4-H Youth Development

youth exploring robots

4-H helps youth find their spark!  Join Illinois’ largest out-of-school youth organization, where kids and teens learn by doing with fun, hands-on activities that teach skills for successful living.  We can’t wait for you to join and become part of our 4-H family!

Illinois 4-H is part of University of Illinois Extension. Our unit serves the counties of Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Stark. You can join one of our many community clubs and be part of our 4-H family!

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Interested in learning more about 4-H but not sure where to start? Just fill out our New Member Interest Form and we will help you find the 4-H group that's just right for you.

Check out your county's 4-H page to see what's coming up:

Henry County 4-H
Mercer County 4-H
Rock Island County 4-H
Stark County 4-H
4-H Shooting Sports

4-H Winter Workshops

Get ready to get creative and learn new skills with 4-H workshops. These are open to all youth ages 8 to 18. Class sizes are limited, so register early to reserve your spot! Here's what's still available.

Here's what's available:

Small Engines, Sat, Jan 21 & Feb 4, 12- 2 pm | First United Methodist Church, Port Byron, IL
We use equipment powered by small engines in many areas of our lives. Learn how they work and build skills in working on a variety of them in this free two-part workshop. You'll explore ignition systems, compression, heat transfer, filter maintenance and more! Register at go.illinois.edu/4-HSmallEngines

Photography, Wed, Jan 25 & Feb 15, 6-7 pm | First United Methodist Church, Port Byron, IL
Are you a budding photographer? Get hands-on experience taking pictures from a professional! Ted Doty, owner of Camera Corner will guide you and give helpful tips about cameras and settings. Explore aperture (F-stop), Exposure (shutter speed), ISO (film/sensor sensitivity), Lighting (flash, artificial, sunlight, other), and Lens Filters (Ultra-violet, polarizing, etc.) Bring cell phone or a camera to take pictures with.  Register at go.illinois.edu/4-HPhotograhy

E-Sports, Sat., Jan 28, 10 am - 1 pm | Western Illinois University, Moline, IL
Learn more about the growing field of Esports. Spend a fun day at WIU to meet current college E-sports players! Learn about popular games and how to improve your skills. Get tips on physical and mental fitness to manage in-game stress levels and maintain focus over the course of a tournament. Participants will also learn about the technology involved in E-sports. Pizza lunch is included. Cost is $5 person. Limited to 10 participants. Register at go.illinois.edu/4HEsportworkshop

Horses, Tues, Jan 31, Feb 21, & March 21, 7-8 pm | First United Methodist Church, Port Byron, IL
Calling all youth who live, breathe, and love horses! Join us in this free workshop to gain knowledge and understanding of equine science, horse breeds and coat colors, horse anatomy, and learning opportunities with hands-on experiences. No horse experience needed. You do not have to own a horse to attend. Register at go.illinois.edu/4-HHorseWorkshop

Cooking 201 Virtual Series | via Zoom
Explore cooking from the comfort of your home kitchen! Join 4-H on a 5-week virtual cooking session taking place on Sundays, Feb 12, 19, 26, March 5 and 12 at 2 pm. Each week you'll get a list of ingredients and supplies you'll need to have on hand for the workshop. As part of the program, you'll get to prepare dishes from five different food groups. You'll also learn food safety, kitchen safety, cooking how to’s, understanding Nutrition Facts Labels, thawing food, knife safety, kitchen cleanup, and more. It's a fun way to gain experience in a familiar kitchen with assistance from your parent/guardian. The workshop is free to 4-H members. The cost to join 4-H for the year is $20. Information about joining will be sent to those new to the program. Register at go.illinois.edu/4-Hcooking201

Wood Carving | Geneseo Art League, Geneseo, IL
Learn some basics of wood carving and see your results quickly during this workshop, led by the Geneseo Art League on Sun Feb 12 from 1 - 2 pm.  You will be using bars of soap with plastic knives and skewers to obtain the skills required without any fear of cuts. You can transfer these lessons to wood and sharp carving tools as you progress in the art. The instructor will have examples for you to follow. The cost is $10 for supplies, payable to the Geneseo Art League on the day of the workshop. Register at go.illinois.edu/4-HWoodcarving

Air Dry Clay | Geneseo Art League, Geneseo, IL
Air dry clay is a fun medium that does not require a kiln or firing. Learn more about it at a hands-on workshop led by the Geneseo Art League on Sat., Feb 18, from 10:30 am - 12:30 pm.  You will be making an object in the workshop that can be taken home the same day, and once completely dry can be painted at home with any paint/markers/etc. in whatever style you like! There are many ways to construct pots such as the coil method or slab pots and the instructor will show you how. The cost is $10 for supplies, payable to the Geneseo Art League on the day of the workshop. Register at go.illinois.edu/4-HAirDryClay