Just kids after all...
There are different age levels of 4-H YDP participation and involvement. Youth are eligible to participate in 4-H if they meet the following criteria:
Primary Members (also known as Cloverbuds or Mini 4-H):
Must be 5 years old or in kindergarten by December 31st of the program year. Youth enrolling or turning nine on or after January 1 must participate as a primary member until June 30th. Primary members cannot enroll in large animal projects. Approved primary member animal projects are dogs, rabbits, rats, cats, poultry, cavies, mice, embryology, bees, entomology, marine science, pygmy, Nigerian and dwarf goats and therapeutic animal projects.
Primary members who exhibit in shows and fairs, do so based on their age/grade as of December 31st of the program year regardless of when the fair or show is conducted during the calendar year. Primary members may not participate in pre-junior (fair “pee wee”) showmanship classes as a 4-H member. Coverage under the 4-H accident/illness insurance program and protection under UC’s liability program is not extended to include pre-junior showmanship classes.
Junior, Intermediate, Senior 4-H Members:
Must be 9 years old or in 4th grade by December 31st of the program year and may continue in the program until December 31st of the year in which they become 19 years of age. (See below for more information on these membership types.)
Junior 4-H Members (9 years old or 4th-5th grade)
Intermediate 4-H Members (6th-8th grade)
Senior 4-H Members (9th grade - age 19)
Home Schooled Members:
Youth are to enroll based on their chronological age as of December 31st.
Special Needs Members:
Special needs youth are to enroll in the program based on their chronological age and follow the 4-H YDP age requirements of 5 – 19 years of age. Any extensions beyond the age of 19 of special needs youth must be approved annually by the county director.
Members as Adult Volunteers:
An individual must be 18 years or older to become an adult volunteer. A 4-H member cannot simultaneously be an adult volunteer. 4-H YDP staff have the authority to establish procedures that are more stringent or set further conditional restrictions for adult volunteers.
JUNIOR AND TEEN LEADERS:
The junior and teen leadership experience is designed to provide members with the opportunity to learn about the qualities and competencies needed to be a leader. Leadership is not doing things for the group, it is helping the group decide what needs to be done and how. Junior leaders provide assistance while teen leaders assume more challenging leadership roles.
Junior leaders (intermediate members): To become a junior leader, members must be in grades 6-8, or if home-schooled, must be at least 11 and no more than 13 years old as of December 31 of the program year.
Teen leaders (senior members): To become a teen leader, members must be in ninth grade or above, or if home-schooled, must be at least 14 years old as of December 31 of the program year.
The major duties of a junior or teen leader are (varies with age, experience, and other):
Work collaboratively with the adult volunteer to set goals, develop lesson plans, teach skills, and evaluate the activity.
Coordinate logistical details such as meeting times, locations, materials and supplies, and expenses with the adult leader.
Communicate with the adult leader and members about group expectations, responsibilities and expected outcomes.