Record Books and Achievement Forms

Overview of Record Books

The UC Davis 4-H website has a great description of what a record book is:

A 4-H Record Book is a standard record of your activities in 4-H – your projects, activities, events, skills development and learning experiences. The 4-H Record Book helps you improve your skills in record keeping, goal management and reflection on your achievements and growth in 4-H. You can submit your record book for evaluation at the club, county and state levels.

Record books are optional, but they provide a lot of benefits, including serving as a memory book of your 4-H experience (handy when doing college applications!). The Achievements section of Record Book provide even more opportunities to earn Achievement pins and more.

Our club Record Book evaluations usually take place in mid-August so that members can incorporate feedback into their books before submitting them to county evaluations (for ages 9+) in early September. There is also a State Record Book competition for Senior Members. All of the record book forms, as well as the Record Book Manuals, can be found on the State 4-H website at . Currently, all of the forms are only available as Word documents, but they can be edited in Google Docs. Google Docs versions will hopefully be added next year.

Which record book for each age group?

California 4-H has been updating and changing many of the record books forms and the process, so please bear with us as we try and explain the new books. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, and better yet, attend our Record Book Judging on the second Monday in August so we can help in person.

  1. Intermediate and Senior members with at least a Bronze Star
    If you prefer to continue working on the old Star Ranks, nothing has changed. Use the forms for “Record Book with Star Rank Program.” There is also an updated Record Book manual for Star Ranks available at this link.
    – Please note that the Star Rank program will be ending with the 4-H year that closes on June 30, 2027. If you prefer to work on the new Achievements program, see the “All other members” section.
  2. Primary members
    You should use the Primary Basic Personal Development Report: ,
    not the iSprout version. If you were in multiple projects, you may include extra copies of the page for Section 2.
  3. All other members
    You should follow the guidelines in the Record Book Manual for the New Achievement Program . If you do not want to work on any Achievements (see below), you may submit a Record Book Without Achievements. Simply leave the Achievement forms out of your book and sequentially number the sections you do have.

    See the Walkthrough of Record Books post for more details and helpful sample pages.

Achievements: an optional part of your Record Book

The Achievement forms allow a member to write down activities that demonstrate learning skills, public speaking, civic engagement, community service, leaderships, and things they’ve learned taking a project. It isn’t a complete listing of everything they’ve done in 4-H (the old PDRs were meant to be complete records), so filling them in takes less time and record-keeping.

Working on Achievements is optional. The new statewide Achievement levels are known as Spark Achievements, Emerald Stars, and Impact Stars. All of the Achievement forms (with the exception of the Alameda County Primary Completion form), as well as the Achievements Manual, can be found on the State 4-H website.

Where to start with the new Achievements program depends on your age and your past involvement in 4-H. Please note that your 4-H age is determined by your age on December 31st of the program year. You do not need to complete a Record Book to turn in with your Achievements forms to earn Achievements.

  1. Ages 5-8 (Primary Members)
    You may earn pins using the Alameda County Primary Completion form . (There is a statewide achievement program for Primaries called iSprout, but our club does not currently offer it.)
  2. Ages 9-10 (Junior Members)
    You will start with Spark Achievements. The Spark Achievements program consists of four pins. You may earn any number of pins in a year, but you may not move on to Emerald Stars until you are an Intermediate Member.
  3. Ages 11-13 (Intermediate Members)
    If you have earned at least a Bronze Star under the old (Historic) achievement system, you may either continue working on achievements under the old system or you may begin with Emerald Stars. Otherwise, you will need to earn all four Spark Achievement pins before moving on to Emerald Stars. The Emerald Stars program consists of two levels. You may earn multiple Achievements in the same year, but you may not begin work on Impact Stars until you are a Senior Member.
  4. Ages 14-18 (Senior Members)
    Basically the same as for Intermediate Members, but you only need to earn one Spark Achievement pin in order to move on to Emerald Stars. If you worked on Spark Achievements as a Junior or Intermediate member and have not yet earned all four pins (but have earned at least one), you may also move on to Emerald Stars. Following the completion of Emerald Star II, you may move on to Impact Stars. The Impact Stars program consists of four levels (Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, not to be confused with the “Historic” Star Ranks). You may only earn one Impact Star per program year; the Bronze Impact Star may be earned in the same year as earlier Achievements if time and circumstances allow.

See the Walkthrough of the new Achievements post for more details and sample pages.

Year Stripes and Pins

The minimum requirement for Primary members (ages 5-8) to earn a year stripe and pin for their hat is to let the club leader(s) know that you want one. All other members must complete and submit an APR (Annual Project Report) for one of their projects (minimum 6 hours).

Club Super Member Award

Our club also offers a Super Member award to recognize members who go above and beyond to contribute to our club. There is a separate version of the form for Primary Members.

See this page for the most recent forms.