do you have:
• An enthusiasm for working with young people and adults alike?
• An interest and some skills in project/leadership area?
• An eagerness to learn new skills?
• A willingness to find and/ or use resources?

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions you have “the right stuff” for being a 4-H leader!

What Does a 4-H Leader Do?

If you want to be a Project Leader, you are responsible for:

• Providing project information to the members;
• Teaching the project skills to the members;
• Helping the members “learn to do by doing”;
• Encouraging members to take part in 4-H activities (e.g., communications program, camps, conferences and club events, etc.)

If you want to be a General Leader, you are responsible for:


• Reorganizing the club at the beginning of each year;
• Doing the club registration and ordering and distributing project materials;
• Seeing that the club has an election of officers and helping them carry out their duties;
• Seeing that there are sufficient leaders for the projects and encouraging them to attend club and council meetings, help you with all aspects of the club and keep in touch with you about the projects they lead;
• Notifying them about upcoming training sessions;
• Overseeing the general operations of the club;
• Encouraging parents to become involved in the 4-H program.


• Communicating with 4-H staff and 4-H members, leaders and families,
• Distributing information mailed to the club,
• Keeping files for the club. This will involve things like the secretary's books as well as sorting out and filing material which the club receives,
• Keeping leaders, members and parents informed of club activities,
• Being familiar with administrative details, guidelines, deadlines, etc.,
• Maintaining continuity from year to year within the club.

Club Program

• Coordinating the organization of club activities,
• Seeing that program planning is carried out,
• Working with committees to carry out the club
program, activities and Achievement Day,
• Ensuring that the club is represented at County Council Meetings,
• Offering support and encouragement to 4-H leaders and members.


• Seeing that the club evaluates the progress it has made from time to time.

Assistant Leaders

• Many general club leaders have found that one or more assistant leaders are a great help.
• An assistant leader may take over some of the jobs listed under the general leader.
- Project leaders may use an assistant too, particularly for a large project group.

Junior Leaders

- 4-H members 14 - 21 (before January 1st) and have been in 4-H at least two years may act as junior leaders and may take the Junior Leadership project.
- They may assist in any area of club work helping adult leaders with a specific project or leading your own project.
- It is an opportunity to develop leadership and organizational skills through the practice of leadership with the guidance of a 4-H leader. See the project selection guide for more information.

What are 4-H Leaders?

4-H Leaders are like Bicycles
- they keep on rolling!

4-H Leaders are like Diapers
- all the kindness a mother can give

4-H Leaders are like Coke
- they’re the real thing

4-H Leaders are like VO5 hair spray
- they hold in all kinds of weather

4-H Leaders are like McDonalds
- good time, great taste

4-H Leaders are like Levis
- they’re your best friend

4-H Leaders are like Frosted Flakes

- they’re GREAT!

As a leader, I see the many ways members change: learning to conduct meetings, speak in public, do projects and often change from a shy child to an accomplished adult through 4-H’s help. I am truly thankful my children got involved.

Donna, 4-H Leader

4-H Achievement Day

What Are the Requirements for Project Completion?

The requirements vary with the project. Basically, the member is required to participate in the Achievement Day program with his/her project. They have to complete a record sheet detailing meetings cost, time and other records on his project and to participate actively in club activities throughout the year.

The detailed descriptions of the requirements for each project are listed in the project newsletters.

Achievement Day is one of the many highlights of the 4-H Club year. The 4-H Achievement Day provides opportunities for 4-H members to be evaluated non-competitively on what they learned with consideration to their age and number of years in 4-H.

Each club coordinates its own Achievement Day at the end of each 4-H year. The club is responsible for consulting with the 4-H specialist to decide on the date. Staff from Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Fisheries attend Achievement Days to evaluate project requirements, award ribbons and certificates to 4-H members and explain the 4-H program.

Each member receives a ribbon of achievement for each completed project. The 4-H members completion is based on a record sheet, club contribution, judging and communications. On their Achievement Day certificate stickers are included for each completed project as well as for judging, communications and club contribution.

