Virtual Tips and Tools
We are all adjusting to new ways of doing things because of the need to social distance during the pandemic. These tips were created by 4-H youth, volunteers, and staff to help you plan and host your virtual 4-H experiences.
Develop a meeting “hub”
Set a location where families who cannot connect can come together and participate while maintaining social distancing guidelines.
- Work with schools to gain access to their wifi and meet outside or in vehicles
- Meet outdoors or in vehicles with a wireless hotspot. Please be cautious about "free" hotspot services because the risk of being hacked is greater.
- You can use a smartphone as a hotspot for up to 10 logins, depending on the service. Please note that a smartphone may have lower connectivity if used as a hotspot and may also charge data usage time for the phone owner if they don't have an unlimited data plan.
For youth and families unable to virtually attend meetings
- Mail meeting minutes and shared virtual documents to families who are unable to connect.
- If projects are holding in-person meetings, ask project leaders to begin the meeting 30 minutes early to brief families on what was missed at the virtual community club meeting.
Virtual Communication Methods
Involve youth and parents in choices of digital tools.
Young people often have vast experience in digital tools, media, and websites. Tap into their expertise! Invite them to offer options. Together, the group can choose the digital tools they would like to use to enhance their learning experience.
Options for real-time project meetings/video conferencing
- Up to 300 people
- Free version limits to 40-minutes
- You can request a Zoom meeting room through your UCCE 4-H office or purchase a subscription with club funds.
- Individuals don't have to have an account to connect.
- Up to 150 people
- Individuals must have a Google login (usually a Gmail account) to connect.
- Up to 25 people
- Individuals must have an account on Skype to connect.
- Can be used for real-time video conferencing and self-paced games and activities.
Options for connecting on your own time
- Ages 13 and older
- Can create a Facebook Group that is private only for project members (Note - it must be registered with your 4-H Program Representative)
- Discussion Board
- Unlimited space for uploading files to share
- Group texts
- No app required
- Group texts
- App required
How to Lead a Virtual 4-H Meeting
Hosted by the 2019-2020 California 4-H State Ambassadors
- How to set up ZOOM and create a secure meeting
- University of California 4-H guidance for safe ZOOM meetings
- Tips on creating a fun and welcoming meeting, while still getting the business of the club done.
Watch the recorded presentation!
Virtual Meeting Guidance for 4-H Adult Volunteers
Please download and read our guidance for leading virtual 4-H club meetings. This documents include guidance to keep youth and volunteers safe online.
If you are new to leading a webinar, see the Webinar Engagement tips (PDF).
Making Zoom Meetings More Engaging
Get tips from youth and our State Management Board Leader, Curtis Ullerich on how to make your Zoom meeting more engaging to youth. This was presented as a webinar and also as a workshop at the 2020 Virtual State Leadership Conference.
Connecting your audience to 4-H
The new interactive experiences we are developing not only engages our current 4-H families and volunteers, but also gives us a chance to engage new audiences with 4-H!
Use this tip sheet for ideas on making the 4-H brand part of your presentation. Sample tips:
- Wear a 4-H shirt during your presentation
- Have a 4-H banner or sign in the background
- Invite those who are not current 4-H members to check out your website, or connect for more information about 4-H.
The 4-H Virtual Learning Marketing Tip Sheet also includes an elevator pitch script you can use.