Transitioning to Virtual Meetings

Steps for holding a vritual meetingCurrent 4-H guidelines require clubs to practice social distancing and not meet in groups of more than 2 people, which makes it very challenging to keep members engaged in their projects. The key is shorter online meetings than the traditional in-person format with project work between meetings. This will require support from families of younger members to help if needed and the commitment of older members to complete the work.

A communications plan needs to be in place for youth or parents with questions. Clubs may want to meet more frequently to stay connected since the meetings are shorter.

Scheduling Use the same dates and times as your traditional 4-H meetings if the schedule still works. If not, find a new day and time that works for everyone. By continuing with the regular schedule it will be easier to get back to the structure of planning and attending club meetings.

Planning Use an agenda to keep the business portion of the meeting on track and conduct the business section first. This will help to keep meetings short. With the restrictions in plan, business and planning events has been curtailed so a lot of this information will be tabled for now. However it is important to keep the same format on the agenda to reinforce the practice.

Recreation Convert recreation activities to a virtual format and adopt new activities. Members can physically move in front of their cameras or play an online game. A suggestion would be to alternate these types of activities so that everyone finds something they enjoy. Just be aware of surroundings when demonstrating or participating in the physical activities.

Project Introduce the project activity, provide any necessary background information, supply lists, and give a short demonstration if possible. Answer questions. Check with your county agent for curriculum, videos, activity sheets, webinars, and other resources to help you plan for your projects.

Experience Have members complete the project outside of the meeting and record (video or photo) during the process and the final product (if there is one). It will be important to give each member a checklist and/or guideline for completing the project. Larger projects could be broken down into smaller steps for each meeting.

Reflection At the next meeting, have members share their experience, photos and videos, and finished projects. Include a reflection discussion, which is a key element of the experiential learning process. Have members explain what worked well, what they had to adjust, and what they learned.

As guidelines change, meetings and projects can be adjusted, but for now it is important to find a process that works well for you and your club. If you would like suggestions on how to tailor your specific projects please speak with your county agent. We appreciate your hard work and commitment to the 4-H members in your club.