Many of the applications and forms referenced below can be found online at www.nc4h.org. There you need to click on “Youth”, then “Awards
and Incentives Program”. Don’t forget to visit our Calendar of Events for specific dates and deadlines. Forsyth
County deadlines are BEFORE state deadlines.
Project records highlight what a 4-H’er has learned and done in a specific project
area for a period of 12 months. The books are judged in age categories of: 5-8,
9-10, 11-12, 13-15 and 16-18. They are submitted to the County 4-H office at the
end of your 4-H year. The top county winners in each of the curriculum areas are
then submitted to Raleigh for district competition. They are usually due the first
week in January.
This is an accumulation of up to three years of 4-H project work in a major project
area. Records are submitted in age categories of 13-15 and 16-18. These are due
the first week in January. State winners receive cash awards.
Presentations are a method of presenting information by demonstration or illustrated
talk for competition, while a Public Speech involves no props. The time limit is
generally between 5 and 12 minutes, with specific time regulations in specific categories.
Two county winners in each age group (9-10, 11-13 and 14-18) are selected in a county
competition held annually every spring to advance to the district competition. In
the 9-10 category, the first place winner from district competition goes on to compete
at the State level. In the senior age divisions, the first and second place winners
can compete at the State level. State winners in sponsored categories receive cash
awards. In specific categories, the state-winning 14-18 year olds may go on to compete
at the national level.
Applicants must be at least 13 years old and a 4-H member for two years as of January
1. Ambassador registrations and portfolios must be approved by a county 4-H professional
before submitting to the state 4-H office. 4-H’ers may earn Bronze, Silver, Gold
and Emerald Ambassador levels by completing portfolios for each level. Each level
has specific requirements. A 4-H member can only achieve one Ambassador level per
portfolio submission. Ambassadors portfolios are submitted in April and October.
Due the first week of May to the County 4-H office. Applicants must be at least
14 years old as of January 1. This program is used to select the delegations to
attend National 4-H Congress, National 4-H Conference and the International Leadership
Conference. Participants must complete a two-page application and submit a resume
of no more than two pages. The resume should highlight the 4-H’ers achievements,
project work and leadership throughout their career. The County 4-H Agent must sign
off on the application before it is submitted. Interviews are held during 4-H Congress.
The North Carolina State 4-H Program is divided into six districts; West, Southwest,
South Central, North Central, Northeast and Southeast. Each district has a teen
council and elected officers. These teen officers help to plan the district-wide
4-H events for the year, including: District Activity Day, Teen Retreat, and other
district teen activities. Teen Retreat is usually held in March and is a lock-in
type leadership building retreat that generally offers training and workshops centering
around the state 4-H project. 4-H’ers ages 13 to 18 are able to attend. District
teen council officers are elected at Teen Retreat.
Held the third or fourth week of June, NC 4-H Congress is the culminating 4-H event
for the year. The event is geared for teen 4-H’ers ages 13-18. Congress is held
on the campus of NC State University. Activities of the week include: State 4-H
Entertains Showcase, State Presentation Finals, Honor Club Tapping, State-level
Hands-to-Service Project, State 4-H Council Officer Elections, Banquets, Dances
and lots more.
The North Carolina 4-H Camping Program offers programming for 4-H’ers of all ages.
Counties generally take a delegation of 4-H’ers (ages 8-14) to one of the 4-H camping
centers for 4-H Junior Camp each summer. County camp locations and dates change
each year. A few of the general 4-H camps utilize Leaders In Training. These are
4-H’ers not quite old enough to be a full time camp counselor – but at least 16
years old. LIT’s generally work at a camp for a week to gain counselor experience.
Other 4-H Specialty Camps available are: Fur, Fish and Game, Shooting Sports, Horse,
Marine Science, Cloverbud and others. Camp recruitment begins in January of each
North Carolina 4-H Electric Congress is a FREE educational event designed to recognize
excellence in the Electric Program throughout the state. Electric Congress travels
from region to region of the state, thus allowing for a variety of programming opportunities
for everyone. 4-H members participate in workshops, meet their Power Company Representatives,
and interact with other electric winners. 4-H’ers must be at least 11 years old
to attend. Counties may send 2 project winners, 2 cumulative record participants,
and one program recruiter. April 15 is the deadline to register. 4-H Electric Congress
is usually held the 2nd week of July.
Each county and district offers a wide variety of animal shows. Generally, the following
shows are offered across the state: District Horse Show – held in May, State 4-H
Horse Show – held the second week of July, State Dairy Judging – held the end of
June, State 4-H Horse Bowl – March, State 4-H Horse Judging – April, State 4-H Livestock
Judging and Skill-a-thon – July. There are also opportunities for youth to “borrow”
an animal to show at the fair (the farmer keeps it, feeds it and even takes it to
the show for you, but you MUST train the animal with the help of extension staff
Youth ages 5-18 can exhibit breeding meat-type ewes (female sheep), breeding meat-type
does (female goats) and breeding beef heifers (female cattle) at the Dixie Classic
Fairgrounds in Winston-Salem. The show is held the middle of March. This show is
OPEN to youth that live anywhere. Entries are due before the end of February (check
the entry information that is linked for a specific date).
