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West Virginia 4-H Participation & Enrollment Age Guidelines

Effective October 1, 2021 (Start of the 2021-2022 4-H Year)

2021-2022 4-H Year

October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022
(Phase 4) 3rd year of WV State Dept. of Ed. Policy (K, 1, 2)

4-H Members

Youths with birthdates from September 30, 2013 through final day as a 21 year old.

  • Starting Age Based off of 4-H Year (October 1 – September 30) Final Year for This
  • First year to participate is if they turn 9 years old during this upcoming 4-H year (for kids who would have come in under the old school age policy)
  • Last possible day to be involved is their final day as a 21-year-old (when they turn 22, they age out) Final Year for This

Cloverbuds

Youths with birthdates between Oct. 1, 2013, and June 30, 2016

  • Starting age based off of age on June 30
  • First year to participate as a Cloverbud is if they are 5 years old on June 30 – prior to the 4-H year they are starting. (Continues 3rd year of WV State Dept of Ed policy)
  • Last year to participate as a Cloverbud is if they turn 8 during this upcoming 4-H year (for kids who would have come in under the old school age policy) Final Year for This

Background

In West Virginia, the 4-H programming and reporting year runs from October 1st through September 30th. Young people between the ages of 5 and 21 years old can participate in a variety of 4-H Youth Development experiences offered through the West Virginia University Extension Service during that time. These experiences include various programs, activities and events in the following delivery modes: School Enrichment, Special Interest/Short Term, Camping, Club Work, and Afterschool.

Updates in the age guidelines within West Virginia 4-H were implemented in 2018 to provide more consistency across our 4-H experiences and delivery modes. The timing of these changes coincided with the West Virginia State Department of Education’s change related to the starting age of youth entering Kindergarten. Starting in 2019, youth in West Virginia entered kindergarten based on their age by June 30th. The changes in our 4-H age guidelines will be phased over a five-year period beginning with the 2018-2019 4-H year starting on October 1, 2018.

Age Guidelines Chart

Birthdate Range of Possible Participants
First Possible Date of 4-H Participation as Cloverbud
First Possible Date of 4-H Participation as Official 4-H Member
Last Possible Date of 4-H Participation
Oct 1, 1999 - Sept 30, 2000 Last Day as a 21 year old
Oct 1, 2000 - Sept 30, 2001 Last Day as a 21 year old
Oct 1, 2001 - Sept 30, 2002 September 30, 2023
Oct 1, 2002 - Sept 30, 2003 September 30, 2024
Oct 1, 2003 - Sept 30, 2004 September 30, 2025
Oct 1, 2004 - Sept 30, 2005 September 30, 2026
Oct 1, 2005 - Sept 30, 2006 September 30, 2027
Oct 1, 2006 - Sept 30, 2007 September 30, 2028
Oct 1, 2007 - Sept 30, 2008 September 30, 2029
Oct 1, 2008 - Sept 30, 2009 September 30, 2030
Oct 1, 2009 - Sept 30, 2010 September 30, 2031
Oct 1, 2010 - Sept 30, 2011 September 30, 2032
Oct 1, 2011 - Sept 30, 2012 September 30, 2033
Oct 1, 2012 - Sept 30, 2013 October 1, 2021 September 30, 2034
July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014 October 1, 2022 September 30, 2035
July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015 October 1, 2023 September 30, 2036
July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016 October 1, 2021 October 1, 2024 September 30, 2037
July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017 October 1, 2022 October 1, 2025 September 30, 2038
July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018 October 1, 2023 October 1, 2026 September 30, 2039
July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019 October 1, 2024 October 1, 2027 September 30, 2040
July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020 October 1, 2025 October 1, 2028 September 30, 2041
July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021 October 1, 2026 October 1, 2029 September 30, 2042
July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022 October 1, 2027 October 1, 2030 September 30, 2043
July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023 October 1, 2028 October 1, 2031 September 30, 2044

Age Guidelines for Common Classifications, Delivery Modes and Special Interest Groups

Teen Leaders

West Virginia 4-H Teen Leader programs are open to young people aged 12 through 18. Beginning on October 1, 2018, “4-H Teen Leader age” will be determined by a young person’s age within the 4-H year. Important ages and dates to note:

  • A 12-year-old on September 30, 2021 could begin their first year as a 4-H Teen Leader on October 1, 2021. While this young person may be 12 years old at the start of the 4-H year, they would turn 13 during the upcoming 4-H year.
  • A 17-year-old on September 30, 2021 would begin their final year as a 4-H Teen Leader on October 1, 2021. This child would turn 18 before the end of the 4-H year on September 30, 2022. They could continue with the teen leader program in the current 4-H year, however they could not continue as a participant in 4-H teen leader programming with the start of the 4-H year on October 1, 2022.

Young Adults

Former 4-H teen leaders between the ages of 18 and 20, should transition fully into 4-H Young Adult programs like Collegiate 4-H, becoming a teen leader mentor, or serving as a 4-H volunteer if the opportunity is available.

If they remain in a mentoring role with Teen Leaders, they are not to hold offices or deter the younger teen leaders from making decisions related to the group.

It is important to differentiate they are a young adult mentor to the group – not a teen leader member. This ensures younger teens can take on specific teen leadership roles.

Camps

All youth participants in 4-H camps must fall within the age range of these guidelines.

County camps will follow the start dates of 4-H participation. Counties will determine on an individual basis if 18-21 year old young adult 4-H participants can participate in county 4-H camping programs as a camper.

Counties will also determine on an individual basis the age cutoffs for younger, intermediate and older 4-H camps.

All State 4-H Camps and any special interest camp will determine participation ages or grades based upon the content, structure and design of the overall camp program and/or facility.

School Enrichment and Afterschool

Any 4-H program that takes place in conjunction with a school before, during or after school will use the grade structure of the school to determine 4-H participation.

West Virginia Based 4-H Competitions

Any current 4-H competition that is organized and administered on a state level will phase from a January 1st birthdate to the June 30th birthdate. The most common examples of these competitions are poster, photo, writing and speaking based contests.

Any local, regional or state level competition that is organized on National level or competes at a National level will use the age, grade or birthdate associated with that competition.

4-H Youth Agriculture Programs

Current 4-H members may participate in all youth agriculture programs and activities.

Age requirements for participants in national 4-H contests is determined by each event. Consult current event rules for age eligibility.

With a majority of regional and National youth agriculture age requirements being based age as of January 1st, we will use this date for record guides, quality assurance training, contests and other programs – unless otherwise noted by the event or program.

4-H Shooting Sports

Current 4-H members may participate in various shooting sports programs and activities. Age requirements for participants in certain disciplines and national 4-H contests is determined by each program or event. Consult current discipline or event rules for age eligibility.

4-H Robotics Programs

Current 4-H members may participate in various robotics programs and activities. Age requirements for participants in certain levels of robotics or specific contests is determined by each event or governing body. Consult current contests or event rules for age eligibility.

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