Photo by 4-H staff

Outdoor Science, Education and Recreation

Many 4-Hers participate in various outdoor, recreational and educational opportunities, including natural science investigations, camping, shooting sports, hiking, biking, fishing and an array of other outdoor activities.

Outdoor Education & Recreation - The Oregon 4-H Outdoor Education & Recreation Program is education ‘in,’ ‘about,’ and ‘for’ the out-of-doors. Project areas like shooting sports, sport fishing, ATV, bicycling, field and water sports are designed to connect and in some ways reconnect youth and adults to the practices, customs, and shared beliefs of the outdoors that are part of our common culture.

Natural Science - 4-H Natural Science Projects help youth become better acquainted with the outdoors by providing opportunities to see and learn about the physical and biological environment.  Youth can explore bugs, critters, plants and rocks; that’s just the beginning.  The Junior Master Naturalist program is a good place to start, providing a sample of many activities across the project areas.

Challenge and Adventure - Youth actively seek sensation through experiences that engage their minds, bodies, and spirits in multiple ways. They willingly take physical, intellectual, psychological, and social risks to experience these strong and powerful feelings. The personal and team building activities associated with Challenge and Adventure utilize perceived risk to channel sensation seeking in meaningful and productive ways that take into account the biological, physical, intellectual, and social needs of youth in the context of families, peers, schools, and communities.

Click the link below to jump to your section of interest.

Cascade Wilds overnight experience

Mail-In Tournament

The Oregon 4-H Shooting Sports Mail-In Tournament offers youth the opportunity to compete in an environment where they can safely interact with peers; learn to follow rules and rise to expectations; support and encourage other club members; engage in something that sparks their interest; develop and value morals and ethics; set and achieve goals; build life skills; and involve the entire family. This is done through shooting sports disciplines such as archery, hunting skills, muzzle loading, pistol, rifle, and shotgun. Both marksmanship and sportsmanship are recognized.

The Mail-In Tournament is also the qualifying mechanism for the Oregon 4-H Shooting Sports State Contest held each year in June, which in turn qualifies youth for the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships held the following year.

Welcome to the 2018-19 Mail-In Tournament - Letter

NOTE: You will need to know the Track in which the youth is shooting - Entry Level or National Championship. This is determined by equipment type, NOT by how long a youth has been shooting. Please contact your leader if you are uncertain. Details about the different options can be found in the most recent State Contest Guide, accessible here.

Link to Online Registration for Mail-In Tournament (youth and leaders must register)
         PLEASE NOTE: All registrations made after February 1 will be assessed a $5 late fee.

Guide to Registering for the State Shooting Sports Mail-In Tournament 

Safety and Sportsmanship Score Sheet (all disciplines) (460-07) revised 12-12

Submitting Tournament Scores - please remember to keep names in the same order each month to facilitate data transfer. Add new members to the bottom of the scoresheet. And don't forget to include your safety and sportsmanship points (up to 100) each month. Please send your scores to: Todd Williver (

Click to download Discipline-Specific Mail-In Tournament Information -

  • Archery Updated October 2018,
  • Last years info... will be updated soon - Muzzle LoadingPistolRifleShotgun
  • The Hunting Skills Discipline at State Contest will be open to any 4-H member who qualifies in ANY 2018 Mail-In Tournament discipline. No other pre-qualification will be required (i.e. there is no specific Hunting Skills Mail-In Tournament). Hunting Skills is a unique competition that combines Map and Compass, Archery, Shotgun, Rifle, and a knowledge of Hunting Skills. Participants will be required to provide their own equipment at State Contest. More information about this event will be provided as soon as it is available. Please contact Todd Williver with questions.

Oregon 4-H Shooting Sports Newsletter


Oregon 4-H Shooting Sports

The focus of all 4-H programs is the development of youth as individuals and as responsible and productive citizens. In the Shooting Sports Program, youth learn marksmanship, the safe and responsible use of firearms, the principles of hunting and archery, and much more. The activities of the program and the support of caring adult leaders provide young people with opportunities to develop life skills, self-worth, and environmental stewardship.

