St. Mary's County 4-H

Welcome to St. Mary's County 4-H!  4-H is the largest national youth development program in the united states. Participation in 4-H is open to all interested county youth ages 5-18. 4-H members select projects topics from a wide array of possibilities. The directed learn-by-doing experience is supported by faculty of the University of Maryland, project materials, and trained 4-H volunteers who work with 4-H members in their club and communities.  4-H members learn to keep records, develop decision-making, speaking, and leadership skills, and become involved in community service projects. Through 4-H, youth make friends with children and adults in the community. 

4-H 2023 Calendar


For more information, contact: 

Susan Vallandingham

University of Maryland Extension 4-H Youth Development Educator


Barbara Dobbins

University of Maryland Extension 4-H Program Management Specialist


Click below for more information

4-H Enrollment

Prior to enrollment, youth and parents are encouraged to contact and visit 4-H clubs t decide which to join.  Enrollment in St. Mary's County 4-H program is done online at:  4-H Online 2.0.  New families must first set up a "Family" account, then add each individual member.  Please be sure to keep your password in a safe place for re-enrolling each year.  There is a $10 Annual Participation fee for 4-H members ages 5-18, which is paid online at the time of enrollment.  After enrolling through the online system, an email will be sent with the link to pay the enrollment fee.  Once this fee has been paid, the youth will be officially enrolled in the St. Mary's County 4-H Program.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office at 301-475-4478.

4-H Clover Program

4-H Frequently Asked Questions

Who May Belong to 4-H?

  • 4-H is an educational organization for boys and girls who must be eight years of age and have not passed their 19th birthday by January 1 of the current year. It is open to all youth regardless of race, color, sex, handicap, religion, age, or national origin.

 Who's in Charge of 4-H?

  • 4-H is sponsored throughout Maryland by the University of Maryland Extension. Nationally, it is a part of the Extension Service in the United States Department of Agriculture. The people responsible locally are 4-H Extension Educators in the St. Mary's County Office of University of Maryland Extension, supported, in part, by the St. Mary's County Government.

 Why Do Kids Like 4-H?

  • They have fun with their friends--meetings, social activities, tours, camps, and fairs. They learn to do interesting things--take care of raising animals and plants, redecorate their rooms, fix a bike, take pictures. or learn to cook.

What Do the H's Stand For?

  •  HEAD, HEART, HANDS, AND HEALTH--4-H members pledge:

    "My head to clearer thinking,
    My heart to greater loyalty,
    My hands to larger service and
    My health to better living
    for my club, my community, my country, and my world"

 What is a 4-H Emblem?

  • The office 4-H emblem is a green, four-leaf clover with a white "H" on each clover leaf. It is copyrighted and may be used only as approved by 4-H.


4-H How Often and When Do 4-H Clubs Meet?

  • Some clubs meet every week, for a month or two, and some meet once or twice a month all year long. Many clubs meet for an hour or two after school, in the evening, or on a Saturday. It all depends on the club and what they want to do. 4-H Clubs may organize any time of the year. Sometimes members have to be enrolled in a project by a certain time to be eligible for specific activities.

  Where Do 4-H Clubs Meet?

  • Any place large enough which is convenient for the members of the group. Some clubs take turns meeting in member's homes. Some meet in a central place such as a school, church, or community room. Some meet at the leader's home. How Big Should a Club Be? This depends on the age of the members, the places they have to meet, and the leadership available. The ideal club is big enough to have fun together but small enough for everybody to feel a part of the group. The average 4-H club is likely to have 10 to 20 members.

 Who Names the 4-H Club?

  •  The members of the club, with their leader's guidance, name the club.

 What Do 4-H Club Members Do at Meetings?

  •  4-H Club meetings usually have four parts
  1. Project Work
  2. Business
  3. Recreation or Social Activities
  4. Special Interest Programs

 Do They Do all These Things At One Meeting?

  • Sometimes, if they have little business to conduct, they may work on their projects and play a game or two. Sometimes the whole meeting will be devoted to one thing. (Example: Everyone will bring their dog and practice obedience, or the entire meeting may be needed to plan a club activity).

 Who Plans the Program for the Club?

  • The members of the club plan the program, especially if the club is small. If the club is large, ideas are given by everyone and a committee is put together to decide on a club program from the ideas.

What About Officers?

  • 4-H Clubs may have officers and whatever committees they need to run their own business. 4H has materials available for Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Secretaries, Treasurers, News Reporters, and Recreation Leaders. The club may have more or less officers depending on their needs.

 Do 4-H Clubs Have Dues?

  • This depends on their need for money. There are no State or National 4-H dues. If the club wants money for some activity, they usually charge dues or conduct fundraising activities. These monies are for club use only. Dues should never be used to keep someone from joining 4-H.


 What are 4-H Projects?

  • 4-H Projects are learning experiences for 4-H members. Most projects are available from the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension 4-H Office. There may be a charge to the 4-H member for some areas.

 What Does a 4-H Project Cost?

  • The cost varies but the projects can be used over a three-year period. A member enrolled in some projects could use items from around the house. A member who buys a camera will need to invest in film for one's project. Discuss the cost with members and then select a project. It should be realistic to the family situation. Sometimes clubs find sponsors to help with project costs.

 Are 4-H Members Expected to Do Their Own Project Work?

  • Yes--with Help. 4-H is a "learn by doing" program. Adult leaders, junior leaders, or parents may tell or show a member how, but members are expected to learn how to do things themselves.

 What is Project "Completion?"

  • Completion means that the 4-H member has met the project requirements and goals he/she set when he/she enrolled in a project. Most counties provide some sort of recognition such as pins, ribbons, or monetary awards.

 Do 4-H'ers Do Projects Individually or as a Group?

  • Both--some projects such as fishing are more fun if done in a group. Others, such as making a dress, will be done individually by each member of the group.


4-H Newsletters and Reporter News

4-H Scholarships

The St. Mary’s County 4-H office supports St. Mary’s County 4-H members by providing scholarships for 4-Hers seeking to enrich their 4-H learning experience through attendance of official 4-H events and activities.  The 4-H Office also provides funding for adult University of Maryland (UME) volunteers who are involved in training and educational activities in support of the St. Mary’s County 4-H Program. Scholarships are contingent upon availability of funds and may vary from year to year. 

Below are the forms you will need to help you through the scholarship process. 

4-H Scholarship guidelines

Youth Scholarship Application

Adult Grant Application

MD 4-H Foundation

The Maryland 4-H Foundation

The Maryland 4-H Foundation was founded in 1959 to support Maryland 4-H Programs through its six Pillars of Purpose: Provide Scholarship to 4-H members, furthering their education; implement opportunities for Leadership Development; support the growth of 4-H in Maryland's Communities; provide funding for Project-Based State and National Trips; expand International 4-H Experiences; and recognize the generosity of our Volunteers and Donors. From awards ceremonies to tournaments to fundraisers, the Maryland 4-H Foundation has sponsored many 4-H events over the past fifty-six years. Regardless of the event taking place, the Maryland 4-H Foundation has built and managed the financial resources to support Maryland youth in reaching their fullest potential as competent, caring, and responsible individuals through Maryland 4-H Programs. 

The Maryland 4H Foundation