Winnebago County 4-H

Winnebago 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 18) 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.


 To Join a 4-H Club: Contact a 4-H leader near you, or contact the Winnebago County Extension Office to find out more about 4-H at (815) 986-4357. Youth may enroll in 4-H anytime throughout the year, but members should keep in mind that some projects and events have enrollment and ownership deadlines.



Burritt Winners - 1st Monday of month, 6:30 pm at Burritt Town Hall; Leaders: Laura Carlson 815-985-9595 and Kaycee Piche 815-494-3248

Centerville Knot Ketchers - 2nd Thursday of month, 7:00 pm at Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau Building; Leader: Karalin Lyons 815-218-5970

Guilford Gainers - 2nd Monday of month, 7:00 pm at First Free Church - NE Rockford; Leaders: Michelle Vasquez-Sottile 815-847-9784 and Joan Schiffer (239) 405-5686

Machesney Pilots - 3rd Monday of month, 6:00 pm at Harlem Middle School; Leader: Neva Ramos 779-770-4673

Midway Marvels - 2nd Sunday of month, 3:30 pm at Westminster Church-Rockford; Leader: Elizabeth Russo 815-877-4657

New England Banners - 2nd Tuesday of month, 7:00 pm at Masonic Temple-Durand; Leader: Kathy Palmer 815-248-4558

North Main Rustlers - 3rd Tuesday of month, 6:30 pm at Prince of Peace-Rockton; Leader: Janet Pollock 815-654-1710 or 815-985-4815

Northern Stars - 3rd Sunday of month, 4:00 pm at Prairie Hill School-South Beloit; Leader: Bob Viel 815-519-1355

Owen Blue Bonnets - 4th Monday of month, 6:30 pm at Owen Town Hall; Leader: Elizabeth Carlson 815-519-6817

Screw City Scholars - 2nd Sunday of month, 5:30 pm at 304 N Main St. Rockford; Leader: Amy Young 815-505-1121

Seward Determination - 2nd Monday of month, 7:00 pm at Seward Congregational Church; Leader: Carrie Daly 815-276-6206

Stars Stripes & Clovers - 2nd Tuesday of month, 7:30 pm at Pecatonica Public Library; Leader: Mary Ann Arenson 815-239-1241

Tri Rivers Tryers - 2nd Sunday of month, 3:00 pm at Shirland Town Hall; Leader: Jeanne Walton 815-624-2465

Winnebago Wide Awakes - 3rd Monday of month, 7:00 pm at Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau Building; Leader: Cindy Anderson 815-988-1162

Winnebago Shooting Sports - Contact Christine Gajda