4-H Youth Development

Cooperative Extension and 4-H logos

How to Assemble a 4-H Record Book for Elko County

Revised March 2017

The 4-H record book is an organized presentation of what you have learned and accomplished in 4-H. It is a tool for determining your personal growth and progress.


  • Typed or neatly handwritten in black ink.
  • Standard 4-h binder or 3 ring binder no lose leaf binders
  • White paper only for all pages
  • No scrapbooking
  • Maximum of 4 pictures per page where pictures are included


We have the standard 4-H binder available at the Extension Office for $3.00 (price may change). A three ring binder with a pocket on the front to put a sheet with your name and information on it may also be used.

You will need tabbed dividers for the sections of your book and dividers for between the projects. Select dividers that will recess inside the cover to prevent tabs from tearing off in handling.

The tabs will read:

  • I. Photo
  • II. Table of Contents
  • III. Achievement Report
  • IV. Your 4-H Story
  • V. Community/Club Pictures
  • VI. One divider for each project (ex: Beef Breeding, Photography)
  • VII. Continue with project sheets for each of your projects
  • Best Work (last tab) (Whatever Roman numeral it turns out to be)

B. PHOTO | (Tab 1)

Mount a photograph of yourself on a single sheet of WHITE paper. Please do not use art corners. School pictures are fine. Print or type your name, age, address, county, town, state, zip and club name below the photo. Never write on back or front of photos. Place this sheet behind the tab divider that says "Photo." Heavier paper may be used.


On a single sheet of WHITE paper, type or handwrite the main sections of your record book. The use of dividers with tabs labeled to match the list will make finding the sections easier. Select dividers that will recess inside the cover to prevent tabs from tearing off in handling. For example: If leather craft is the first project in your book, put leather craft as your tab label under Tab VI; if computers is your second project then computers should be your tab label under Tab VII.


This is a summary of your 4-H work and lists important items completely and accurately. Avoid repetition. GENERAL LEADERS, PARENTS AND MEMBER must sign this form. This form is available at the Extension Office, or from your General Leader.

E. 4-H Story | (Tab IV)

Your 4-H story is an essay of your experiences for the current year. Handwritten clearly and legibly or typed (double spaced) on WHITE 8 1/2" x 11" paper. The story should be no longer than 3 pages if typed, 4 pages if handwritten. Your story should include the following information:

  • Introduce yourself - You may include your age, interests, parents, brother and sisters, where you live, where you go to school and when and why you became involved in 4-H.
  • Tell about the 4-H club/community service you have participated in - Such as: how you helped in your community with your club; major learning experiences; how the program helped you learn things about a subject that you didn't know before; how your involvement grew; something you tried successfully or unsuccessfully; special interests, and unusual situations you when through. Remember the 4-H saying: learning, teaching, and doing.
  • Tell about your future 4-H plans - what you hope to accomplish, your goals, & how 4-H will help you in your future career.


Photographs must be limited to three; WHITE 8 1/2" x 11" pages one side only with a MAXIMUM OF 4 PHOTOS PER PAGE. Heavier weight paper may be used to mount pictures. Pictures should illustrate highlights of your 4-H activities. Write a caption about each photo to let the judges know what your picture is about. Do not overlap or write on the photo. Do not include news clippings or letters.


Fill out a project sheet for each project for which you completed this year. Do not combine several projects on one sheet. For example: if you have completed several Home Ec. projects such as breads, sewing, foods, etc. you need to fill out a project sheet for each one. One page of project pictures can be added after the project sheet and is highly encouraged. The pictures should show your growth and participation in that project with picture captions explaining each photo. These pictures need to be placed on WHITE 8 1/2" x 11" paper, front only, with a MAXIMUM OF 4 PICTURES PER PAGE.

H. BEST WORK | (this should be your last tab and whatever Roman numeral that turns out to be after project sheets)

Portfolio of your best work. This includes, but is not limited to: photos of achievement awards, letters, news clippings, certificates, etc. This should include some of your 4-H work but may also include achievements you have had in school, church, or other youth organizations. Limited to 3 WHITE pages, front only, with a MAXIMUM OF 4 PHOTOS PER PAGE.

Helpful Tips:

  • Your record book should be filled in throughout the year as you participate in events and activities. Don't wait until the last minute to complete your record book. If you have completed a project already, fill out the record sheets now. That will be one less thing to do later.
  • To avoid forgetting what you've done throughout the year, write down your activities in your record book as you go. Don't try to remember everything you've done in the past year.
  • Use a three-ring binder to keep all of your 4-H "stuff" in one place (newspaper clippings, newsletters, pictures, project supply receipts, etc.). You'll know just where to look when you need information for your record book.
  • Do not leave any section blank. Write 'none' or 'n/a' on the first line when you have no information to put in a specific section.
  • Proofread your information before turning in your record books. Check your spelling and grammar.
  • Make sure your record book is assembled in the correct order (see instructions for assembly).
  • Signatures are required on all forms. Your signature states that everything you have written is true and accurate. Make sure you allow time for your club leader and parent/guardian to sign your record book before the deadline.
  • Have someone take pictures of you with your 4-H project (i.e., sewing your outfit, fitting your animal, giving a demonstration, etc.)

Please do not include ribbons, medals, fair entry forms, or programs in your record book.

Record book workshops will be available for all 4-H members in Elko County to attend & discuss how to assemble your record book. Date, time, & location will be announced in the monthly newsletter!