4-H Shooting Sports Project Resources

OSU Extension Catalog

4-H Shooting Sports Advancement Guide

The 4-H Shooting Sports Advancement Guide is designed to accommodate youth participating in one or more of the shooting sports disciplines supported by the state 4-H program. The guide consists of a series of steps that allows 4-H members to set goals and learn at their own speed.

OSU Extension Catalog

4-H Archery Member Manual

Member manual for 4-H archery project.

OSU Extension Catalog

4-H Sporting Dog Project Member Guide

This guide helps youth learn the sport of hunting with dogs. It provides "learn by doing" activities that teach basic sporting dog training methods, including basic obedience, training for the field, and training in the field. It also includes an overview of sporting dog training equipment.

4-H Bicycle Project

The 4-H Bicycle Project is a great way to get involved in a fun and active way! You can map your own route to the world of cycling and gain the confidence to navigate whatever comes your way. Bicycling is a path to independence, from the first ride and tire patch, to organizing your own bicycle ride event! 

4-H Bicycle curriculum can be found in Shop 4-H.

Member Materials

     - Bicycle Adventures Level 1: Bicycling for Fun (08334)
     - Bicycle Adventures Level 2: Wheels in Motion (08335)
     - Don't Get Stuck: Bicycle Fix It DVD (08399)

    For Leaders, in Addition to Member Materials

     - Bicycle Adventures Helper Guide (08336)

    Aquatic Ecology and Angler Education

    The focus of all 4-H programs is the development of youth as individuals and as responsible and productive citizens. Youth develop skills, participate in leadership activities, in sustained and caring adult partnerships. Youth engaged in angler and aquatic education learn fisheries resource stewardship, fishing ethics, casting techniques, tackle crafting, rod building, and much more. They become part of an American folkway.

    4-H Contact: Dave White

    Member Materials

    Many of the publications listed below are available electronically here as downloadable files. (If you are unable to access these files via computer, please contact your county 4-H office for a hard copy.) Some items are only available through your county office and some are available for check out from the State 4-H Office.

    First Year

    Second Year and Beyond Includes All Materials Above, in Addition to:

    For Volunteers, in Addition to Member Materials

    OSU Extension Catalog

    Oregon 4-H Aquatic Ecology and Sportfishing Advancement Program

    The Aquatic Ecology and Sportfishing Advancement Program guide consists of a series of steps that allows 4-H members to set personal goals and learn at their own speed.

    By Janet Nagele, Virginia Bourdeau

    OSU Extension Catalog

    4-H Rosa Raindrop Water Cycle Board Game

    After playing this board game, learners will be able to explain the water cycle, list some of the places on Earth that water is stored, and understand that the Earth's water supply is finite.The game board is designed to print on 11 x 17 inch paper. Print a smaller version on 8.5 x 11 inch paper...

    By Virginia Bourdeau


    This 4-H Project area has an array of ways to engage youth in learning about insects.  There are two complete curricula: (1) Teaming with Insects and (2) Project Butterfly WINGS.  You can learn more about these curricula below. 

    Below these curricula at the heading, Entomology Project Materials for Youth and Adults,  the traditional 4-H entomology project youth manual has been replaced by on-line interactive tutorials, interactive quizzes, videos and reference materials that provide the basic knowledge of insects youth need to succeed in this project.  There are four Units covering Insect Anatomy, Insect Physiology: Respiration, Circulation, Digestion, Excretion, Molting and Metamorphosis, Insect Identification, and Collecting, Preserving & Displaying Insects

    Teaming with Insects

    Welcome to the fascinating world of insects. Insects are an important part of our ecosystem and a few, such as honey bees and silkworms, provide direct economic benefits. The Teaming with Insects series offers many educational experiences, from collecting and identifying insects to learning about integrated pest management and forensic entomology.

    Project Butterfly WINGS

    Engage youth in science while learning about butterflies and their role in the environment, and our connection with them. Youth will contribute to authentic, hands-on collaborative research with scientists and participate in youth-lead inquiry.

