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Penn State University Libraries

Youth Development


Jan F. Scholl, PhD, CFCS
Associate Professor
4-H Specialist, FCS Programs
The Pennsylvania State University
Department of Ag and Extension Education
323 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 863-7444

Amy Paster
Associate Librarian
Life Sciences Library
408 Paterno
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802-1811
(814) 865-3708

4-H Poems


Compiled by Jan F. Scholl, 4-H Curriculum Specialist, Family and Consumer Sciences, Penn State University

Feel free to add to this collection. Proper credit will be given to authors!

Ditty for the Record
4-H Club News, Franklin County New York
Reprinted in the National 4-H News, February 1957, p. 32

What do you think of a record sheet,
Is it a task or is it a treat.
A labor required that you fair would shun,
Or a pride and a proof of work well done?
Do you wait and ponder the very last minute
On what the heck you will enter in it?
Or is it a thing that lives and grows
As all through the year the project goes?
I know it is hard for many of you
To put on paper the things you do.
A lot of our Jims, a lot of our Jeans,
At doing a job are kinds and queens,
But you cannot write for a hill of beans
Yet, if each day, as soon as you're through it,
You write up your work at the time you do it,
Why even though you make some slip,
In grammar, maybe or penmanship
I'll bet your leader will slap your back
And say, "By gosh, you're a crackerjack!"

4-H is for You
Mitchell Kindoll
Owen County, Kentucky
Printed in the National 4-H News, November 1979, p. 29

4-H is the one
You join for fun
There's lots of things for you to do,
It's one of the good things about school
If you want to grow and have fun at play,
You better join 4-H today.
4-H puts you in the know.
4-H really has soul
It's great, its swell, its neat,
It's the club that can't be beat.

4-H Clubs are Made of This
Oregon Trail 4-H Members in Shasta County, California
To the tune of "Memories are Made of This"
Printed in the National 4-H News, October 1957, p. 29

Take a group of girls and boys,
Add some work and lots of joys
Some help from Jean,
Some help from Hut,
You'll soon have a 4-H Club.
Find some leaders good and true
They'll help choose a name for you
Some projects now-
A pig-or cow--
4-H work is made of this.
Then add a place to meet.
Be sure to keep it neat
We'll learn to be a good neighbor
We'll learn to cook and sew
Till soil and watch things grow.
We'll be well paid for our labor.
Now we're really doing fine.
Next comes camp up in the pines,
New friends we'll make
With frogs and snacks,
Summer camps are made of this.
4-H Clubs are made of this.

Eric Sheppard
Owen County, Kentucky
Printed in the National 4-H News, November 1979, p. 29

Riding a horse or learning to sew,
Getting a part in the Variety Show
All these things and many more
Will not make your head feel sore
If you join 4-H right now
We'll work together from stern to bow.


Ace Churchill
Janitor in Levering Michigan whose school had a 4-H period
Printed in the National 4-H News, December 1955

Dozing in my rustic chair,
While everything is quiet;
I'm startled by a fearful noise,
That sounds much like a riot.
Before I hardly realize
Just what 'twas all about;
The door 'most left the hinges,
Swinging in and out.
As soon as I discovered,
No danger was involved,
My nerves began to settle-
Still the mystery was unsolved.
I took inventory of myself,
Before I got the hunch,
That none other could it be
But that 4-H sewing bunch.
When their teacher gives the word,
Which means you're free to go;
Your life is almost jeopardized,
By the traffic to and fro.
On Wednesday from the last recess,
Until the clock says four;
Dresses, aprons, and what not,
Are in the making by the score.
It isn't long before the place,
Is busy as a bee;
The conversation runs like this,
"Take four stitches, drop three."
Its wonderful what progress
They are making in the art,
All are making garments,
And they finish what they start.
Their ambitions are to master
The art of making clothes;
And to be able at all times,
To do all a seamstress knows.
But a premonition comes to me,
A little in advance;
Not one will sew a button
On her future husband's pants.
And should he ask this favor
She will place him on the shelf;
And if he gets the button on,
He will sew it on himself.

Parody of the Happy Wanderer
Mrs. Earl Anderson, Mrs. Fred Andring, Helen Crenshaw, Mrs. Art Olson,
Anna Ehrlund and Gladys Simukka
Printed in the National 4-H News, October 1955, p. 32.

