4-H Record Books serve a variety of purposes in the California 4-H Youth Development Program. While society has changed, so have the goals of 4-H record keeping. 4-H Record Books allow members to reflect on their yearly work completed as well as maintain records of project and club work. 4-H members demonstrate growth and measure achievements across their years in 4-H.
In record keeping, 4-H members develop the following life skills:
- Maintaining records of 4-H project and club work, school, and community activities
- Keeping personal and business records
- Improving communication with other people
- Learning time management and organization skills
- Learning responsibility and developing goal setting skills
Record Books are an educational component of the 4-H Youth Development Program. They may not be required for 4-H membership nor for participation in 4-H activities such as club events and activities, earning a yearly participation pin, or attending 4-H camps or conferences.
The 4-H Record Book is designed to reflect your thoughts, experiences and accomplishments achieved during your 4-H year. Your work can be handwritten (in ink - except first year members OR anyone that has submitted a written request to the 4-H Office two weeks prior to the submission date and that was approved), typed, or printed from a computer. It is your choice, as your book will be judged on content (completeness, learning experiences, personal growth, accomplishments, and creativity) not appearance.
What is important is that you, the member, complete your 4-H Record Book to the best of your ability. If however, someone else must help write or type your record book the reason and type of help should be explained in a cover letter. Otherwise, it will be assumed you did the entire record book yourself.
Your record book not only represents the completion of a 4-H year but also represents a major part of your life and achievements. Your 4-H Record Book is your responsibility and will prove to be a very valuable experience that will benefit you, the member, throughout your 4-H years and your life.
Two Ways to Complete Record Books
In California, for members 9 and up, we have two ways to complete a Record Book - through our Online Record Book (ORB) or with a paper Record Book. Both versions are aligned with the same forms and follow the same instructions for completion. You can use either version as your Record Book. Please click a link to the right to find out more information about each type of record book.
Record books can be submitted for review and evaluation at the Club, County, and State level.
Primary members, ages 5-8 (9 after Dec 31st in the program year), can do a paper record book. Their record book is more of a scrapbook and is not required to receive a year stripe and pin.