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

Hands Theme

Installing Officer

Many figures of speech are often heard in our daily conversations that center around our hands:

  • When we are extremely busy "our hands are full."
  • If a situation is impossible, we say it is "out of hand" or that "our hands are tied."
  • If we have no hand in service, we have "no hand in the matter."
  • If something has been used before, it is "second hand."
  • If we stand beside someone we are "at their right hand."
  • Something within reach is "at hand," or under control, it is "in hand."
  • "On the other hand" refers to the opposite point of view
  • One of the four H's in 4-H relates to the hand. "I pledge my hands to larger service" indicates that 4-Hers "learn by doing."

Our hands reveal many things about us. They sometimes indicate the kind of work we do. They often express our moods. They indicate whether our nerves are shaky or steady.

The hands are used, as a means of communication. We have all observed the deaf person who "talks" with his hands. We, who can speak with our voice, also frequently speak with our hands. With our hands we ask, we grant permission, we silence and dismiss, we threaten, we greet, we bid goodbye, we pledge, and we promise. With our hands we express grief, joy and love. We must have clean hands; we must have busy hands.

The _________ (name) 4-H Club will change hands today. For the past year the club has been in good hands. And so to the retiring officers, we pause to pay tribute as they relinquish their duties and responsibilities to other hands. Let's give them a big hand. (Entire 4-H club applauds.)

Everyone in a 4-H Club is important to its success. The members, leaders, junior leaders, parents, and officers all contribute to the successful 4-H Club in which each member learns something and has fun.

4-H club officers-elect, you have been chosen by the members of your club as officers for the coming year. This is an honor and a big responsibility. Strong and dedicated officers are most important to the success of a 4-H Club. You have the responsibility of preserving the honor and dignity of 4-H and your club.

Good officers are honest, sincere, dependable, friendly and loyal. They let the members of the club help make decisions. Good officers get things done right and on time. They are proud of their jobs and always do their best. It is your duty to conduct yourself so you will serve as an example for other members in your club. Good officers pledge their "Hands" to the service of their 4-H Club. If you are willing to accept these responsibilities, the confidence and trust given to you by your fellow club members, please come forward as your name and office is called and be duly initiated into your office.

Health & Safety

____________ (name), health and safety officer, please come forward. It is your responsibility to make sure our 4-H Club is aware of health and safety factors in our everyday lives. Make a special effort to consider the health and safety of all individuals in every undertaking of your club. 4-H members need to be more health and safety conscious. These two topics should be part of the 4-H meeting. Remember, one of the four H's is health. Good health and safety programs will assure 4-Hers full use of their "hands" now and in the future.

If you accept the responsibility of this office, extend your "hands and state "I pledge my hands in service of the ______________(name) 4-H Club."


_______________(name), recreation leader, please come forward. You have the responsibility to plan games and other recreation for the club. Recreation should be suitable for the age group, space and time available. Your programs should be varied and your games simple and easy, with a chance for everyone to get involved. Education and fun can go together and this is your responsibility. Be a good "hand" as you lead your club in recreation.

If you accept the responsibility of this office, extend your "hands" and state, "I pledge my hands in service for the _____________(name) 4-H Club."

News Reporter

______________(name), news reporter, please come forward. It is your job to inform others about _______________(name of club) activities and achievements. You can do much to increase interest in 4-H by writing articles about club meetings and special events for the newspaper. Keep a scrapbook of all news items and make this year's events a part of the club history. The awareness of your 4-H Club efforts by the people in this community and county largely depends on the job you do. Let wisdom and knowledge guide your "hands" as you report the activities of your 4-H Club.

If you accept the responsibility of this office, extend your "hands" and state "I pledge my hands in service of the ___________________(name) 4-H Club."


_______________(name), secretary, please come forward. You are responsible for keeping accurate minutes of all meetings. You will be prepared to read these minutes at the next meeting. Call the roll, keep attendance and handle all club correspondence is also part of your duty. May you "hands" be full as you keep accurate records of your 4-H club.

If you accept the responsibility of this office, extend your "hands" and state, "I pledge my hands in service of the _________________(name) 4-H Club."


________________(name), treasurer, please come forward. Be aware that you must receive and be responsible for all club money. You must keep an accurate record of all money received and its source, all money paid and to whom and for what. Paying bills only when approved by the club and giving a treasurer's report at each club meeting are part of your important responsibilities. You should be efficient and resourceful so that all club financial matters will be "in hand."

If you accept the responsibility of this office, extend your "hands" and state, "I pledge my hands in service of the ____________(name) 4-H Club."

Vice President

________________(name, vice president, please come forward. Your duty is to provide guidance and counsel to all committees as they make plans and decisions. You will work closely with the president, leaders and other officers in planning all club activities. Remember, you must preside at meetings in the temporary absence of the president. You are the right "hand" of the president.

If you accept the responsibility of this office, extend you "hands" and state, "I pledge my hands in service of the _______________(name) 4-H Club."


_________________(name), president, please come forward. The _________________ (name) 4-H Club has paid you a very high compliment - the highest honor they can bestow, that of President of the club. It is your duty to call the meeting to order, preside and direct the business meeting. Encourage all members to take an active part, work closely with your leader and represent the entire club. The enthusiasm and effectiveness of this 4-H Club will depend largely on how well you conduct your responsibility. In your "hands" your club has placed authority. May your "hands" be busy and unselfish.

If you accept the responsibility of this office, extend your "hands" and state, "I pledge my hands in service of the _____________(name) 4-H Club."

Four-H club officers, I congratulate you on the honor that your fellow club members have bestowed upon you. This honor brings additional responsibilities. You will need to think clearly, so you will know what is best for your club. You must plan wisely, so your club will grow in interest and usefulness. I declare you duly installed officers of the ___________(name) 4-H Club.

Congratulations and best wishes. May your "hands lead others into brighter paths of membership. Will the members and leaders of the ________________(name) please join your officers by standing? I congratulate you on the choices you have made. Now that you have elected these officers to guide and direct this club, it is your duty to aid them in every way possible. Many "hands" working together will assure a successful 4-H Club. Pledge your support to help them perform their duties. The officers can not do their jobs well without the assistance of the entire club. Many "hands" working together will help your officers realize the 4-H motto, "to make the best better" for every member in the ____________(name) 4-H Club.

As we conclude the installation ceremony, I ask that everyone join in saying the 4-H pledge. Let this pledge be the guiding light of our 4-H club for the coming year. I pledge:

My Head to clearer thinking, my Heart to greater loyalty, my Hands to larger service, and my Health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world.

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