Stephenson County 4-H

Stephenson County 4-H

What is 4-H?

4-H is a youth organization that belongs to the members, their families, and other interested adults who serve as volunteer leaders. Professional leadership is provided by University of Illinois Extension staff. Support for 4-H programs is a joint effort of local organizations, county government, the University of Illinois, and the United States Dept. of Agriculture.

In 4-H, young people (ages 5 to 19) share, grow, and learn together from various projects, events, and activities in informal situations under the guidance of their families and other volunteer adult leaders. 4-H members can decide what they want to learn about by selecting 4-H projects that interest them. Group activities and events such as trips, camps, fairs, shows and workshops provide additional learning experiences and opportunities.

A 4-H project is a practical, challenging, planned group of activities centered around a specific subject. Projects involve setting goals, evaluating progress, and learning new skills and knowledge. There are over 150 projects a 4-H'er may select from.

4-H is open to all youth and adult volunteers regardless of their race, color, religion, gender, racial origin, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation or disability. Most 4-H clubs have meetings for the entire membership once a month. During these meetings, decisions are made about group sponsored activities such as community service efforts, project opportunities, and fund-raising. A small program fee of $20.00 per year is assessed to each member. If a member joins more than one club, he/she will only pay one program fee.

Purpose of 4-H

The purpose of 4-H is two-fold:

  • To help youth learn life skills through a fun, action-oriented, and practical program.
  • To provide an opportunity for parents and other interested adults to work with youth as partners in their development. All volunteers working with youth are screened through the Dept. of Child and Family Services (DCFS), Illinois State Police, and the Illinois Sex Offender website.

The major focus of 4-H is on youth development. Providing youth with an opportunity to develop and practice leadership, citizenship, communication, presentation, and social skills is an integral part of their 4-H experience. In addition to club-level activities, youth are offered developmental experiences at the county, state, and national levels. 4-H Youth Development Educators and Program Coordinators provide structure, guidance, and support to youth, parents, and volunteers in the 4-H program. Participants have fun learning, working, and succeeding together in their homes, communities, and beyond.

How to Join

To Join a 4-H Club: Contact a 4-H leader near you, or you may call the Stephenson County Extension Office to find out more about 4-H at 815-235-4125, or feel free to drop in and check out a meeting. Stephenson County 4-H Club meetings are scheduled as follows.

Country Cuzins - 1st Mon of month, 7:00pm at Dakota Methodist Church; Leader: Stephanie Mitchell 815-821-5143

Davis Rockets - 1st Mon of month, 7:00pm at Davis Hall or member house for special meetings; Leader - Bonnie Campbell 815-789-3197

Florence Crickets - 1st Tues of month, 6:15pm at Florence Methodist Church; Leaders - Alicia Glendenning 815-291-2245 and Dean Kuper 815-864-2632

Freeport Fantastics - 1st Mon of month, 6:15pm at Tri-County Christian School (Freeport); Leader - Denise Hayunga 815-232-7226

German Valley Golden Eagles - 2nd Mon of month, 7:00pm at Silver Creek Church; Leaders - Josh and Stacey Bolen 815-738-2230 and Ann Johnson 815-543-5264

Harlem Helpers - 1st Mon of month, 7:00pm at Harlem Townhouse; Leaders - Rose DeVries 815-235-3171 and Bonnie Bawinkel 815-232-5954

Lena Live Wires - 2nd Mon of month, 6:00pm at St. John's Church, Lena; Leader - Kathy Baumgartner 815-369-4762 and Sheila Keene 815-369-297-3044

Lena Lucky Clovers - 1st Tues of month, 6:30pm at Winslow Community Center; Leaders - Kristi Krahmer 815-541-3537 and Jamie Stabenow 815-238-4154

Pearl City Hornets - 1st Mon of month, 7:00pm at St. John's Church, Pearl City; Leaders - Jen Brenner 815-291-6482, Claire Brinkmeier 815-291-4751 and Barb Curry 815-541-5642

Pearl Valley Rangers - 2nd Sun of month, 6:00pm at St. John's Church, Pearl City; Leaders - Curt and Pennie Miller 815-291-9051 and Becky Thomas 815-821-3607

Rainbow Rangers - 1st or 2nd Sun of month, 2:00pm at Engelkens home or Dakota Lion's Hall (winter months); Leaders - Gail Engelkens 815-297-2705 and Karen Wilhelms 815-990-3559

Snappy Snazzers - 1st Mon of month, 7:00pm at Orangeville Methodist Church; Leader - Pat Yeagle 815-291-4581

Whiz Kids - 1st Mon of month, 5:30pm at Community Reformed Church, Freeport; Leader - Courtney Cary 815-990-4107

We look forward to seeing you there.

Enrollment: Boys and girls may enroll in 4-H anytime throughout the year. Members should keep in mind that some projects and events have enrollment and ownership deadlines. Project enrollment forms can be obtained from your 4-H Leaders. Parents, Leaders, and 4-H member signatures are required on all project enrollment forms in order for them to be processed.