One of the five fundamental life skills in 4-H is described as "making decisions and
taking responsibility for choices." Another life skill important in Montana 4-H is
"developing an inquiring mind." Both of these life skills are related to project completion.
By learning how to complete a project, youngsters can work toward another of the life
skills: fostering positive self-concept.
Here are some commonly asked questions about project completion:
When is a 4-H project "complete" ?
Each 4-H project has unique and specific guidelines for project completion. Over the past several years, however, we have been moving toward a system that is more uniform and consistent regarding project completion. For all the animal science projects, foods, sewing & textiles, child development, entomology,
woodworking, electricity, aerospace and others, the following general guidelines apply:
*Complete a minimum of seven activities found in the project book within the 4-H year. (There are usually 21 activities required to complete the book; therefore completing the project for the year does not necessarily mean completing the level).
*Complete the appropriate minimum number of required and optional activities in each level within at least 3 years. (Many will move along more quickly, but all 4-H members should aim to complete their project book in at least 3 years. Usually this means completing 14 of the required activities found in most project books and 7 of the optional. The number of required and optional activities many vary from project to project).
*Complete a minimum of three learning experiences each year (such as a demonstration, tour, exhibiting, participating in showmanship, etc.);Â· Complete a set of records for the project (including My 4-H Year, Project & Financial Journal and, if
applicable, Animal Journal).
What if my project doesn't have these kinds of requirements?
Some of our older 4-H projects still don't have specific completion requirements. In this case, there are a couple of options. First, sit down with the individual 4-H member and help him/her set some specific goals and objectives for the year. These become the requirements for completion. Second, you could use the Montana
4-H Clover Project Selection Guide along with the project manuals to determine specific project requirements. For example, photography and leathercraft both list suggested guidelines that are designed to serve as a basis for project completion. However, you will want to negotiate this with each 4-H'er at the beginning of the year and have him/her record these expectations on the record forms (My 4-H Year and the Project & Financial Journal).
When are records complete?
Records must be completed in order to complete a project. The minimum set of records that must be completed consist of at least two and perhaps three forms: My 4-H Year, Project & Financial Journal and the Animal Journal. In order to receive a "Gold Seal of Excellence," each member must complete a set of records for EACH project in which he/she is enrolled after your county "drop/add" deadline. Complete sets of records include the eight criteria listed on the Record Book Completion Check Sheet.
The programs of the MSU Extension Service are available to all people regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. Issued in furtherance of cooperative extension work in agriculture and home economics, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Dr. Douglas Steele, Vice Provost and Director, Extension Service, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717.
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