What is 4-H?
Everywhere in the world, 4-H is based on a “Learn To Do By Doing” philosophy. At its core, 4-H is a grassroots organization of leaders building leaders.
The four H’s stand for head, heart, hands and health. In Ontario, 4-H members aged 9–21 come together with volunteer leaders to create a 4-H club, where members learn about a selected topic through hands-on activities and mentorship. In the Cloverbud Program, youth aged 6–8 work with volunteer leaders on a variety of units,
giving them a 4-H experience over the course of a year.
4-H emphasizes the importance of looking at the big picture; encouraging youth to see beyond themselves and focus on how their actions affect their relationships, their community, the environment and society as a whole.
This is reflected in the 4-H pledge, said at the beginning of every 4-H meeting and event: “I pledge my Head to clearer thinking, my Heart to greater loyalty, my Hands to larger service, my Health to better living for my club, my community and my country.”
I pledge my Head to clearer thinking,
my Heart to greater loyalty,
my Hands to larger service,
my Health to better living
for my club, my community and my country.
Our Vision — To share the value of a clear Head,
loyal Heart, serving Hands and better Health
with youth, volunteers and communities across Ontario.
4-H activities and clubs are structured to develop leadership skills including public speaking, communication, decision making, parliamentary procedure, meeting management and networking, while also educating members about the project subject matter. These leadership and life skills equip 4-H participants to reach their full potential, becoming conscious and contributing citizens.
4-H clubs offer a safe environment that fosters personal growth and development. 4-H encourages team collaboration, peer-to-peer support and independent learning. Leaders guide members through activities, yet provide them with the freedom to make their own mistakes and assist one another in the learning process.
To supplement club learning, 4-H offers provincial and national opportunities, enabling members to further expand their knowledge and horizons. Camps, conferences and exchanges are available for 4-H members and non-members alike.
The 4-H approach to learning, development of life skills and leadership, and a focus on community involvement, makes the 4-H program unique.