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4-H Club Day remains in the works
michelle beran
Michelle Beran

One of my favorite 4-H events is scheduled for later this month! 4-H Club Day is a time for 4-H members to share their presentation skills in a variety of methods.

For our littlest 4-H members, we have Show and Share which is the start to communication skills as they talk to the judge for a few minutes about something they have done or made in 4-H.

Project Talks give younger 4-H members the opportunity to research and share about one of the 33 project areas that are available in Kansas 4-H.

Showing how to do something is a Demonstration and the youth provide a finished product as part of the step-by-step process.

An Illustrated Talk uses posters or other visual aids to show how to do something.

Older 4-H members can also compete in Public Speaking or Extemporaneous Speaking. Public Speaking can be based on any topic and needs to include sources for information. Public Speaking can use visual aids and these can be either a poster or a Power Point-type presentation. Extemporaneous Speaking is probably one of the hardest events and I’m always glad to see 4-H members challenge themselves. They draw three topics and decide which they will present on; they have 15 minutes to prepare and then present their speech. Both Public Speaking and Extemporaneous Speaking challenge youth to hone their research, organization, and overall communication skills. Talk about lessons for a lifetime!

Talking about your steer would be a project talk. Telling how to select a steer using a chart and identifying the points to consider would be an illustrated talk. Making a show halter would be a demonstration. Talking about the total beef industry would be a public speech.

We also offer opportunities for our 4-H members to showcase their piano, instrumental, vocal, and dramatic/comedic skills during 4-H Club Day. Having the opportunity to speak with and receive feedback from the judge is an important step in the learning process. 

Application, Resume, and Interview or ARI is a great opportunity for 4-H youth to practice some very real-world skills! Prior to the contest, they complete an application and provide a resume which are provided to the judge. The judge then interviews them, similar to any job interview, and follows up with feedback based on all three parts of the activity. 

Those 4-H members receiving top awards in most categories have the opportunity to compete at a Regional Club Day which will be held in March. Members receiving a Purple in Demonstrations, Illustrated Talks, Project Talks, and Readings are eligible to participate in these categories at the Kansas State Fair in September!

Due to our current circumstances, we’ve had to set aside a few important categories. These are Model Meetings, Gavel Games, and club skits. Model meeting is exactly what it sounds like; the 4-H club works together to show their parliamentary skills for a judge. Gavel Games gives a smaller group of youth an opportunity to show their parliamentary skills through a written test and the business portion of a meeting. Many clubs will work together to present a skit. All of these are great group activities that demonstrate planning, communication skills, and teamwork. 

I wish that I could invite all of you to attend but we’ll save that for another year when we can get together in person to celebrate growth and learning by our youth! If you know a 4-H member, ask them how they are participating at 4-H Club Day.

Keep learning. Keep showing grace and kindness!

Michelle Beran is the 4-H and Youth Development Agent for the Cottonwood District, Barton County office. For more information on this article or other 4-H Youth and Development related questions, email Beran at or call 620-793-1910.