Ohio 4-H Youth Development
OSU Extension

How Can You Create A Club Constitution and By-Laws?

Creating a 4-H club constitution and by-laws is a great way to start developing leadership, decision making and communication skills with your members. Consider these documents your 4-H club’s team rulebook to successful operation.

Develop your 4-H team rules for a successful season.

Your club’s constitution and by-laws should be simple to read and understand. The writing and adoption of these documents is an important first year task for new clubs. The constitution seldom changes, but by reviewing your club’s by-laws annually, you will enable your club’s operation to change to reflect the members’ needs.

To help you get started, use the sample 4-H Club Constitution and By-Laws to engage, first a small committee in creating, and then the entire club in reviewing, editing and adopting. File a copy of your club’s constitution and by-laws with your County Extension Office.

What are the important points to include in any 4-H Club Constitution and By-Laws?

  • Name of 4-H Club – Select a club name with your membership. Be creative and use common sense. Avoid names that may connect the club to a business, reference race, gender, sexual preference, or religion and/or could perceive to be discriminatory. Your county 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator must approve your club’s name as part of the Chartering Ohio 4-H Clubs process.
  • Membership – You may not discriminate in your membership, but you may set guidelines and limits. Guidelines and limitations may include:  ages of members accepted (Cloverbuds, Project Members or both), maximum membership, enrollment process, and attendance requirements to stay an active member.
  • Meetings – You should include location of meetings, day of the week/month and time.  Also, include reorganization meeting and/or achievement meeting dates.
  • Officers List the officers and their duties.  You should also include the election process (use of nominating committee, open floor, etc.).
  • Committees – Outline who makes up the Executive Committee and list standing committees. Examples of standing committees may include:  Recognition, Fundraising, Community Service, Fair Exhibit, Policies, Program Planning, etc. 

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