University of Maryland Extension

Record Books

Record Books

Record Book FAQ’s

Why Complete a Record Book?

Completing a 4-H record book is a good way to learn the "Life Skill" of record keeping.  Your Record Book is a record of all your 4-H projects and activities for the year. The 4-H year runs from January 1st through December 31st.  

Who Should Complete a Record Book?

All Frederick County 4-H members, except Clovers or first year members, are required to complete a 4-H Record Book to be eligible to participate in any 4-H activities the following year. However, even clovers and first year members are encouraged to complete a record book to gain experience.

4-H Seniors have the option of completing the Portfolio Program, a differentiated and more practical version of the record book that can help seniors with career readiness. Seniors participating in the Portfolio Program have the ability to apply for Leadership Trips.  These trips are once in a lifetime experiences!  You must complete the corresponding Application, Resume, and Essay.

Seniors can complete a resume in place of the Summary Record page, and the Essay question (question changes every year) may be used instead of the 4-H Story.

Essay Question for 2020 Leadership Trip:

Essay: "Explain how you have developed life skills to help support your pledge to the 4 H’s (head, heart, hands and health) and how they have benefited your own development."

When are Record Books Due?

Record books are due to your club leader in the beginning of the calendar year. Ask your club leader for your specific deadline.

How are Record Books Judged?

Club leaders judge all the record books submitted for their club. Any record book submitted with missing or incomplete sections will be returned to the 4-H’er for revisions; once revisions have been approved, the 4-H member will receive a letter stating eligibility for participation in Maryland 4-H activities.

Club leaders submit the best record books per project area (according to ratios established by the Frederick County 4-H Office) from their club for judging at the county level. Individuals with record books judged at the county level are recognized at the Frederick County 4-H Achievement Night.  

Record Book Guidelines and Resources

Record Book Forms:

NEW! Record Book Forms in Google Format!!
Are you more familiar with Google than Microsoft Word? We have converted all of our record book forms into a Google Doc format! If you click on the following link, it'll take you to a main page of links for each of the different forms. It'll ask you to "make a copy", and then feel free to begin typing! Google will save your work automatically and since it uses the internet, you can access it from any computer. If you have any questions, please contact Sara at

Google Docs

The following forms are either Microsoft Word or a PDF.

Clovers (not required, but may submit):

4-H’er Forms (Juniors, Intermediates, and Seniors):

  • Title Page

  • Summary Record (For seniors, a resume may be used in place of the Summary Record page)

  • 4H Story (template)

    • Juniors/Intermediates should be 2 to 3 pages

    • Seniors should be 4 to 6 pages or include an essay of 2 to 3 pages. Essay Question for 2020:"Explain how you have developed life skills to help support your pledge to the 4 H’s (head, heart, hands and health) and how they have benefited your own development."

  • Project Record

  • Picture Pages: A 4-H’er may include up to 3 pages of pictures behind each project record in addition to 3 to 5 pages of project pictures in this section of the book. Be sure to include captions.

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