Clubs are encouraged to make this day into a community event for families and friends of club members. This gives members an opportunity to display their projects and is positive publicity for the 4-H program.

After the projects are judged, clubs often have a program that includes entertainment, a fashion show, and refreshments. Each club sets their date and agenda with the 4-H Specialist.

There are many opportunities for competition. All completed projects qualify to enter competition at Nova Scotia Exhibitions and county shows held throughout the summer. Winners from these events go on to compete at the Nova Scotia 4-H Show.

Other Components Considered for Completion at Achievement Day

Young people learn a variety of skills in 4-H but one of the most valuable things anyone can learn is compassion for others. Through the community service aspect of the program 4-H members can reach out to organizations and the people they represent. 4-H members learn that if they continue to help the community around them in some small way that they can make it a better place for everyone.

Community service is not a mandatory activity for all 4-H clubs, but is strongly encouraged. 4-H members participating in a community service project learn to view the world as a kinder, more accepting place while organizations learn that from one small gesture comes great things. Both learn that having faith in the future of their community is the key to its success.


Each member is encouraged to make a verbal presentation in the form of either a prepared speech or demonstration. 4-H members participating in public speaking or demonstrations at the club level receive a communications sticker on their Achievement Day certificate.

The topic of presentation can be anything of interest to the member. A speech is simply a prepared talk. A demonstration can be made up of a single member or a team. Each demonstration shows how to make or do something that results in a finished product.

In public speaking, there are three categories:
- Junior - 9 -12 years
- Intermediate - 13 -15 years
- Senior - 16 -21 years

In demonstrations the are two categories:

- Junior - 9 - 13 years
- Senior - 14 -21 years

Score sheets and guidelines are found in the general Leader Kit.

Once 4-H members have their presentations prepared, most clubs have a communication competition. It takes place in March or early April so that the club representatives can be chosen to attend the county competitions. Finalists from each county are then eligible to participate in the regional rally. Winners from that competition go on to compete provincially at the annual 4-H Weekend in May.

Other competitions in the communications aspect of the 4-H program include the entertainment, square dance and Host and Hostess competitions. The dance showcase is non-competitive and is held at 4-H Weekend.

Club Contribution

Part of the Achievement Day evaluation is club contribution. General and project leaders base this
on how involved the 4-H member has been in club activities. This includes such things as:

- Attendance at 4-H general and project meetings;
- Effort in getting their projects completed;
- Participation in community service and fund raising activities;
- Willingness to help out younger 4-H members;
- Having a good attitude towards the 4-H program, club, leaders and activities; and
- Participation in club, county, regional and provincial events.


Another important skill 4-H members learn is judging. Judging teaches 4-H members to think, observe, compare items, identify good and poor qualities in an item or animal, make sound decisions and state their reasons for that decision. It develops public speaking skills, develops self confidence and decision making skills.

Judging is where members study four (4) items related to their project, decide how they rank from best to worst, decide on the reasons why and present those reasons to a judge based on a specific format. The member is then given a score based on their placing and reasons.

In 4-H, practice judging is done at the club level or during workshops. For Achievement Day, 4-H members must judge the class that relates to the project they took during the year. There is no competition in this activity at Achievement Day.

In most counties, a judging competition takes place in conjunction with local exhibition. Winners of that competition move on to the provincial competition at Nova Scotia 4-H Show.

Being Involved in The Bigger Picture

What Is the Function of the County 4-H Leaders Council?

You, as a 4-H leader or senior member, are automatically a member of the county 4-H Leaders Council. The leaders council promotes 4-H club work, and plans and co-ordinates 4-H activities within the county. It provides 4-H clubs with an organization through which discussion may take place, recommendations made, and action taken on 4-H club matters in the county.

What Are the Activities Undertaken at the Club Level?

Club activities could include: public speaking, demonstrations, Achievement Day, parties, dances, fund-raising events, sports, tug-o-war, community service projects (such as planting flowers, area cleanup, adopt-a-grandparent, etc.).

What Can 4-H Members do on a County, Regional, and Provincial Level?

