4-H Record Books
Two ways to do the 4-H Record Book
In California, we have two ways to complete a 4-H Record Book - through our Online Record Book (ORB) or with a paper Record Book. Both versions are aligned with the same forms and follow the same instructions for completion. You can use either version as your Record Book.
Do I have to do a Record Book?
We encourage all our 4-H youth to do a Record Book to record their project information and reflections, but 4-H Record Books are not required for membership or participation in 4-H activities such as club events, 4-H camps, or conferences.
A 4-H Record Book may be required to receive participation awards (such as star ranking, medals, or pins based on 4-H Record Book achievements).
Record Book Competitions
Record books can be submitted for review and evaluation at the Club, County, and State level. Learn more about Record Book Competitions.
The Online Record Book (ORB)
The 4-H Online Record Book (ORB) provides you with an interactive way to maintain records online and stay connected to the 4-H community. The ORB is aligned with the paper versions of the Record Book.
Learn how to use ORB
The ORB Support Site helps you learn how to fill out the record book, featuring:
- Video trainings
- Step-by-step instructions
The Record Book Manual (PDF) includes more detailed explanation of the different sections of the Record Book.
Log in to ORB
Use your 4hOnline login to log in to ORB. You can take your SPARK surveys in ORB too!
Benefits for 4-H Youth Members
- Connect with other club members and leaders online.
- Interactive way to log 4-H activities and events.
- No more worries about lost pages or misplaced work.
- Practice effective 21st Century computer entry skills.
- Minimize errors and maximize points for Star Rankings calculations.
Benefits for 4-H Volunteer Leaders
- An accessible platform for data collection that is interactive and standardized.
- Provides opportunities for you to mentor youth through a protected social networking site.
- Built-in reporting systems to improve staff and volunteer efficiencies.
About 4-H Record Books
The 4-H program has a long history of record keeping. The focus reflects the importance of this life skill in our daily lives. Completing a 4-H Record Book is a process where you record project and club work using a standard format.
Why have 4-H Record Books?
Completing the Personal Development Report in the Record Book provides you an incentive for participation, learning, and achievement.
Benefits of completing a 4-H Record Book:
- Practice Records Management - Track your activities, events, profits and losses, skill development and learning experiences. In this competency skill you identify, create, classify, archive and preserve records.
- Reflect on your yearly work - Document your skill development and learning experiences in a written report.
- Measure your achievements and growth throughout your years in 4-H.
- Set goals, pursue strategies to meet those goals, and record how you may have had to shift gears in the face of challenges and obstacles.
Paper Record Books
Paper Record Books use the forms and manual below. The paper and online record books are aligned; both the online and paper versions use the same instructions.
The 2019-20 Record Book Manual and Record Book Forms
The 2019-20 edition has minor changes compared to the 2018-19 edition.
All counties in California must be in alignment with the version outlined in the manual; no other supplemental forms or requirements may be used.
The Record Book Manual and Record Book Forms are separate documents.
Record Book Manual
Record Book Manual (PDF) - This manual was designed to be more kid-friendly than previous versions. It outlines all the parts of the Record Book and includes instructions for completing each form.
For more in-depth information, see the
Record Book Manual for Adult Volunteers
Record Book Forms
Contains all forms for 4-H members using a paper Record Book. This version allows you to complete the form directly into the document and expand the rows as needed. The ORB entry screens align with the paper versions.
Each county must come into alignment with this version and eliminate all supplemental forms and/or other requirements.
Personal Development Report - For Junior, Intermediate, and Senior members.
Annual Project Report - For Junior, Intermediate, and Senior members.
Leadership Development Report - For Intermediate and Senior members only.
- For Senior Members only.
For Primary Members
We now have forms for Primary Members to start learning the skill of Record Management.
Note: Primary Members are not required to complete reports forms to receive their annual stripe and pin.
Primary Member Report Form (iSprout) (DOC) - for iSprout Primary Project Members
Primary Member - Personal Development Report-basic (DOC) - for all other Primary Members