10 Steps Toward Performing a Successful Community Service Project
Community service can play an important role in 4-H Clubs. A community
service project can take many forms depending on your club. Whatever is
decided, the community as well as 4-H members benefit. Following are some
hints in making your 4-H Club community service project both successful
A Planning Guide for 4-H Club Leaders
Determine what is needed in your community/county.
- Ask club members and families.
- Ask other community groups.
- Talk with community officials.
- Find out what types of projects have and have not been done
in the recent past.
- Ask the Extension staff.
Determine what types of activities your members have interest in
and abilities to do.
- Consider the size of your club and ages of members.
- Consider the skills possessed by club members and their families.
- Determine how much time your club would like to devote to community
service activities. (Would members rather do a long-term, ongoing
community service project or a short-term one-time activity?)
||List all of the activities
that have been suggested.
||Ask your club to rank the
activities in order of importance and interest, based on what was
considered in steps 1 and 2. Reach consensus or use a vote by majority
rule to determine the activity your club will do. If this isn't practical
(especially if your club is large), consider forming a committee to
develop priorities. Then, the club can simply accept or vote on the
After your club has decided upon their community service project,
develop a plan. Your members will learn organizational skills in
developing such a plan. A plan doesn't have to be overly detailed
and formal, but should include the following:
equipment and supplies
risk management analysis
volunteers and duties
||Carry out the project as planned!
||Document your club's efforts
with photos, videotape, or written notes.
||As you work on this project,
monitor the activities taking place and make adjustments as needed.
Especially when the project has been completed, allow time for your
club to discuss the successes and shortcomings of the project and
ideas for improvement. This reinforces the learning experience.
||Develop a summary report of
your club's experience when the project has been completed. Share
it with mass media representatives and the Extension staff. A scrapbook
is a nice way to present the project's success. Include a written
description, photos, and news clippings. Such activities might be
assigned to the club reporter, secretary, vice-president, chair of
the project or other club member.
||Feel good about your club's
contribution to the community and members' positive learning experience.
Be sure to take time to process your club's experience. Do this by
asking participants to share their thoughts and feelings as well as
helping them to think about how they might relate this experience
to other situations in the future. This is a part of the experiential
Remember that planning, conducting, and evaluating a community service
project is a great opportunity for 4-H members to learn by doing.
Therefore, do encourage members to get involved in all phases of
the project, including planning. Don't do it all for them.
Remember that 4-Hers learn from their mistakes as well as their successes.
The role of the club leader and other adults working with the club is
to guide members in the right direction and provide needed support and
Make It Fun!
-- This fact sheet was adapted from materials by Keith G. Diem, Somerset
County, New Jersey.