Join 4-H

4-H for ALL!

All youth from Kindergarten through Grade 13 (one year past high school graduation) are welcome to join. Unlike other clubs 4-H does not divide activities by gender.  We also offer activities for all different ages and stages.  Whatever you love to do, Winnebago County 4-H has a club or project group for you!

Joining 4-H can be as simple as attending one of our county-wide activities or a club meeting with a friend who is already a member of 4-H. Club meetings are open to the public. Some of the schools in our county offer an after-school 4-H club, and some even have in-classroom clubs.

Types of 4-H Clubs

4-H Community Clubs

A 4-H Community Club can be any size from a small group of youth from one neighborhood to a larger club consisting of youth from all over the county. 4-H Community Clubs may focus on a single project or a variety of projects. 4-H Community Clubs typically meet monthly in the evenings and on weekends with meetings held in an inclusive community space or may meet virtually. In most community clubs youth officers are elected to guide the activities of the club.

4-H Single Project Club/Group

A 4-H Single Project Club/Group focuses on meeting and education relating to one subject area.  Winnebago County currently has three Single Project Clubs/Groups:

  • Horse & Pony Project
  • Dairy Project
  • Dog Project

4-H Classroom Clubs

4-H Classroom Clubs are offered during the school day to a specific grade in partnership with the school. 4-H Classroom Clubs allow students to explore an interest area with support from an Extension Educator, 4-H youth or adult volunteer, or school staff over a period of days, weeks, or months.  For more information on starting a classroom club, please email

4-H Afterschool Clubs

4-H Afterschool Clubs are a program offered to youth following the school day. 4-H Afterschool Clubs are often divided by age groups and frequently meet in the school building or partnering organization that provides a safe and supportive environment for youth after school. For more information on starting an after school club, please email

Take the Next Step…

1. Select a club that works for your family

  • Winnebago County offers four different types of clubs: Community Clubs, Project Clubs, After School Clubs and In-Classroom Clubs
  • 4-H clubs have five or more youth who are support  ted by 4-H leaders, teachers and/or Extension staff. 4-H members always have a special leadership role. Some clubs have 4-H members elected by their peers to hold officer roles.  Other clubs may have a more relaxed youth leadership component where member all share in decision making without formal officer roles.
  • 4-H club meetings include: getting to know other members, youth making decisions about activities, planning and doing community service projects, sharing ideas, recreation and having fun.
  • 4-H is for the whole family where youth and adults come together to learn new things, meet new friends and have fun. Parents/guardians are encouraged to participate and attend meetings with their children. Adults help by volunteering time and sharing talents. For example: driving members to activities, supporting project learning, chaperoning and being a positive role model.
  • Find the club that fits your style, location, and schedule: List of Winnebago County 4-H Clubs

Please note:  After School Clubs and In-Classroom Clubs can only be joined through the school district in which the club is located. For more info visit After School and In-Classroom Clubs.

2. Contact the club's organizational leader

  • Let them know you are interested in joining the club
  • Confirm the meeting day, time, and location
  • Attend the club meeting and introduce yourself to the Organizational Leader.

3. Select the project(s) that you are interested in for the year.

The project listing and guide below lists all of the projects available in Winnebago County.

  • Project List / Project Guide
  • Youth in K5 – 2nd grade are automatically enrolled as a Cloverbud and no other project.
  • Youth in 3rd – 13th grade can select any project(s). It is suggested that youth in 3rd and 5th grade enroll in the Exploring project.
  • Start out by selecting one or two projects. More can be selected if youth and parents/guardians feel they can handle it.
  • Check on project leaders for programs. If the club or county does not have leaders, the parents and youth will need to work on the project independently.
  • Visit our Project Information page for more information about project opportunities available.

4. Enroll using 4HOnline

  •  To enroll in 4HOnline you need a computer, internet access, a valid e-mail address, and a web browser. You can enroll from a home computer or from a public access computer, such as those available at your local library.
  • Our 4-H Online 2.0 Family Enrollment Guide will help guide you through the online enrollment system.
  • Annual Re-enrollment: 4-H Youth Members and Adult Leaders/Volunteers need to re-enroll annually through 4HOnline. Re-enrollment begins in September with the start of the new 4-H year.
    • DEADLINE for re-enrollment is November 20 (this allows club/county leaders to access rosters for communications, etc).
    • DEADLINE for final 4-H Project selections in 4HOnline is January 31 for youth who wish to exhibit at the County Fair. This allows youth time to explore & learn in their 4-H projects before choosing what they want to exhibit at the fair (Fair entry typically occurs in May/June through the Winnebago County Fair Association).

5. Pay fees

  • County 4-H Extension Fees are $5.00/youth member annually.
  • The County 4-H Leaders Association also requests a donation of $5.00 per member.
  • Local 4-H clubs may have additional fees, all fees are collected by the club (deadlines vary by club).
  • For information on individual club fees, please consult your club leader. 

*Youth will never be turned away for the inability to pay 4-H dues, donations or fees.  Please contact Dana Berger if your family is experiencing financial hardship and unable to afford fees.

6. Watch for communications

Watch for communications from your local 4-H Club AND the county Extension/4-H Office.

  • Club leaders typically communicate current events through emails or closed Facebook Groups. Contact your club’s leader to make sure you are included in their communications.
  • Follow us on Facebook for the most current updates about county-wide 4-H opportunities.
  • Weekly 4-H Updates: All families/members receive an email blast (typically 1/week) with reminders and updates about 4-H opportunities that all 4-H members/families are invited to participate in. Watch for emails from 4HOnline/County 4-H Staff.
  • The Winnebago County 4-H Newsletter is published bi-monthly. The newsletter includes information about county-wide workshops, project meetings, activities and o fundraisers that all members from all clubs are invited to participate in. All members are emailed when the newsletter becomes available online. You will also receive a hard-copy of the newsletter in the mail.
  • County-wide Project Information: Some project areas (Horse & Pony, Dog, Clothing/Sewing, Dairy, Meat Animals (Beef/Sheep/Swine), Rabbit, Shooting Sports, etc) have county-wide leaders that offer training, workshops and information throughout the year. If you are signed up in one of these projects, you will also receive information specific to your project through email in addition to the weekly 4-H updates.
    • Youth that sign up for Dog, Horse, Dairy and/or Rabbit project are automatically enrolled in the corresponding project club.

7. Have Fun!

Please contact our office with any questions at 920-232-1984.

Common Myths About 4-H