    Member Materials
    First Year, see also "Entomology Project Materials for Youth and Adults" below

    Second Year plus, see also "Entomology Project Materials for Youth and Adults" below

    For Volunteers, in Addition to Member Materials

    Entomology Project Materials for Youth and Adults

    An Introduction to the Oregon 4-H Entomology Project

    The Oregon 4-H Entomology Project Units and their associated resources are provided below.  References used in all four units are:

    1. 4-H Entomology Project Leader Guide 4-H3221L
    2. Getting to Know the Insects

    Unit 1 Insect Anatomy

    1. Insect Anatomy interactive tutorial
    2. External and Internal Morphology 
    3. Insect Anatomy interactive quiz

    Unit 2 Insect Physiology: Respiration, Circulation, Digestion, Excretion, Molting and Metamorphosis

    1. Insect Physiology, Life cycles, & Metamorphosis interactive quiz

    Unit 3 Insect Identification

    1. Insect Identification interactive tutorial
    2. Oregon 4-H Key to the Orders of Insects printed material
    3. Insect Orders, Meanings and Common Names printed material
    4. Insect Identification interactive quiz
    5. Insect Identification Game

    Unit 4 Collecting, Preserving & Displaying Insects

    1. Collecting Insects tutorial
    2. Collecting Insects
    3. Essential Materials Needed for Storing and Displaying Insects
    4. Collecting Equipment for Insects
                a. 4-H How to make an Insect Net
                b. 4-H How to make a Killing Jar
                c. 4-H How to make a Relaxing Jar
                d. 4-H How to make Pinning Blocks
                e. Collecting Insects:  Tools and Supplies
    5. Collecting Methods Videos
                a. Sweep Net Technique for Collecting Specimen
                b. Beat Sheet Technique for Collecting Specimen
                c. Traps and Lights for Collecting Specimen
    6. Preserving Insects - Handouts
                a. 4-H How to Pin Adult Insects
                b. 4-H How to Point Adult Insects
                c. 4-H How to Spread Winged Insect
                d. 4-H How to Preserve Immature and soft bodied insects
                e. Pinning and Labeling Insects
    7. Preserving Insects - Videos
                a. Pinning Medium and Large Insects video
                b. Purdue 4-H video  How to pin a Ground Beetle
                c. Pinning Small Insects (using points) video
                d. Pinning Moths and Butterflies
                e. Purdue 4-H video  How to pin a Silkworm Moth
                f. Purdue 4-H video  How to pin a Hornworm Moth
                g. Purdue 4-H video  How to pin a Damselfly
    8. Labeling and Displaying Insects
                a. 4-H How to Make a display box
                b. 4-H How to Label Insects
                c. 4-H How to Arrange Insects in a Display Box
                d. Insect Display Examples of Fair Exhibit Classes for Juniors, Intermediates and Senior
                e. Insect Orders, Meanings and Common Names
                f. Cut-out Insect Order Labels
                g. Cut-out Master for Insect Specimen Labels
                h. Cut-out Master for Insect Points
    9. Information on New Insects Form for Intermediate and Senior Exhibits
                a. Information on New Insects in Collection for Current Project Year

    Environmental Stewardship

    4-H Natural Science materials that youth may use as part of any project are the 4-H Natural Science Project Record (4-H 303LR, online only). These data sheets give young natural scientists a place to record their observations about wildlife, soils, forests, habitats, marine/tidal areas, rangelands, and water. There also are sheets for photo monitoring and issue investigation.

    The Backyards & Beyond Neighborhood Nature Clubs Community Organizational Guide and Tool Kit is intended for Club Leaders or others who would like to organize and start a club in their neighborhood. It includes A Club Leader Welcome, Five Steps to Start a Neighborhood Nature Club, Go Outside Tips, Club Explorers’ Commitment Pledge, Nature Event Calendar and Club Leader Forms.

    The Backyards & Beyond Club Leader Curriculum is designed as a network of neighborhood “nature trails” with outdoor activities that are led by the Neighborhood Nature Club Leader. It includes four units with eight trails that progressively advance the connections youth make with the outdoors.

