Pre-registration is REQUIRED for all 4-H Contests and Events

Pre-registration will require complete information. For all contests this will include name, address, phone, age, and information related to the contest. For Public Speaking, the title of the speech will be required. For Presentations and Share-the-Fun, the title and category area will be required. For Fashion Revue, a description of the garment or outfit and related information must be typed or neatly printed on the registration form. All registration materials must be in the Extension Office a week prior to the contest. Registration forms for 4-H contests and events are available on this site. Forms can be mailed to: Henrico Extension Office, PO Box 90775, Henrico, VA 23273-0775.

Note: Only one registration/entry form per contest allowed. Also, all competitors must arrive at the contest site at least 15 minutes prior to the starting time for the contest. Enrollment forms (4-H Membership, Health History, and Code of Conduct) must be on file at the Extension Office to be eligible to compete. Extra enrollment forms will be available at the competition site if needed.

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Program Assistants

Assistance with 4-H contests, shows, and other events is often needed. 4-H members available to assist with these activities should complete the Program Assistance Form (see registration forms above). Members competing in an event would not typically be used as part of the assistance crew.

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4-H contests, with a few exceptions, use the Danish System of awards.  Blue ribbons are given for excellent work, red ribbons are given for very good work, white ribbons for good/fair work.  There is no limit on the number of contestants who can win blue ribbons (or red or white ribbons).  The first, second, and third place winners in a contest could all have blue ribbons or they could all have white ribbons.  First place does not guarantee a blue ribbon nor does a blue ribbon guarantee first place.

In addition to the ribbon awards, most contests also have additional prizes such as cash awards, gift certificates, and prize awards.  These additional prizes are subject to availability of a donor.  Contest winners should make certain they send a thank you note to the donor of their award.

**CLOVERBUDS are allowed to participate in all county contests (except shooting education); however, they are not judged competitively. They will receive participant ribbons and awards but will not be eligible for competition prizes.

NOTE : 4-H members from other units are welcome to participate in all 4-H activities on a space available basis. However, 4-H members primarily affiliated with a unit other than Henrico are ineligible to receive any prizes or premiums available to Henrico 4-H members.

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Public Speaking

Contestants choose their own topic and prepare an original speech.  Some facts and figures may be quoted, however, it is not a technical talk, but rather your viewpoint on a particular topic.  For example, you might speak on “Why I am Proud to Be An American,” “How Football Changed My Life,” or “Who Benefits Most, Horse or Owner.”  Junior and Intermediate 4-H’ers should plan to speak for 3 to 6 minutes while Seniors should plan a 5 to 7 minute speech.  Three by five note cards may be used to help insure that main ideas are covered.  Please do not “read” the speech! 4-H members competing will be judged on delivery, composition, and response to two questions asked by the judges.

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Hippology (Horse Bowl)

Hippology is a written quiz based on designated references and horse information.  The references are the revised editions of Horse Science and Horses and Horsemanship. These books may be ordered from National 4-H Supply at (301) 961-2934; Horses and Horsemanship, item CO-200, price $4.50; Horse Science, item CO-201, price $4.50; set of these, item CO-203, price $8.50). Delivery requires several weeks.  In addition to information found in these books, 4-H’ers will also have to be able to identify grains, hay, breeds, coat colors, and equipment.

**You do not have to own or ride a horse to compete in the Horse Bowl.

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Share-The-Fun is the 4-H talent show. Competition is divided into six categories as follows:

  • Vocal (includes yodeling; a singing presentation which may include dance or play an instrument but will be judged on vocal performance)
  • Instrumental (may sing or dance if desired but will be judged on instrumental performance)
  • Dance (includes tap, modern, acrobatic, ballet, jazz, folk, interpretive)
  • Drama (play or scene from a play, monologue, mime)
  • Variety (includes magic acts, puppetry, clowning, tumbling/gymnastics)
  • Combination (any combination of vocal, instrumental and/or dance)

Contestants are judged on talent, creativity, audience reception, showmanship, costume, props, and material chosen.  Each act may have up to 4 contestants and should require 2 to 4 minutes of time. There is no Intermediate age category in this contest only Juniors (9-13) and Seniors (14-19). Members of an act must all be in the same age category (no parental or volunteer assistance). Acts with mixed age groups may be allowed to participate in an unofficial capacity (not eligible for awards or competition at a higher level).

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4-H presenters teach their audience “How To” do something.  Your presentation may be on “How To” bake a cake, patch a bicycle tire, groom a horse, make an electric lamp, plant a garden, etc. (Note: Live animals may not be used.)

Every presentation has three parts – the introduction, body, and summary.  In the introduction, tell who you are, what your topic is, and how and why you chose your topic.  In the body, tell and demonstrate how to do something.  In the summary, review the main points of your presentation and ask if there are any questions.  While posters have been the traditional visual aid- slides, tapes, transparencies, and any other means may be used. All work must be completed by the 4-H member.

