4-H Charter SMART Goals – Supporting New Families

Thank you to all the clubs and groups that submitted Charter Applications this fall! More than 50% of our Wisconsin 4-H Clubs and Groups selected “Improving how our club supports new families” as one of their goals for 2021-22.

In 4-H we have a lot of words that can be confusing to new families, and stepping into a new group can be a bit scary! How can we roll out the welcome mat and make our 4-H clubs and groups a safe and welcoming place for new families?

If you were one of the almost 500 clubs or groups that set this goal, do you have a plan or some action steps in mind to make it a reality? Here are some ideas to get started:

Know your new families. Do you as a club have a copy of your membership list? This is a reminder to check that list monthly and reach out to your new members. (Here is the Guide for Club Leaders in 4HOnline that will help you access that information.) Ask club officers or other youth leaders to reach out to the new families and personally invite them to participate in club or group activities.

Do you have a committee for welcoming new members? Gather some youth leaders and parents for a brainstorming session on helping new members! Create a committee that will focus on welcoming and answering questions for the new families.

Ask for feedback. What do new families need? Invite a new family to be on your committee!

Incorporate welcoming activities into your meetings. Get acquainted games are great ways to learn more about your members – new and returning! Create opportunities for new families to meet and connect.

Have a successful plan in place you want to share with other clubs? Share it on this padlet board – and if you’re looking for ideas, visit the padlet link for ideas that you can use with your club or group!

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