• Link to Program Fact Sheet
  • Link to Volunteer Position Description

Would you like to learn to... ...ride a horse? ...assemble a robot? ...bake a cake? ...shoot a bow? ...sew a duffle bag? These are just a few of the 4-H SPIN Clubs that may be available in your county! 4-H special interest clubs are a fun way to bring kids & teens who want to learn a special skill or hobby together with adults who know how to do the skills/hobby. A SPIN Club can be started with as few as one adult leader and five youth. The adult provides expertise and guidance. Youth learn the new skills/hobby and run their own club. For adults and youth alike, it creates a fun, “learn-by-doing” experience. SPINS usually meet 6 to 12 times during a few months. For example: A robotics or sewing club might meet once a week for six weeks or twice a week for three weeks. Many can work around the schedules of athletics and other youth activities. Members of the SPIN Club elect officers. Each club meeting starts with a short business meeting, led by club officers. Then everybody gets their hands and minds into learning the special interest that brought them together--how to ride, bake, sew, etc. To learn about the SPIN Clubs available in your county or if you are an adult who wants to start a SPIN Club, contact your county Extension agent. Joining a SPIN opens the door to a world of 4-H opportunities! Adult teaching cooking Bell Co 2 girls dropping cookies Cooking Project Soldering Carlisle Co 2 guys on Horses Campbell Co Electric/Electronics Project Horse Project Group measuring Height of Tree w Adult Woodworking group Carlisle Co Forestry Project Woodworking Project Tools for SPIN Volunteers

Curriculum (Steps to Starting a SPIN Club!)

Step 1: Share your project idea with your 4-H agent. Contact your county extension office (link).
  • Describe your idea to your 4-H agent.  
  • Fill out the CES Volunteer Application to be accepted as a Kentucky 4-H volunteer. 

Step 2: Take care of the basics…like place/time/dates to meet…what to teach at each meeting.

  • Location:  Find a meeting place which will be easily accessible to all.  Schools and public facilities work well.  Check with the person in charge of the facility to see if it can be used for 4-H club meetings.  Ask for a list of use policies which must be followed.  Be sure to mention that 4-H is educational.  Your agent may suggest some locations.
  • Number of meetings:  Make a list of the skills/topics that kids need to learn in order to finish a project; determine how long each meeting should last; then set specific dates within the timeframe that works for you and the members.  The club may meet several times during a short time frame, rather than the traditional once a month throughout the year. PDF iconspin_club_meeting_plan_sheet_landscape11-2012.pdf
  • Report this information back to your agent.

Step 3: Let people in your community know that you are organizing a club. 

  • Think of ways you learn about opportunities for youth—backpack flyers through school, school announcements, school websites, parent/teacher organization; make posters and put them in places that families frequent—the school lunch room, churches, groceries, doctor’s offices; 4-H yard signs; 4-H newsletter; newspaper articles; neighborhood-specific newsletters; radio; TV, etc.  Be creative and use out-of –the-ordinary methods
  • Resources:

Step 4: Recruit at least five young people and their parents to form a club.

  • 4-H is inclusive and open to all youth between the ages of 9 through 18, regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.  Make sure that meeting locations are also open to all. 

Step 5:  Hold the first meeting to start the SPIN.

  • Begin with something ACTIVE.   It’s great to jump right into an activity that relates to the special interest. 
  • Describe the kinds of things your club will be doing.
  • Collect enrollment information from youth/families.  Ask parents to sign a media release.  
  • Talk about meeting times and frequency, length of meetings, start/end times, etc.
  • Talk about expectations of members.  PDF iconparticipant_inforwcodeconductcombinedform_rvsddec132013.pdf
  • Talk about the help needed from parents. 
    • To help with specific tasks
    • To teach project lessons
    • To plan field trips or special events
    • To help members plan and practice speeches/demonstrations.
    • Discuss the 4-H volunteer application and screening process. 
    • Talk to your agent about a 4-H charter.

Step 6:  Provide expertise and guidance as members learn project skills.

  • General tools to use: CES Sign In Sheet hotlink; Pledge poster;
  • Plan a learning experience related to the project for each meeting.
    • Demonstrate how to do the project
    • Invite an older youth who has completed the project to describe what he/she did as part of the project.
    • Go on a guided field trip
    • Encourage youth to work on their project outside of the club meeting;  make their own decisions based on what they have learned; encourage them to experiment and try new ideas. 

Step 7: Transition club business to the members.

  • After the club is up and going, introduce the idea of the business meeting to youth.  Review a typical agenda.  (PDF iconclub_meeting_outline.pdf
  • Elect officers.
  • Discuss the basics of parliamentary procedure.    
  • Some clubs may want to create bylaws.  (PDF iconbylaws_ky_template_a_final.pdf)
  • Work with officers and members to set club goals—such as plan a service learning activity related to the 4-H project.

Step 8: Check in with your 4-H agent—share the joys; talk through issues as they arise