The presentation should be appropriate for the age and experience level of the 4-H’er and sufficient in length (time) to cover the topic.  In most cases the time range will be: Juniors 2 – 5 minutes, Intermediates 5 – 10 minutes, and Seniors 10 – 15 minutes.

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Dog/Cat Bowl

Similar to the Horse Bowl. Participants will be quizzed on training, care, showing, anatomy, diseases, terminology, history, and all topics related to canines and felines.

**You do not have to own a dog or cat to compete in the Dog/Cat Bowl.

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Fashion Revue

Category I *

Fashion Revue participants select material and patterns then construct a garment (or garments) that complements their wardrobe.  4-H’ers are judged on the construction of their garment (fit, techniques, notions), how well they model it (poise, posture, grooming), the suitability of their outfit (fabric, style, color), and their response to questions about construction, care, cost, etc.

An entry form, Category I worksheet, fabric swatch and Virginia 4-H Fashion Revue Record must be completed by all contestants!

Category II *

Participants purchase clothes or use their current wardrobe to coordinate an outfit (i.e. choose clothes that look good together and look good on you). Contestants are judged on how well the outfit complements them and how well they model.

An entry form, Category II worksheet, and Virginia 4-H Fashion Revue Record must be completed by all contestants!

Category III *

Participants select garments they have made, purchased, or had constructed by someone other than themselves. Participants complete the entry form and Virginia 4-H Fashion Revue Record. Participants in this category receive quality ribbons only and are not eligible for district or state competition.

*NOTE : The entry form for this contest must be typed, neatly printed, or set up on a computer (font size 12 or larger) and printed. This entry may not be given over the telephone. There are additional requirements that must be met to compete in district and state competition. Contact the Extension Office when you submit your application if you wish to be considered for further competition.

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Southeast District 4-H Contest

The District 4-H Contest provides an opportunity for 4-H members and their families to meet 4-H families from the Southeast District. District Presentation, Fashion Revue, Share-The-Fun, Public Speaking, and Expressive Arts competitions will take place all in one day. Participants may enter in one or two communication contests. An award ceremony will take place after all the competitions are concluded. Subject to availability, scholarships will be provided for 4-H members who go on to compete at State 4-H Congress.

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State 4-H Congress

State 4-H Congress is held on the Virginia Tech campus during the month of June. This is the premier, annual, statewide 4-H event for teens and adult volunteer leaders. Congress has multiple learning opportunities including: workshops, service projects, social events, sports events, elections, and state-level competition. All senior 4-H members may participate.

Senior 4-H members who have competed at the County level may compete at Congress. When local funding is available for scholarships, there will be a differential in funding favoring those who compete or run for office. The four State Officers and the District Representatives (three in each of the six districts) work throughout the year planning the next year’s Congress, promoting 4-H, and working with all areas of the state.

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District Ambassadors and State Cabinet Officers

The State 4-H Cabinet is a youth/adult partnership in which youth and adults work together to promote the Virginia 4-H program and to carry out specific programmatic functions of the Virginia 4-H program. The four State Officers and the District Representatives (four in each of the four districts) work throughout the year to plan the next year’s Congress, promote 4-H, are positive role models for other 4-H members, and are involved in all facets of the Virginia 4-H program. Serving as a State 4-H Cabinet member is designed to be a competitive and engaging leadership development experience within the Virginia 4-H program. The youth members of the Cabinet (Officers, Ambassadors, Mentors, and the Past President), serve as the ‘voice’ for 4-H youth across the Commonwealth of Virginia. The adult members of the Cabinet provide additional Extension experience, help the youth members to see the larger context of Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia 4-H program, and help the youth members to be successful.

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4-H Intermediate Congress

4-H Intermediate Congress is held on the Virginia State University Campus during the month of July. Intermediate 4-H Congress is a training ground for 11 & 12 year old youth who are interested in becoming leaders in 4-H.  Through fun, exciting, interactive sessions, youth will enhance their ability to serve in local, district, state, and national 4-H leadership roles as future 4-H club leaders, 4-H camp counselors, members of 4-H Cabinet, State 4-H Congress leaders, and/or National 4-H Congress/Conference participants.

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International 4-H Youth Exchange

IFYE, FLEX, Japanese Youth Exchange, and other international 4-H programs provide exciting experiences for youth ages 14 to 19 and, in some cases, 4-H Alumni up to 25 years of age.  Participants travel to a foreign country and live and work with host families during their stay.  Another way to participate is for your family to serve as a host family for an exchange student. There is usually a charge associated with these programs to travel.  There is no charge for serving as a host family.

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National 4-H Congress

National 4-H Congress is the premiere educational and recognition event for senior 4-H members. National 4-H Congress is held in Atlanta, Georgia, in late November. National Congress provides participants an exciting opportunity to explore careers, engage in a variety of quality learning experiences, and have great fun by getting to know other 4-H members from across the country.