    Member Materials
    Backyards & Beyond Explorer's Journal (4HAZBB2)

    For Volunteers, In Addition to Member Materials

    Challenge and Adventure

    The core of Challenge and Adventure is the Experiential Learning Model. We believe that by allowing youth to work through this model, they begin to build the life skills that are vital to maturing into productive members of society.

    The Oregon State 4-H Youth Development Program believes that any young person can benefit from Challenge and Adventure Programming. These programs do not have to be “stand alone programs”, but can be integrated into any county, regional or state based program. Youth and volunteers from a 4-H Beef Club can experience growth through participating in a Day Hike or Snowshoe outing.

    The material in the guidelines can be used by any 4-H Volunteer to expand their clubs experience and get their members into the outdoors.

    Challenge and Adventure Guidelines 2016

    The forms and Activity guides contained in the document above can be downloaded individually here.


    4-H Contact: Woody Davis
    4-H Contact: Dave White
    Low Ropes - Columbia County Challenge and Adventure program
    High Ropes - High Desert Challenge Course (HDCC) - located in Redmond, OR
    The Oregon 4-H Center

    Outdoor School

    4-H Outdoor School Science Resources for Teaching Soil, Water, Plants, & Animals

    Resources for Planning your Outdoor School on our Website

    1) Plants:  Guiding Theme: The Carbon Cycle

    Unit 1) Plants Introduction Document

                Also needed: Forest web of life visual

                Also needed: Where’s the Carbon in Me? - (Print worksheet and answer sheet)
                                      Forest web of life visual 

                Also needed: Forests in Oregon, Seven Forest Types. (Print to teach, and then collect to reuse.)
                                      Shrubs to Know in Pacific NW Forests

                Also needed: Oregon Tree and Shrub Quiz (Copy Pages for Westside and Eastside shrubs.)
                                      4-H Forestry Tree ID Cards

    2) Animals:  Guiding Theme: A Web of Life Cycles

    Unit 2) Animals Introduction Document

               Also needed: Forest web of life visual

                Also needed: Forest web of life visual

                Also needed: 4-H Wildlife Observation Data Sheet
                                      Forest web of life visual

    3) Soil: Guiding Themes: The Rock Cycle and the Nitrogen Cycle

    Unit 3) Soils Introduction Document

    • Required for the Soils Unit in Mini-Modules 3a, 3b and 3c- Download the Oregon 4-H Earth Science Project Leader Guide (Revised April, 2017).
    • Mini-module 3a: Oregon 4-H Earth Science Project Leader Guide Activity 8B Soil: A Stop Along the Rock Cycle, pages 95-98.  Read the Background information on pages 87-89.
    • Tip: Do the Activity 8B first to allow time for the soil to settle in the jar in Part 4 of the lesson.
    • Mini-module 3b: Oregon 4-H Earth Science Project Leader Guide Activity 1A Mapping Oregon Parts 1 and 2, pages 8-13.  Read the Background information on pages 5-8.        
    • Mini-module 3c: Oregon 4-H Earth Science Project Leader Guide Activity 3A Rock Cycle pages 29-30
    • Mini-module 3d: Organic Matter in Soils- Rotten Log Decomposition Investigation
    • Forest web of life visual
    • The Nitrogen Cycle

