Virtual 4-H Projects

Components of 4-H Projects - both in-person and virtual

  • A sequence of learning experiences in an area of interest to the member
  • Guided by a Project Leader
  • Aimed at planned learning objectives
  • Must be offered a minimum of 6 hours, which may occur over several weeks or months


Remote learning may include a combination of:

  • Real-time group activities using video chat programs such as Zoom and Google Hangouts (also known as synchronous activities).
  • Individual activities that are done in the youth's own time (also known as asynchronous activities).

The 6-hour minimum may include both real-time and individual activities. Project leaders may want to ensure youth record all of their project learning experiences (real-time and individual) on an Annual Project Report (APR).

Steps to hold virtual meetings


Step 1: Plan the project

Determine the topic, explore resources, and plan meetings. Check out these project leader resources, the 4-H Project Leader Checklist, and CA 4-H Project Sheets. 

Step 2: Adapt activities for a virtual setting

  • Remember, the emphasis needs to be planning program goals with an engaging sequence of group and individual activities taking place together in real-time and in-between meetings. Selection of technology tools should come second.
  • Involve youth in choices of digital tools. Young people often have vast experience in digital tools, media, and websites. Tap into their expertise and invite them to offer options and together as a full group select digital tools to enhance the learning experience.
  • You may experience youth with limited access to technology. Consider using learning management systems (Google Classroom, Zoom, Kahoot) that youth already have access to through their schools. Also, you may need to include use of phone or mail as a means of participation in some cases.
  • Fact sheets to assist you in this process

Step 3: Communicate with 4-H club leader

  • Send brief status reports, ask questions, and keep your 4-H Community Club Leader in the loop!

Step 4: Prepare for meetings

  • Communicate with youth and families; send meeting reminder, virtual meeting room link, and your contact information.
  • A few days in advance, package materials for youth to pick-up. Or share the materials list with them and ask youth to gather the materials.
  • Test the technology connection. 

Step 5: During the virtual meeting

  • Icebreaker and Welcoming activity: 10-15 minutes. Ask youth to introduce themselves, play a Kahoot! Game, or do another virtual icebreaker.
  • Learning experiences: 30-45 minutes. This may be a guest presenter, a hands-on learning activity where youth are doing it at home with materials, a project leader demonstration, or a combination of activities.
  • Reflection: Having youth share, process, and generalize is so important and so easily overlooked. Reflection time could be a group discussion at the end of each meeting. Or individual reflection where you provide 5 minutes for youth to complete their Annual Project Report form (keep these in a file) or invite youth to complete the clover reflection page; find at

See Practical Examples of Virtual 4-H Projects

Promote positive youth development.

Adaptations for online learning should integrate positive youth development practices:


Youth experience physical and emotional well-being.

Youth need to have positive, sustained, and trusting relationships with caring, competent, and committed adults. Interactions between youth and adults must be respectful, encouraging, promote a sense of trust and belonging, and be focused on the growth and development of the child.

Educational activities should target knowledge, applied skills, interpersonal attributes (self-esteem, confidence, empathy, character), and social skills (teamwork, public speaking).

Youth are engaged in decision making and able to actively participate and contribute.