I love to go awandering
It always brings me joy
For everywhere I go I greet
Some 4-H girl or boy
Chorus: Val de ri, Val de ra, etc.
I'll ne'er forget our 4-H camp
At dear old Morehead Park;
The friends we met, the fun we had
From sunrise until dark.
We're proud of our Achievement night
Of all the work we've done
To every leader, every club
Con-g-r-r-a-t-u-l-a-t-i-o-n-s every one.


I Share My Mom
Mrs Martin Clawson of Reily, Ohio
Printed in the National 4-H News, April 1955, p. 29

A 4-H leader, she's "Mom" to all-
A friend to the big and to the small.
She's seen us through our younger years,
And shared our joys and sometimes tears.
She's taught us to sew and finish a seam
A compliment to us and she will beam.
We' learned to model and win with grace,
And also to lose with a smile on our face.
So now as we must older grow
We think back and begin to know-
Her guidance and friendship in every way
We can never fully repay.

4-H Health Pledge
Angie Bass, Carthage, Missouri
Printed in the National 4-H News, April 1955, p. 22

I pledge myself to think clearly
That I may live wisely
For my health's sake
That I may never know the evil
Of narcotics or strong drink.
May I strive daily for clean, healthful habits
For my physical up-bringing.
I pledge myself to study the yardstick of health
And obey its rule
To build a strong constitution.
To strive daily to broaden my vision
And enjoy life to its fullest.
To square my shoulders
When confronted by evil
And maybe turn the other cheek.
To live calmly while others enjoy hysteria
All these things I pledge for
My health's sake
For the betterment of my home.
My club, my community and my country.

A Leader's Refrain
Mrs. Carl Madson
Printed in the National 4-H News, June 1955, p. 17

I AM a 4-H leader. I say it proudly, glad that others have thought me able. Proud, too, to be associated with the ideals that 4-H leader represent, and proud to be one of many working for a common worthy cause. I say it humbly, feeling inadequate in knowledge and understanding-groping feebly for the right things to say and do before these young mimics and critics.
I AM a 4-H leader with a prayer of thankfulness that in this land of ours such things are possible. That while we receive training and advice from experts, we rural leaders are free to apply that learning to our clubs as we see the need, not as "higher-ups" dictate.
I AM a 4-H leader. I whisper it in an excited thrill of achievement as I hold in my hands and study the record books which tell the years; accomplishments and development of each club member.
I AM a 4-H leader. I say it in wonder, how did insignificant I stumble into a job affecting so many young and precious lives? I say it apologetically, thinking of my poor example in some of the very things we are striving to teach these future homemakers, knowing the many mistakes I seem so adept at making, and shrinking from those myriad mistakes I do not even recognize. I say it in harassment, pressed for time to do the things I must do and longing for time to do the things I want to do; having to choose the important things here and now, for tomorrow, even my own daughters will have passed this stage of learning and impression.
I AM a 4-H leader with gratitude in my heart for our instructors and their training that so facilitate our task; for fellow-leaders and their inspiration, for my co-leader in particular with her responsiveness and eager helpfulness; for the parents of the girls in our club and their interest and co-operation, and the girls themselves and the education they are giving me.
I Am a 4-H leader with a special "Thank You" for an understanding and patient husband, and with a hope that he sometimes recognizes improvements in our home and family living which are direct results of this 4-H business, while overlooking several undarned socks and dust gremlins.
I AM a 4-H leader. I say it prayerfully, that with God's help I shall not err too much in my contacts with these young lives which are our country's most valuable resource and our whole hearts' measure, that I might help them see the fullness and richness of farm living, or if they choose other occupations that they will take along the know-how and appreciation that we are trying to develop.
I Am a 4-H leader. With a prayer in my heart for guidance and a speck of determination in my soul, I again repeat with the girls of our club, "I pledge my head to clearer thinking, My heart to greater loyalty, My hands to larger service, My health to better living, for my Club, my Community, my Country, and my World."

What I Think about 4-H
Lisa Sebastian
Owen County, Kentucky
Printed in National 4-H News, November 1979, p. 29

4-H is a nice club to be in
You will always have a grin
I joined 4-H to see
What it's about
So I tried it out.
4-H is a treat
Because it's neat
No club can beat