Museum logo

Archive Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Creator Happy Wanderers 4-H Club (Madison, Wis.)
Title Happy Wanderers 4-H Club records.
Dates of Creation 1961-1988.
Physical Description 2 full size archives boxes and 3 flat boxes.
Language of Material English
Scope & Content The Happy Wanderers 4-H Club Records consists of official record books (1961-1988) and 4 scrapbooks (1961-1976), that fully document the activities of a very active youth organization over the course of several generations. The record books were designed by the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation to promote consistent recordkeeping among clubs on a statewide level, and were distributed to local clubs on a yearly basis. The books were judged at county fairs in competitions, and as a result, they are extremely complete and consistent. The books contain preformatted sections dedicated to lists of club officers, members, and adult leaders, project and committee rosters, activity calendars, the attendance record, meeting minutes, financial records, and group activity evaluation forms. Additionally, the books include other items that document group activities, including newsletters, photographs, clippings, award ribbons, and reports written by club members. The scrapbooks serve as an extension for the record books, and include extra correspondence, clippings, and photographs. Additionally, most of the group's recognition certificates, award ribbons, programs, and detailed activity reports are found here. It appears the scrapbooks were created simultaneously in order to save all of the materials that would not fit into the official record books. Of particular interest are the many programs for county and statewide 4-H activities that the Happy Wanderers participated in, including various music festivals, drama festivals, talent shows, dog shows, a foods revue, and speaking contests. There are also numerous items documenting the group's yearly celebration of "June Dairy Month," a statewide event to educate the public on the values of dairy products. There are several club-produced cookbooks and other dairy promotional items that were distributed to the public included within the collection.

The group was known as the Glendale Glowers 4-H Club until November 1965.
Admin/Biographical History The Happy Wanderers 4-H Club was one of many Madison, Wis. area branches of 4-H. The records do not indicate when the group formally disbanded, but there is no longer a 4-H chapter in Madison operating under this name.

4-H is a national youth organization which is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperative Extension System, and through state and county branches on a more local level. 4-H seeks to empower youngsters, by encouraging them to "learn by doing." While 4-H has its roots in agriculture, and is traditionally associated with the topic, it has grown to encompass many other interests and hobbies of young people, such as computers, art, cooking, history, and photography. Showmanship remains a strong part of 4-H despite this change, and members are encouraged to actively pursue their interests, and to demonstrate mastery of such in competitions. This active learning develops leadership, citizenship, and life skills, and overall a confidence in one's abilities to succeed.

The group's motto is "to make the best better," and the 4 H's in the name represent head, heart, hands, and health. The official pledge is:
I pledge
My head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service, and
My health to better living,
For my club, my community, my country, and my world.

There were over 2100 4-H clubs operating in Wisconsin as of 2006, with about 50,000 youth enrolled. Wisconsin 4-H has its roots in turn of the 20th century crop growing contests for youth. University of Wisconsin College of Agriculture Professor Ransom Asa Moore came up with a plan to involve farm youth in growing small plots of improved grain varieties in order to show their parents the potential economic advantages of the improved crop strains. Traditional farmers were slow to accept technological changes on the farm, and it was felt that through a program of youth experimentation, changes would occur at a faster pace. Contests and programs similar to the Wisconsin one popped up, and in 1914, when Congress created the Cooperative Extension Office, there were provisions included to organize boys and girls clubs. This is where the 4-H got its start.



Archival History Presented by Gloria J. Waity, Madison, Wisconsin, October 20, 1986 and February 14, 1987. 1986.024, 1987.003
Subjects 4-H clubs
Youth organizations
Places1 Madison (Wis.)
Institutions1 Dane County (Wis.) 4-H Club.
Institutions2 Glendale Glowers 4-H Club (Madison, Wis.)
Institutions3 Happy Wanderers 4-H Club (Madison, Wis.)
Object Name Records
Other Creators Glendale Glowers 4-H Club (Madison, Wis.)
Call Number ARM 86-06
Catalog ID Number 1986.024.0001