    4) Water:  Guiding Theme: The Water Cycle

    Unit 4) Water Introduction Document

    • Download the publication Exploring Water Habitats: Wetland, Streams, Oceans which contains the lessons to be used in all the modules below. The publication is provided for use at no charge. 
    • Note that there are lessons recommended for both inland sites and coastal sites.  Use the lessons that best fit with the characteristics of your site.
    • Water lessons for inland Outdoor School sites
      • Mini-module Inland 4a: Exploring Water Habitats: Wetland, Streams, Oceans Chapter 1 Sun Power, pages 3-7.
      • Mini-module Inland 4b: Exploring Water Habitats: Wetland, Streams, Oceans Chapter 2 Rosa Raindrop, pages 8-11, and Water Cycle Activity card copy pages 99-105.
      • Mini-module Inland 4c: Exploring Water Habitats: Wetland, Streams, Oceans Chapter 7 What’s in a Stream- pages 33-37, and Stream Web of Life card copy pages 106-120.
      • Mini-module Inland 4d: Exploring Water Habitats: Wetland, Streams, Oceans Chapter 8 Water Quality Tests, and Aquatic Invertebrates card copy pages 121-125.
    • Water lessons for coastal Outdoor School sites
      • Mini-module Coastal 4a: Exploring Water Habitats: Wetland, Streams, Oceans Chapter 1 Sun Power
      • Mini-module Coastal 4b: Exploring Water Habitats: Wetland, Streams, Oceans Chapter 2 Rosa Raindrop, pages 8-11, and Water Cycle Activity card copy pages 99-105.
      • Mini-module Coastal 4c: Exploring Water Habitats: Wetland, Streams, Oceans Chapter 11 Ocean Tides Discovery Lessons, pages 55-64.
      • Mini-module Coastal 4d: Exploring Water Habitats: Wetland, Streams, Oceans Chapter 12 Waves and Tsunamis, pages 65- 76.


    The Oregon 4-H Forestry Member Guide is designed to introduce learners to Oregon’s unique forest resources and their management. The manual provides basic information on tree parts, growth requirements and characteristics, tree identification, succession, dendrology, and the locations and species composition of Oregon’s forests. Then, learners put their knowledge to use by focusing on forest management. They gain skills in map reading, compass use, measuring trees, and taking an inventory. They also explore forestry-related career options. The Oregon 4-H Forestry Leader Guide provides specific ideas for extending the learning based on learners’ specials needs and interests and for creating educational displays for fair exhibits.

    Member Materials

    For Volunteers, in Addition to Member Materials


    Geology is the science of earth materials and their features. It includes the study of rocks, minerals, and the fossils of animals and plants. The 4-H Geology Member Guide supports the traditional 4-H Geology project including a four-level advancement program for self-directed study and information about preparing rock and mineral collections and displays.

    The Oregon 4-H Earth Science Leader Guide provides activities for both junior (grades 4–6) and intermediate (grades 7–9) youth. The leader guide is designed for use in traditional 4-H clubs and camps and also for school enrichment delivery. Activities are keyed to 4-H Life Skills and Oregon Department of Education Benchmarks for grades 5 and 8.

    Chapters are designed to be presented sequentially beginning with the “birth” of the eastern Blue Mountains as Mesozoic Island Arc Volcanoes and traveling over geologic time to recent events affecting today’s Oregonians. Each chapter develops key concepts in earth science with lessons that encourage inquiry. Suggested field trip locations are provided to enrich the learning experience.

    Member Materials

    For Leaders, in Addition to Member Materials

    Enrichment Resources for Members and Leaders

    The video and web site links below are provided to be used with the activities in the Oregon 4-H Earth Science Leader Guide (4-H 340L revised 2017).  They will assist adults to prepare to lead activities and can be used by youth to enrich the activities.

     Chapter 1. Oregon’s Geography—The Surface of Things

    • 1A – Mapping Oregon
    • 1B – Weathering Away
      • From the on-line resources at Portland State University’s (PSU) Center for Geographic Information, purchase copies of the Student Atlas of Oregon (available in English and Spanish)
      • Download and print maps from the Student Atlas of Oregon, click on the Table of Contents link.
          • General reference map, page 1
          • Ecoregions map, page 14
          • Topographic map, page 15
          • Elevation Cross-section map, page 16
          • Average Annual Precipitation, page 21
          • Climographs, page 22
          • Vegetation Zones, page 23
          • Rivers and lakes map, page 30
          • Pacific Northwest Watersheds map, page 31

        Chapter 2. The Blue Mountains—Islands and Old Sea Floors

        • 2A- Convection Currents

        Chapter 3. The Klamath Mountains

        Chapter 4. Creations of the Cretaceous

        Chapter 5. The Exciting Eocene

        Chapter 6. Where Have all the Oreodonts Gone?  

        Chapter 7. Growing Mountains and Pouring Lava

        Chapter 8. Glacial Ice and Giant Floods

        Chapter 9. People on the Landscape