Outstanding 4-H members will be selected to represent Virginia at National 4-H Congress. Candidates for selection must be senior 4-H members in the current 4-H year who are able to demonstrate outstanding achievement as a 4-H member in the areas of leadership, citizenship, and personal development. To apply, the 4-H member must submit a portfolio of his/her 4-H career and participate in a competitive interview process.

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4-H Citizenship Washington Focus

During a week’s stay at the National 4-H Center, 4-H members (14 to 19) learn first-hand the process of government. They also tour historic attractions and enjoy a variety of social and recreational activities. Cost is approximately $951.00. Scholarships may be available. Call for details.

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LifeSmarts is a group activity that teaches teens to be smart and responsible consumers and citizens. Teams consist of 4 or 5 individuals plus a coach. The competition consists of three rounds. Consumer questions are asked to individual members, to the team, and to the quickest responder using a buzzer system. The content and competition questions focus on five key areas of consumer knowledge that teens need to know to function effectively in today’s marketplace. These are: Personal Finance, Health and Safety, Environment, Technology, and Consumer Rights & Responsibilities. In addition to the important information and knowledge that participants gain, they also develop teamwork, self-esteem, verbal communication skills, leadership abilities, and have fun competing. LifeSmarts is open to all teens aged 14 to 19 years old. Each team member must qualify to compete at the state level by passing three preliminary rounds by way of the Internet. For more information visit: or

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State 4-H Dog Show

4-H members must have competed in at least one 4-H Contest in order to be eligible for the State 4-H Dog Show. Also, 4-H’ers must maintain a 4-H Dog Project book and submit it for judging during October (leader to verify member is actively working on project). The State 4-H Dog Show has both team and individual competition and non-dog events.

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County 4-H Horse Show

Henrico’s 4-H Horse Show is typically held in March at Dorey Park. Participation in this show is recommended for all members who plan to compete in the District 4-H Horse Show. It is also the only time County representatives will measure horses.

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District 4-H Horse Show

4-H members must have competed in at least one 4-H contest in order to be eligible for the District 4-H Horse Show. Also, 4-H’ers must keep an up-to-date record book (Horse Management) and have exclusive care of their horse for 30 days prior to District Show. The project book must be submitted for judging during October.

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State 4-H Horse Show

In order to attend the State 4-H Horse Show, the 4-H’er must be in his/her second year of 4-H, have competed in the 4-H District Show, and must have exclusive care of the horse for 90 days prior to the State Show.  The horse show programs at the District and State levels have more information that show participants must read and follow.

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4-H Shooting Education

4-H members learn the safe handling and use of firearms and archery tackle under the leadership of specially trained and certified 4-H adult volunteers. The program is designed to be a family centered, outdoor activity to teach sound decision making, self-discipline, and concentration. The program is based on the National 4-H Shooting Education Program and encompasses instructional disciplines such as: Archery, Hunter Education, Muzzle Loading, Shotgun, Rifle, and Pistol.

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4-H Camp

Each summer, Henrico 4-H’ers have the opportunity to attend 4-H Camp (held at Jamestown 4-H Center). Junior 4-H Camp is for youth between the ages of 9 and 13. Teens, ages 14 to 19 as of January 1, 2013, may serve as
counselors during Junior 4-H Camp.
Specialty camps are also available throughout the year for 4-H members and cloverbuds.
Visit or for more information. Adult
volunteers are needed at 4-H Camp to create a safe environment for the 4-H youth to learn and have fun. Activities at camp include swimming, archery, canoeing, basketball, volleyball,
forestry, shooting education, campfires, crafts, marine science, skits, and
much more! At camp, youth learn to appreciate the outdoors, develop friendships, and pick up skills that enhance self-reliance, cooperation, and interdependence. These skills will remain with them throughout childhood and into adulthood.

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Henrico 4-H Exhibit Expo

There are three 4-H Exhibit Expos in which members may participate. Exhibit entries will be judged with the assistance of those attending the affair sponsored by the Henrico County Recreation & Parks.

Wreath Expo – (additional exhibit guidelines will be distributed)
Create or decorate an original small wreath (6 – 8″ diameter)

Photography Expo – (additional exhibit guidelines will be distributed)
Categories: 4-H Fun,
Human Interest,
and Nature.

Horse Demonstration & Dairy Poster Expo (see poster guidelines listed below)
Theme for Dairy Poster Contest is yet to be announced.

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Virginia 4-H Dairy Poster Contest

June is National Dairy Month. A theme is chosen each spring for the 4-H Poster Contest to promote milk and other dairy foods.  Posters must be on standard poster board, and contain only original, hand-drawn artwork done by the participant.  Computer-generated artwork and text are not acceptable and will result in disqualification of the poster. Every entry will receive a participation prize. More information can be found at

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