Please scroll to the bottom of this page for all record book and project record forms.

2024 Essay Question:  How has your involvement in 4-H changed your life?

Record Book and Project Record Information

The 4-H program has a long history of record keeping. The focus reflects the importance of this life skill in our daily lives. In 4-H, young people have tracked their activities, events, profits and losses, skill development and learning experiences, and much more using the iconic 4-H Record Book. In addition to record keeping, the 4-H Record Book gives members an opportunity to reflect on their year, measure their achievements and growth, and set goals, and develop plans to meet those goals.

What is the difference between a Record Book and Project Records? 

A Record Book is a complete book that reflects the 4-Hers work for the current year and also serves as a cumulative record.  A 4-H Record Book is documentation of all 4-H activities at the club, county, state level, and national level in which a youth has attended and participated. This also includes community activities and the progress of a youth in each respective 4-H project. Many 4-H members will attest to the benefit and importance of Record Books and record keeping as they apply for higher education, prepare their resume, and submit applications for jobs.  Included in the record book are:

  • Title page (including photograph of the 4-H member)
  • Resume (Senior age 4-Hers only)
  • Essay (Senior age 4-Hers only)
  • Summary Report Form (Starting in 2017, a new Maryland 4-H Summary Report Form was used.  In 2018, there were a few edits for the form so please be sure to click on the link. The new form only reflects the current years work.  However, 4-Hers will include all summary report forms to show their cumulative 4-H work)
  • 4-H Story
  • 4-H Pictures
  • 4-H Project Records

Project Records are individual records about one particular project.  The county requires every youth to complete at a minimum a project record for every project they are enrolled in as of June 1st.  For example, a member enrolled in woodworking, market swine, and poultry as of June 1st this year, will turn in three project records at the end of the year (a woodworking project record, a market swine project record, and a poultry project record).   In 2018, there is a major change-4-H members may combine general project records. Human and environmental science projects may be combined and recorded on one form annually. (EXCEPTION- If carrying the Food and Nutrition project, it must be on its' own individual form.  Additionally, all animal projects will continue to be on their own individual forms.  If you have a question, please contact your Organizational Leader or the Howard County Extension Office at 410-313-2707.)

Why have 4-H Record Books and Project Records?

4-H Record Books and Project Records serve a variety of purposes in the Howard County, Maryland 4-H Youth Development Program.

Some 4-H clubs require members to keep Record Books as part of their bylaws, while some clubs do not. However, the county requires every youth to complete at a minimum a project record for every project they are enrolled in.  For example, a member enrolled in woodworking, market swine, and poultry as of June 1st this year, will turn in three project records at the end of the year (a woodworking project record, a market swine project record, and a poultry project record).  In the event a member does not complete and submit a project record by February 1st, they may not carry the project in the current year and are not eligible to participate in any 4-H sponsored competitions related to the project.

A yearly 4-H Record Book is required in order for a 4-H member to qualify for County Level awards and/or scholarships.  4-H Record Books and project records should be filled out completely and accurately. Parents should oversee the member’s work, but the member must do his or her own writing or typing. There are provisions for youth with an IEP.  Parents and project leaders should encourage each 4-H member to work on his or her Record Book and Project Records throughout the year. 

  • 4-H Record Books and Project Records give members an opportunity to reflect on their yearly work. They document their skill development and their learning experiences in a written report. 4-H members measure their achievements and growth in their total years in 4-H.
  • 4-H Record Books and Project Records encourage members to set goals, pursue strategies to meet those goals, and to shift gears in the face of challenges and obstacles.

Completing a 4-H Record Book is a process where 4-H members record project and club work. Records management is a competency skill to identify, create, classify, archive, and preserve records. The 4-H Record Book and Project Records teaches 4-H members these skills through a standard format.

How are Record Books evaluated?

  • Organizational Leaders review each of their club members books and verify that all parts have been included which includes a check off sheet.
  • Record books are then judged by one of thirty-five judges.  Judges are Howard County 4-H All Stars or former University of Maryland Extension Educators from other counties.  Judges have had a variety of experiences with records books and most are former 4-Hers who have completed a Record Book themselves.  In addition, the majority of judges have served in this role for many years so they have a great deal of knowledge and background.  Judges receive specific instructions as well as all materials that are available to our 4-H members as resources.
  • Judges evaluate each member’s Record Book and assign an award (blue, red, white or participation).  Judges provide feedback to 4-H members by notes written on the evaluation sheet which is returned to the 4-H member and through sticky notes placed in the book.
  • All blue books are judged a second time by a new set of judges.  From this second round of blue book judging, County Achievement awards are selected.   County Achievement  awards are not based only on the projects and awards entered at the county fair. 
  • All books that receive a red, white, or participation ribbon are judged a second time by a new judge to verify the placing.

 General Record Book Information

How are Project Records evaluated?

  • Project Records are evaluated by veteran 4-H University of Maryland Extension Volunteers and/or Howard County 4-H All Stars.  As Project Records are reviewed, the evaluator reviews to verify if members have accurately documented all aspects of his/her individual project.  Evaluators will often make individual notes on the project records and/or sticky notes that are placed on individual pages.
  • Another component of evaluation of Project Records includes the completion of all components of the project record.  It is the 4-Her’s individual responsibility to make sure his/her records reflect all project work.  A project is considered complete when the following have been done in the calendar year in relation to that project:  at least one communication (demonstration, visual presentation,  project talk, etc.) has been given/presented by the 4-Her during the current year, project work has been demonstrated (exhibition, etc.), and learning has taken place in relation to the project.
  • There is a rubric utilized to evaluate each individual project record.  This rubric is utilized to provide feedback to the 4-H member about his/her project records.
  • Project records that are incomplete, contain incorrect information, and/or are plagiarized will be returned to have corrections made

Animal Project Records - If you want to use the DOC you will need to open the file and click on File -> Download and -> Download in Word

Camelid PDF DOC
Dairy Cattle PDF  
Horse and Pony PDF DOC
Large Animal Breeding PDF DOC
Market Livestock PDF DOC
Poultry PDF DOC
Rabbit and Cavy PDF DOC
Small Pet PDF DOC

Clover Record Book Forms

General Record Book Forms

Clover Junior Leader Form Instructions PDF version  
Clover Junior Leader Record Form Word version  
General 4-H Record Form Word version Download PDF version
Food/Baking 4-H Record Form Word Version Download PDF version

Project Record Samples and Rubric

Summary Report Form 

Summary Form Tips

4-H Example Record