Taking Care of Business #2: Meeting Openers

I always say I can generally tell within the first minute of meeting someone if I’m really going to like them or not.  I can’t put my finger on it.  I can’t explain it.  I just know how I feel.  (Fortunately, I really like most people…not unlike a Golden Retriever).

The same could be said for most people and meetings.  Within the first few opening actions, it’s apparent to the member whether this is going to be “just another meeting” or if it’s really something to pay attention to and get excited about.

The way in which meetings open will set the tone for the rest of the meeting.  Today we are going to look at some tips and strategies for having the best possible opening.

Call to Order
President:  (Two taps).  “I now call this meeting of the X 4-H Club to order.”

  •  Do yourself a favor and obtain a real gavel.  Kids love it!  (And most adults).
  • The meeting always begins with TWO taps of the gavel.  More about this in a future post.

“We will now stand for the pledges.  The American Pledge will be led by _________ and the 4-H Pledge will be led by _______.

  • Try to obtain real flags.  Shop 4-H sells a range of sizes.
  • Secure 4-H members who are willing to lead pledges BEFORE the meeting (don’t surprise them during the meeting).  It is a great honor to be able to lead a pledge during the meeting, but not all youth are equally excited (or open) to the idea of doing so.  Make sure they have an opportunity to decide if they would wish to do so before calling on them during the meeting.
  • The American flag is displayed to the right of the speaker and the Pledge of Allegiance is always recited first.
  • The 4-H Pledge is recited using specific hand gestures.  One hand to the HEAD, one hand on the HEART, both HANDS outstretched, and hands to the side or behind the back for HEALTH.  Any other gestures are incorrect.  4hpledge

Roll Call

“The Secretary will now call roll.”

  • While certainly not required, some clubs choose to liven up roll call by asking members to respond with an answer to a question, rather than simply saying, “HERE!” when their name is called.  For instance:

“When your name is called please answer with your favorite 4-H project.”

You can find more ideas at:

Kansas 4-H: Creative Roll Call Ideas

Iowa 4-H: Creative Roll Call Ideas

Nebraska 4-H: Roll Call Ideas for 4-H Club Meetings

Join me next time for:  Getting Down to Business #3:  ICEBREAKERS


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