University of Illinois Extension
University of Illinois Extension
4-H Ceremonies

Citizenship Ceremony

The 4-H Citizenship Ceremony might be held in October, with a local 4-H Club as the sponsoring agency. As a matter of new business, each club might discuss beforehand the feasibility of holding such a ceremony for all young people of the community who have or will just become of voting age, whether or not they are members of the 4-H Club. It might be well to make up a list to see how many will be eligible. If it is decided to proceed, suitable arrangements can then be made to invite these potential new voters to attend and participate. A fine tradition can be built up in each community for holding this event each fall. Encourage attendance of the entire community as an audience.

To make the ceremonial colorful and to develop added enthusiasm, American flags and 4-H banners and United Nations flags should be obtained for the occasion. Band or orchestra music, chorus, solos and duets, before and after the ceremony will add much to its effectiveness. After a suitable place is chosen, a date set, and the participants invited, a rehearsal should be held. It is suggested that responses of the participants be mimeographed or written on cards that can be easily held and read.

The stage setting should be carefully planned. The ceremony may be held either indoors or outdoors. The following are suggested:

Platform Plan


Holders of United States flags and 4-H banners
X New Voters
B Large U.S. Flag carried by 4-H member leading procession
A A 4-H leader presenting the group
CC Two outstanding citizens participating
Assembly Singing - America the Beautiful (group to participate in singing as they march to stage)
4-H Leader Presentation of group of new voters
Outstanding Citizen The challenge to citizenship: In the words of Abraham Lincoln, "Our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." These young men and women of today and those who follow must face the issue of whether "government of the people, by the people, and for the people" can be maintained on the earth. The call is sounded for young Americans to reaffirm their faith in the basic principles of self-government, the foundation stone of our United States of America.
Response by New Voters We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that to secure these rights governments are instituted.
Citizen Eternal vigilance is the price of democracy. The blessings it bestows come not without obligation.
Response by New Voters This shall be our creed of citizenship: To see clearly; to cherish and defend that which is good; to improve or discard that which is bad; to render at all times loyalty and devotion to service to our country and all mankind.
Citizen The real heroes of democracy will for the most part remain unknown. They are behind the plow, beside the forge, and at the crossroads of commerce--men and women who are the true pilots of our national destiny.
Response by New Voters

Citizenship Pledge

We pledge our efforts from day to day to fight for the ideals of this nation. We will never allow tyranny and injustice to become enthroned in this, our country. We will obey the laws of our land and endeavor to quicken the sense of public duty among our fellowmen.

We will devote our talent to the improvement of our homes and our social and spiritual needs.

We will endeavor to transmit this Nation to posterity not merely as we found it, but freer, happier, and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.

Second Outstanding Citizen

Citizenship in a democracy means equal rights, the right to vote, the right to a fair trail. These political rights are closely linked with the social principle of religious freedom. But these rights must not be regarded solely as privileges. Every citizen of this Republic must assume the duty to vote and to accept peacefully decisions of the majority. Every citizen should regard himself or herself as a committee of one to safeguard the principles of freedom of religion, of speech, and of the press. Citizenship in a democracy implies also a willingness to comply with the law and even to assist proper authorities enforce that law. It obligates the citizen to accept public appointment of election to office and to accept the responsibility for faithfully performing those public duties.

You, who are for the first time assuming the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in these United States of America are to be congratulated. In your hands lies the destiny of this Republic. Let your response measure up to the pride you should have in the honor and dignity of your newly assumed citizenship.

Response by New Members We who have just taken the pledge of citizenship accept the opportunities and responsibilities that will be ours as young citizens in these United States of America. We will strive each day to live up to the obligations and responsibilities for which citizenship in a democracy stands.
Audience with the Group

Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag

Let us now sing American the Beautiful.

Note: "God Bless America" may be played softly during the response reading.

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