County Activities: (varies with each county) include:

- Public speaking, demonstrations, dances, field days, woodsman competitions, workshops, tours, church services, skating parties, winter carnivals, fund raising, leadership training, conferences, and exhibition programs.

Regional and Provincial Activities:

- Provincial 4-H Weekend , Provincial 4-H Show, Chat- a-Rama and Rendez-Vous (Weekend programs for older 4-H members) , public speaking rallies, conferences, etc.

How Is the 4-H Program Financed?

Club level - the club is self-supporting. Some clubs fund-raise money for membership dues, that is in turn paid to the provincial leaders council each year. An additional membership fee may be set by the club if desired.

Operating expenses and financing for special events must come from club funds. A sponsoring organization may assist a club in special programs or a club project such as the foods project.

County Level - The County 4-H Leaders Council undertakes fund raising activities to finance county events and programs.

The Leaders Council may also receive a grant from the municipality to assist in defraying the costs in the county program. This amount varies from county to county.

Provincial Level - The NS 4-H Council is a not-for-profit organization who raises funds.  Their program is financed by membership fees, fund raisers, corporate donations, government agencies and private donations.

4-H is the best organization a youth can become involved in. There is a project for every interest. The benefits from learning to run a meeting and speak in a group are lifelong. 4-H members stand out even years afterwards!.

Adrienne, 4-H Leader

Project Selection Guide

4-H Opportunities of a Lifetime

In addition to taking projects, 4-H members can participate in many other events. For a complete listing of opportunities for 4-H members and leaders including scholarships, travel awards, event listing, etc. call the 4-H Specialist in your area, the provincial 4-H office at 893-6585 or check the website at www.gov.ns.cs/nsaf/4h

Eastern Breeders Showcase - 4-H members from Atlantic Canada will learn animal management and preparation practices from some of the best people in the industry at the Eastern Breeders Inc. 4-H Showcase each June in Truro.

Eastern Breeders Incorporated has sponsored the training event for several years. Along with financial assistance, it provides the Atlantic event with highly qualified staff to ensure 4-H members learn the most current techniques in clipping, showing, and herd management.

Camp Rankin - Two hundred and forty 4-H members embark on a summer adventure at Camp Rankin, Nova Scotia’s provincial 4-H camp. Each summer from July to August, five sessions of campers are guaranteed an unrivaled experience involving skills training, friendship, and fun activities in a scenic setting on the Bras d’Or Lakes.

Nova Scotia 4-H Show - Each fall Nova Scotia 4-H members and leaders take part in the largest provincial 4-H Show in Canada on the last weekend of September at different locations across the province. This annual Provincial 4-H Show is an opportunity for 4-H members showcase their project achievements to the public. Approximately 2400 youth and 1000 adult leaders attend the show where 4-H members from across Nova Scotia compete for in a variety of livestock, homemaking and non-livestock classes for top honours.

4-H Week - During national 4-H week, in November, the 4-H program celebrates it’s accomplishments and the part it has played in developing talented, confident Canadian citizens.

4-H Annual Meeting - This takes place in November each year. Each county can send two delegates, one adult leaders and one senior 4-H member. It is an excellent opportunity to be part of the rule making process for the Nova Scotia 4-H program and to meet other people from across the province.

Check the General Leader Kit for more details about all the opportunities 4-H Weekend - 4-H members compete for provincial awards in public speaking and demonstration competitions at the Provincial 4-H Weekend at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, in Bible Hill each May. This two day provincial competition showcases the speaking skills of 4-H members who have already won at the 4-H club, county and regional level.

4-H Members and Leaders Workshops, Tours and Conferences - Opportunities for life long learning occur on many different levels. From the local, regional, provincial and regional levels 4-H members and leaders can participate in a variety of skill specific and leadership development workshops and conferences each year. Meeting people and having fun, while developing self confidence and team building skills is what it is all about. Contact your 4-H Specialist for details.

Trips and Scholarships -
If these aren’t enough opportunities for you 4-H members can also apply to win trips across Canada, the United States and the UK. There are several scholarships towards education or community development activities available to 4-H members 16 years of age and older and in 4-H for at least two years.

