Esprit de Corps stands for "Group Spirit".  Esprit de Corps is a 4-H Club and part of the youth development education program of Washington State University Extension, which is conducted jointly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and  Snohomish County Government. Esprit de Corps is part of the largest youth development organization in the nation with more than 5 million members and 600,000 leaders. Around the world, 4-H type clubs now exist in at least 82 countries. 


The motto of 4-H is about continuous learning and improvement.  Kids achieve by accomplishment coupled with positive reinforcement in an environment of support.  At Esprit de Corps, we strive to provide that environment of improvement, no matter the starting place for each and every child.


“Learn by doing” is a commonly used expression in 4-H. Indeed, the 4-H program has a reputation for using a learn-by-doing approach for teaching youth. Although learning by doing has been the core of how 4-H teaches kids since its beginning in the early 1900’s, 4-H has more recently adopted an official model to depict this process. An understanding of this process called “experiential learning” will help new and experienced leaders provide 4-H members with rewarding and fun experiences. As you begin to use this process, it may take more time to prepare than a lecture or a demonstration for a club meeting. Yet, you will soon find the time spent is well worth the effort.  Check out more from Rutgers.


4-H has a pledge that represents what each member and leader stands for. Below is a break down put together by Michigan State University Extension of the pledge and how it relates to youth. 

The first “H” in 4-H stands for Head; “Head to clearer thinking.” One of the key concepts in 4-H is education; allowing youth the opportunity to learn new things through projects and programs. 4-H allows youth to be actively engaged in their own learning. In addition, 4-H makes youth participants, rather than recipients, in the learning process. One of the main goals in 4-H is to have youth develop life skills that help them succeed. Some of these life skills include leadership, responsibility, dedication, communication and self-confidence.   

The second “H” in 4-H stands for Heart; “Heart to greater loyalty.” In 4-H, youth are taught to be reliable and loyal in their heart and understand what is means to take responsibility for their projects and to follow through. 4-H also gives youth positive relationships with adults and peers through leaders and teens. Caring for others and their projects is also a trait that relates to the “H” for Heart.

The next “H” in 4-H stands for Hands; “Hands for larger service.” 4-H’ers are busy with their hands all year long learning new things and caring for their projects with hands-on experiences. Another way 4-H’ers use their hands is by giving back to the community.  Part of 4-H is teaching youth the importance of serving the community, country and world. 

The last “H” in 4-H stands for Health; “Health to better living.” Knowing how to cook and grow food, and appreciating art allows 4-H’ers to gain an understanding of how the world works and how to live healthy.  Projects such as photography, canning, arts and crafts, sewing, collections, and cooking help youth realize what it takes to have a healthy lifestyle and how to spend their leisure time. 4-H also strives to make sure youth are physically and emotionally safe.

By putting all the “H”s together, we get the 4-H pledge:

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.

Ruth Avila 

Ashley Hernandez-Hall