Check out the 4-H clubs in McHenry County




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4-H Friday Blast 4/26/24











Fairs, Shows, and Judging

4-H Fair Information and Resources:


Show Dates 2024

4-H Judging Dates:

Dates subject to change

July 9-10: Archery -Demonstration Judging
July 11: Air Rifle -Demonstration Judging
July 13: Dog Fun show
July 27: 4-H Dog show
July 18: General Project Judging - Computer Technologies, Robotics, Video - Extension Office
July 19 AM: General Project Judging - Sewing, Shopping, Interior Design, Photography, Individual & Group Cloverbud Projects - Bldg D
July 19 AM: General Project Judging - Visual Arts - 4-H Bldg
July 19 PM: General Project Judging - Animal/Vet Science, Cat & Small Pet show Civic Engagement & Service Learning, College & Career Readiness, Communications, Consumer Education, Leadership, Child Development, Family Heritage, Health, Intercultural, Theatre arts - 4-H Bldg
July 20 AM: General Project Judging - ALL Natural Res. & Environment Projects, Shooting Sports displays, ALL Engineering & Technologies: Aerospace, Woodworking, Tractor, Small Engines, Bicycle, Electricity, Welding, Maker - 4-H Bldg
July 21: Rabbit Show
July 29 AM: General Project Judging - Food & Nutrition: Cooking, Food Science, Sports Nutrition; Horticulture & Floriculture; Crops, Plants & Soils; Exploratory, Collections, County projects: Lego, model, reading, sports, conservation/environment
July 29 : Livestock check-in begins
July 30-Aug 4 – McHenry County Fair
July 30: Goat, Poultry, Swine Carcass Class
July 31: Dairy, Sheep, Swine Showmanship 
Aug 1: Beef, Beef Carcass, Swine
Aug 1: 4-H Night
Aug 2: Horse show
Aug 3: Livestock Auction
Aug 4: Master Showman Competition
State Fair County Date: Aug 11 - See IL state website for more information

For full Show Resource: Show Resources


We encourage our judges and 4-H participants to watch this helpful video about the 4-H judging experience. You can watch some judging examples online to learn more.


4-H Communications- Public Speaking Contest:


International Night Information and Resources:



Awards and Scholarships

Illinois State 4-H Awards: Experience, Excel and more

Illinois State 4-H Scholarships

Henry Marlowe Memorial I Dare You Award

Sally Harrison Memorial Award

Computer Science Technology Scholarship Award Application
Sponsored by: The R J Gallagher Family Technology Scholarship Fund This award is based on: Excellence in computer skills, character and community service. This application must be submitted or postmarked to the McHenry County Extension office for submission by JUNE 30th. Must be 15-18 years of age by September 1st of the 4-H year.

2021-22 McHenry County 4-H Foundation Scholarship Application
McHenry County 4-H Youth Foundation is offering Scholarships to current 4-H members who have completed High School or are in their last eligible year of 4-H Membership. (4-H age 17 -18 as of September 1, 2020) These scholarships are made available because of a combination of funds to include those raised at the Annual String Tie Affair fundraiser dinner/auction.  Awards are based on involvement, achievement, leadership, and the impact that 4-H has had on your life. Hardcopy scholarship form HERE

For More Information

Michele Aavang

Michele Aavang

4-H Youth Development Educator
4-H Foundation
Youth Development
4-H Alumni
College Readiness
Leadership Development
Life Skills
Meeting Management
Social-Emotional Health
Team Building
Workforce Development
Youth and Money


What is 4-H?

The goal of 4-H is to develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility and life skills of youth through experiential learning programs and a positive youth development approach.

Typically thought of as an agriculturally focused organization as a result of its history, 4-H today focuses on citizenship, healthy living, science, engineering, and technology programs.


The 4-H Philosophy

Positive Youth Development

(PYD) is an intentional, pro-social approach that engages youth within their communities, schools, organizations, peer groups, and families in a manner that is productive and constructive; recognizes, utilizes, and enhances youths' strengths; and promotes positive outcomes for young people by providing opportunities, fostering positive relationships and furnishing the support needed to build on their leadership strengths.


What is so great about 4-H?

The 4-H Youth Development program is unique in the essence that it is specifically designed and facilitated by youth with the oversight of dynamic volunteer-leaders. The 4-H program is the ONLY youth development program that is specifically tailored to meet the needs and interest of participating youth. 4-H is whatever our youth want and/or needs it to be.


There are several ways youth may participate in the 4-H program:


Community Clubs:

  • For youth ages 8-18
  • Meet year round and offer variety of learning & social activities
  • Youth led meetings
  • Youth use Parliamentary Procedure
  • Youth work with screened Volunteers to plan club activates and business meetings
  • Members work on Individual Projects independently outside of club meetings


4-H SPIN Clubs

  • Members explore a SPecial INterest area
  • Volunteers and youth share their expertise in a topic through learning activities, assisting members in developing new skills, and sharing ideas & what they learn with each other
  • Meet a minimum of 6 sessions
  • Current McHenry County 4-H SPIN Clubs are… Ambassadors, Robotics, Tech Team, Shooting Sports, Woodworking, Dogs, Horses, Rabbits, Beekeeping, Knitting


Cloverbud program

  • For younger children ages 5-7
  • Members work on age-appropriate projects as a group and/or individually
  • Members are encouraged to try new things
  • Cloverbuds can be an independent group or they may meet at the same time as a 4-H Club