Recognition and awards have been an important part of 4-H. From the earliest days of 4-H, we have known that the wise use of recognition helps motivate youth. Recognition encourages young people and increases their interest in the opportunities that are available to them. Volunteers and professionals have used recognition as one way to help young people become more capable and competent young adults.


The Engage award highlights the importance of 4-H clubs to the 4-H program. APPLICATION PROCESS: No application is required to receive this recognition. RECOGNITION: Local Extension offices will create their own plan for honoring all clubs who become engaged in the 4-H program. This may include:

  • Newsletters
  • Social Media Highlights
  • News Stories
  • Flag Sets
  • Club Charters
  • Special Items


The Illinois 4-H program offers many EXPERIENCES. This area offers recognition for clubs which are involved in diverse 4-H experiences. APPLICATION PROCESS: Leaders and members can “Share Their Story” online at in the following areas. RECOGNITION: County Extension offices can determine local recognition, including social media shout-outs, or newsletter highlights.

  • Community Service
  • Leadership
  • Project Learning


4-H Clubs which EXCEL in their work can compete for state honors in specific award areas. APPLICATON PROCESS: Complete the Illinois 4-H Club Award Application in one (or more) of these 3 areas:

  • Community Service
  • Leadership
  • Project Mastery

For more information on the application process, there is a tutorial video located on the Illinois 4-H YouTube channel