High School Seniors may apply for 4-H scholarships. The application is due to the
County 4-H office the first week in January. Applicants need only complete one application
form to apply for numerous scholarships. Several of these scholarships are restricted
to youth that meet certain criteria. The County 4-H Agent receives information on
these scholarships in early December. Scholarship awards range in amounts from $500
A 4-H’er must be 16 years of age or older as of January 1 to apply. Membership is
based on a point system involving community service, 4-H activities, leadership
and citizenship. Applications are due to your county 4-H office the first week in
January. To be inducted is the highest honor available in North Carolina 4-H.
There are several group awards that clubs and other 4-H groups can apply for each
year. The NC 4-H Honor Club sponsors the NC 4-H Community Service award. This award
is given judged on ONE community service project completed by a 4-H group. Return
with supporting materials to your county 4-H office in mid-February. The 4-H Electric
Group Form is also due mid-February. A club/group or county program can submit for
this award. The form for these awards can be downloaded from the NC 4-H website.
State 4-H Project awards change each year with the state 4-H project theme. These
awards are generally due in May to the State 4-H office and are presented during
NC 4-H Congress.
4-H County Council
Youth ages 11-18 help plan county 4-H events such as Achievement Night, Talent Show
and Summer Adventures. Members also help promote 4-H involvement and take on officer
roles in the council. Meetings are held the second Monday in January, April, and
October (meetings are usually not held in July because of summer events) at 4 PM.
Youth ages 5-18 prepare a dish or beverage in one of the following categories: beverage,
breads, desserts, salad/vegetables, main dish or snack food. The dish will be presented
along with a place setting to a panel of judges who will review the entry. Each
participant will receive prizes, ribbons and scholarship dollars for participating.
The contest is typically held the first Tuesday in March, but entries are due the
middle of February.
Photography Contest—8 X 10 size images in color or black and white. The themes include:
Images of America, Spirit of Patriotism and Celebrating Our Soldiers...Past and
Present. Entries are due end of April.
- Short Story Writing – 200 to 1000 words, typed, double-spaced
or handwritten in ink
- Poetry – less than 50 lines, typed, double-spaced or handwritten
- Essay – 200 to 1000 words, typed, double-spaced or handwritten
- Drawing – matted size 9”x12” to 18”x24”, pencil, chalk,
charcoal, pen and ink, or pastels, matted w/3” border
- Painting – matted size 9”x12” to 18”x24”, watercolor,
acrylic, oil, or tempura (Juniors only), matted w/3” border
- Crafts – woodworking and craft items including horse and
- Photography – 5”x7” - 10”x12” mounted, black-and-white
- Poster – Standard 22”x28”, ANY horse related topic
- Sewing – articles to be worn by a horse or rider (blanket,
saddle pad, grooming apron, boot bags, etc.)
Entries are due the end of April along with a $5 entry fee. Short stories, poems
and essays are due the end of April. All other non-writing horse entries are due
the middle of June.
Youth may submit up to four photographs for judging: one each in Beef Cattle, Nature’s Beauty, 4-H in Action and a TBD category.
Photos may be in color OR black and white and any size, 8"x10” or smaller will be
accepted. Entries in the 9-12 and 13-18 year old categories will advance to the
State Competition. Entries are due at the beginning of June.
4-H Poster Contests
Youth may enter the Poultry, Dairy, Career, Beef Contest(s); or can enter all four.
Poultry and Dairy entries are due the second week in July. Beef posters are due
the end of May and Career posters are due first part of June. All entries must be
on standard poster board (22” x 28”). Entries from 5-8 year olds will only be judged
on the county level, while the winners in the 9-18 year olds will advance to the
state competition. All entries will receive 4-H scholarship dollars. NO clipart
or copyrighted material (cartoon characters, etc.) are accepted — original artwork
only. No cut-out letters, etc.
Dairy Poster Contest - The theme changes every year. Due the middle of June.
Age divisions are 5-8, 9-12, 13-15 and 16-19.
- Beef Poster Contest - The theme changes every year. Due the beginning
of June. Age divisions are 5-8, 9-12, 13-16 and 17-21.
Every October, there is a 4-H Shooting Sports tournament (typically held at Millstone
4-H Center in Ellerbe). You may compete as an individual or as part of a team, but
you MUST have a 4-H certified shooting sports instructor. Training is held every
fall for approved 4-H volunteers to earn certification. Categories include: shotgun
(12 or 20 gauge), muzzleloading, rifle match sporter, air pistol, rifle sporter,
air rifle, archery compound and archer recurve.
Enjoy the fall leaves as you participate in tree identification (25 species), tree
measurement (15 trees), forest insect identification (10 species), forest disease
identification (10 samples) and forest evaluation (as a team). Teams consist of
3-4 members and the contest is typically held in Raleigh at the Schenck Memorial
The contest is a great way to introduce the very cool stories that plants are hoping
to tell. Youth learn to recognize and identify some of the most important horticultural
crops, learn criteria influencing quality and to be able to answer questions and
solve problems relating to the art and science of horticulture. There are three
portions of the test, including knowledge, judging and identification. You can compete
individually or as a team.
4-H at the Fair
4-H’ers may enter crafts, decorated cakes, photography, entomology (insect) collections,
and exhibits at the N.C. State
Fair. Entry forms are due Sept. 25th and entries must be received the week
before the fair opens (check the current year’s fair catalog for specific rules).
4-H clubs may also do fair booths at the
Dixie Classic Fair. Entries are due September 1st, but are first-come, first-serve.