Our Partners in Success

4-H volunteers are the foundation of our program. They come from all walks of life and every location. They share the desire to help young people learn life long skills to be successful in life such as teamwork, responsibility and confidence. Volunteers bring enthusiasm, energy, skills, and knowledge to the 4-H program. Besides planning meetings, organizing social events and motivating members, volunteers work to find interesting and exciting ways to transfer project skills to their club members. Their enthusiasm and support helps encourage members to participate fully. They are a blend of friend, mentor and advisor to the 4-H members.

Volunteer Requirements and Screening

We do everything possible to ensure the safety and well-being of our members and adult volunteers. Before someone can become a 4-H leader they must successfully complete the Nova Scotia 4-H Volunteer Screening procedure, which includes:

- Submitting an application, indicating previous volunteer experience and key areas of interest
- Providing three personal reference
- Consenting to a police records and reference check
- Participating in a New Leader Training Session
A local 4-H Screening committee reviews and approves all volunteer applications. The committee will work with new volunteers to ensure each step is completed.

4-H Leader Training

4-H Leader Training Workshops are held locally, regionally, and provincially throughout the year. Leaders that attend these workshops are kept up to date on program changes; new projects, resources, opportunities, and learn new skills from fellow 4-H leaders. Experienced 4-H leaders, the local 4-H council, and the Nova Scotia 4-H council are also very willing resources and mentors for new volunteers.

4-H leaders also have the opportunity to participate in conferences, trips, exchanges and personal development
opportunities, held at regional, provincial and national levels.
4-H leaders say that they often learn more than the members!

How to Become a Volunteer

There are many different ways for a person to volunteer their time to the 4-H program. If you think you might want to become a 4-H leader, you should contact the local 4-H office. You do not need to be an expert on any subject in order to lead a 4-H club. If you are enthusiastic and have an interest in working with young people, the project resources, other leaders and training workshops will help you.

How Can Parents Participate?

Successful 4-H members need parents to play a role in their club and to share in their growth and accomplishments. 4-H parents can contribute to the success of the club by:

- Becoming familiar with the project goals, and showing a personal interest in the project.
- Offering your services! Don’t wait to be asked. Offering to help with club meetings and member events.
- Driving members to and from meetings and other activities.
- Providing refreshments or hosting a meeting in your home.
- Sharing a special skill or talent that members would enjoy learning.
- Promoting 4-H in your community and supporting 4-H activities.
- Showing appreciation to 4-H leaders and volunteers.
- Developing a sense of fair play. Remember, what the club member learns in the process of wining an award is more important than the award itself.

Who is Behind Nova Scotia 4-H

Of course, the backbone of the Nova Scotia 4-H program is the incredible team of volunteers that are working at the club level as leaders.

But they are not working alone. A team of professional staff from Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Fisheries make 4-H happen behind the scenes. The Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Fisheries sponsors 4-H.

And behind them is another team of dedicated volunteers who make up the Nova Scotia 4-H Council Board of Directors. Both the local and provincial 4-H councils provide direct youth and leader involvement in programming and decision making. The Provincial Board is assisted by the Canadian 4-H Council.

Canadian 4-H Council
Provincial 4-H Council
County 4-H Council
4-H Club
Parents - Members - Leaders

County Councils

As you become familiar with 4-H in Nova Scotia, you will encounter County and Provincial 4-H Councils. Each council performs specific functions for their areas. Through these councils, a member or leader has the opportunity to influence decisions at every level of 4-H.

Every leader or senior member belongs to the county leaders council. This council oversees the 4-H program and coordinates the yearly activities for their county. They select and send representatives to the Provincial Council Meetings.

Provincial 4-H Council

The Nova Scotia 4-H Council
is composed of representatives from all six provincial regions. It acts on behalf of members and leaders in the province. The

All 4-H councils meet regularly to give focus to the mission of Nova Scotia 4-H and to guide decision making on 4-H policies and implementation. Our volunteers have many resources and a support network behind them.

