Record Keeping

Philosophy for 4-H Record Keeping

The purpose of 4-H record keeping is to teach how to keep records, which is an important life skill. Record keeping is an ongoing process that does not end when the 4-H year ends. Youth are encouraged to select from a variety of alternatives to meet their individual record keeping needs and learning styles.

In 4-H, using a record keeping system is a recommended practice for youth in grades 4-12 to track participation, goals, achievements, and reflections throughout your 4-H journey. This record keeping system can be referred to when writing award applications, resumes, scholarship applications, or preparing for meetings or speeches. You can find more information in our publication Iowa 4-H Record Keeping Overview 4H 5000.

Objectives for 4-H Record Keeping

  • To learn how to set goals, how to make plans for action, and how to decide how well you did (evaluation).
  • To learn the skills of record keeping and organization to use now and in the future.
  • To learn to communicate and summarize.
  • To learn responsibility by completing a task.
  • To evaluate information that will market personal skills through future resumes and application forms.

Guidelines for 4-H Record Keeping

All 4-H members are encouraged to develop a record keeping system that includes:

Formatting Your Recordkeeping System

Iowa 4-H offers a selection of record keeping forms that members may use to guide their record keeping process. Record keeping forms are a suggested format and are not required. Members are encouraged to select a format that fits their personal needs and their learning style. However, record keeping forms may be encouraged by clubs and counties as a guide for learning record keeping skills, or for award application processes.

The record keeping format selected should reflect a 4-H member’s goals, accomplishments, and plans. You can try different methods of record keeping. Some people like to keep track of information on a computer or spreadsheet. Others may want to keep track in a notebook or on a record keeping form. Consider the following.

4-H record keeping should reflect the 4-H member's goals, accomplishments, and future plans