4-H Record Books

The 4-H program has a long history of record keeping. The focus reflects the importance of this life skill in our daily lives. In 4-H, young people have tracked their activities, events, profits and losses, skill development and learning experiences, and much more using the iconic 4-H Record Book. In addition to record keeping, the 4-H Record Book gives members an opportunity to reflect on their year, measure their achievements and growth, and set goals, and develop plans to meet those goals.

~ California 4-H Youth Development

Record Book Information for Members

  • Record Books (especially goal setting) should be started in the fall once you’ve enrolled in your projects for the year. The record book helps you set goals for the upcoming year and track your progress.
  • Record Books should be completed after the completion of your projects for the year…typically in August. Record Books are due in September – contact your club leader for the specific due date for your club.

Why Complete a Record Book?

  • Basic bookkeeping and record keeping skills are used throughout life—in school, for managing your own finances/household, day-to-day record keeping for many jobs, or for managing a farm or personal business.
  • Record Books help you reflect on what you’ve learned. Reflection is part of the Experiential Learning model used by 4-H to enhance teaching and help reinforce learning.
  • This scrapbook of your accomplishments and learning experiences may help you complete school, scholarship or job applications in the future.
  • Outstanding Record Books are recognized at the club and county levels in the fall each year.
  • Record Books may also be part of the application process for 4-H Awards. For example, the Key Award application process includes submitting 3 years of record books for review.

Record Book Forms and criteria are available on the pages below or you may call the UW-Extension Office (920-232-1974) to request printed copies of these forms.

Outstanding Record Book Process

Club Level

  • Clubs set a due date for Record Books in their club (typically in September)
  • Clubs leaders (organizational, project, activity, etc.) read books, write comments, and select CLUB OUTSTANDING books (approximately 25% of club’s membership).
    • Club leaders may read their own books or exchange with another club.
    • Readers should provide written comments to the youth on the inside cover of the book or on a comment sheet (if provided by the club).
    • Each club may choose to rank their 4-H members books in accordance with their club’s expectations (with the County Guidelines as a reference). Top books from each club will go on for county recognition.
    • Each outstanding Record Book at the club level will receive a “Club Achievement” sticker (Available to Club Organizational Leaders in August/September from the UW-Extension Office).

County Level

  • Clubs wishing to participate must send 1 adult representative from their club. A club representative can be a 4-H leader, parent, community member or even a 4-H leader or parent form another club who is willing to represent your club.
  • Record Book Readers:
    • Write comments for each book on the comment sheets provided
    • Determine outstanding status of books based on the “Record Book Keeping Guidelines”
    • Record Books that are determined to be outstanding at the County Level will receive a second gold sticker.
    • Additionally, Record Books may receive a “Special Award” for outstanding recognition. The Special Awards Topic will be determined each year (2017: Top Ten, 2018: Outstanding 4-H Story, etc).
    • For more information:  Outstanding Record Book Review Process
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