The Canadian 4-H Council assists 4-H in Nova Scotia by providing the funds for members from various provinces to travel across the country to various conferences and seminars.
The council provides a 4-H item for sale service, supports provincial 4-H activities, Camp Rankin, among many other tings. Nova Scotia has one director at the Canadian 4-H Council and one on the active 4-H committee.

4-H in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia has six regions, each managing its own 4-H program through the cooperative efforts of the 4-H Specialist of the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, county leaders council, provincial 4-H office and summer assistants. Together they help clubs to organize, function, learn and develop.
Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture in Truro administers the provincial program and provides 4-H clubs with information and staff support.

Legally Speaking - Our Insurance Coverage

Each year the Nova Scotia 4-H Council purchases a comprehensive general liability insurance policy through the Canadian 4-H Council. This policy is designed to provide coverage for registered 4-H leaders and members.

Adult volunteers assisting the 4-H program are also covered. Not everyone has the money to pay for damage if someone is injured or property is damaged. So, purchasing liability insurance ensures that, in most cases, money and legal expertise will be available when unfortunate accidents occur.

How Does it Work?

The basic principles on which coverage is based, however, are really quite simple:

- There must be property damage or injury to a person.
The policy does not cover your injuries or damage to your property. The idea is to protect you from claims by other people.

- You must be legally responsible to pay for the damages.

- You must not have intentionally caused the damage.
If it is determined that you have met this criteria and the loss is covered by the policy, the insurers will provide (and pay for) legal council and pay the final settlement amount up to $5,000.00 Also covered are medical payments, in excess of provincial health plans, caused by accident on premises, or on ways (walkways and so on) next to premises, owned or rented by an insured party, regardless of fault, up to a limit of $2,500.

- It is important to note that liability insurance does not replace automobile insurance.
If you use your own vehicle on 4-H business (including driving 4-H members) your automobile policy will have to respond to any accident. To ensure that you have coverage when you need it, phone your insurance broker and explain what you are using your vehicle for. Chances are, there will not be a charge for this. However, it is important that your insurance company has full information before any accident that might occur.

Who is Covered?

The 4-H policy covers the Nova Scotia 4-H program, 4-H members, leaders and volunteers (i.e., parents and resource people) assisting the Nova Scotia 4-H program. Your 4-H club’s members and leaders are automatically covered when your club registration form is received at the 4-H office.

- This liability insurance policy excludes 4-H activities involving automobiles, water craft eight metres or more in length, any all terrain or motorized snow vehicle or their trailers and any vehicle used in activities related to any speed or demolition event. Water craft less than eight metres in length that are used to transport people or property for a fee are also excluded. 4–H clubs that engage in these activities may wish to carry their own insurance.

- The cost of an ambulance is not covered by the policy.

- The policy does not cover youth younger or older than the official 4-H age limit. It does include cloverbuds age 7 and 8 and members 9 - 21, all as of January 1 of the 4-H year.

If an Accident Occurs?

While it is important to offer assistance, especially where injuries are involved, never admit you were the cause of the accident. Admitting guilt puts your insurance company in a bad legal position and they may, as a result, refuse to provide coverage. Please call the provincial 4-H office at 893-6585 if you have any questions about liability insurance.


It is important that 4-H volunteers, members and others assisting 4-H activities take every normal precaution to prevent mishaps from occurring. We should always think safety first!

How To Get Involved

If your are interested in the 4-H program, either as a member or as an adult leader, you should contact the regional Agriculture Leadership Coordinator in your area. There may already be an existing club in your community; or perhaps a new club could be started. In any case, the Agriculture Leadership Coordinator will be able to provide you with the information required to become a member or leader.

4-H has given me many opportunities I would not have otherwise. I have learned new skills, made new friends and gathered confidence through 4-H. I believe these things will continue to help me throughout my life.”

Jennifer, 4-H Member

Where To Get More Information

The NSDA works in partnership with the Nova Scotia 4-H Council to delete the 4-H program to youth and volunteers within the province.

Additional information about the 4-H program and any questions you may have as a parent can be answered by contacting your regional Agriculture Leadership Coordinator.