a. Disciplinary Guidelines for Youth 

b. Event and Activity Conduct Management Guidelines

Disciplinary Guidelines for Youth

Extension salaried and volunteer staff will endeavor to provide safe and healthy programs for youth.  In cases of illness or injury, youth will be treated on site by an appropriate health care provider or taken to an appropriate health care provider if necessary when a parent or guardian is not available for consultation. 

Many behavior problems can be minimized by clearly communicating both how you expect youth to behave and age-appropriate consequences for misbehavior.  Your expectations should be provided prior to the event or activity and should be communicated to the parents as well as the youth participant.  Behavior expectations are best provided in writing and then followed up with verbal reminders.

The following has been adopted as a standard regarding discipline for 4-H youth: 

  • Youth will not be subjected to physical harm, fear, or humiliation.
  • Youth will not be roughly handled, pinched, spanked, punched, shaken, bitten, or subjected to any physical punishment.
  • If separation from an activity is used as a discipline measure, it will be brief and appropriate to the youth’s age and circumstances.  The youth will be in a safe, lighted, well ventilated place within hearing distance of an adult.
  • Verbal abuse or derogatory remarks about the youth, the youth’s family, race, color, religion, disability, or national origin will not be permitted.
  • Meals may not be denied to a youth as a disciplinary measure.
  • Authority to punish will not be delegated to other youth, nor will one youth be allowed to punish another.
  • At no time should volunteers under 19 years of age discipline youth unless the youth’s behavior threatens the safety of the offender or another individual.  Then, appropriate action to remedy the situation may be used.
  • Parents or guardians of any youth who does not respond to discipline by agents, adult leaders, staff or other adults in charge will be contacted to travel to the location and transport the youth home.
  • Agents/volunteers must notify the supervisor of any youth who is to be sent home from an activity.  The individual must be checked out of the activity through the appropriate procedures.

Kentucky 4-H Youth Development

Event and Activity Conduct Management Guidelines


The purpose of the Event and Activity Conduct Management Guidelines is to provide consistent guidelines for 4-H and at Extension events and activities.

Code of Conduct

  • Everyone is expected to attend all sessions, workshops, field trips, and meetings of the event, and to be in appropriate dress. Chaperones and/or volunteers are responsible for ensuring that members participate in all aspects of the program activities.
  • The possession and use of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, and/or drugs (except medications prescribed to the participant) is prohibited. Delegation chaperones and/or volunteers are asked to limit use of tobacco products to designated areas.
  • Setting off fire alarms or tampering with fire extinguishing or other emergency equipment is prohibited.
  • Gambling and betting by adults and youth representing CES is prohibited.
  • Obscene, discriminatory, and/or inappropriate language, roughhousing, and insubordination isprohibited at all times.
  • Youth members should demonstrate respect toward others (youth and adults) and all facilities. Harassment of others or destruction of property is not tolerated.
  • Display of overly affectionate or inappropriate attention between participants is prohibited.
  • Technological equipment (including but not limited to cell phones, laptops or mp3 players) should not in interfere with the program and may not be allowed in certain situations.
  • Additional Code of Conduct guidelines specific to each county, event or program may apply and are included.


  • All participants are to be in their assigned area at curfew and comply with quiet hours, lights out, and other rules of the event.
  • No member or volunteer may leave the grounds unless permission is granted from the conference director or adult in charge. An adult must accompany 4-H members. Adults must notify another adult in the delegation before leaving the premises.
  • At overnight events, only conference participants may be in sleeping areas. Lounges or common areas may be used only for working committees and social activities.
  • Room service such as phone calls, food, laundry, or others will not be permitted without chaperone permission.

Parents and 4-H’ers (youth in attendance) understand and accept responsibility for the above guidelines. Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in the        4-H members being sent home from the activity or event at his/her own expense and/or made ineligible to participate in future 4-H events and activities.


Youth or adults in violation of these rules should have the opportunity to explain actions to the professional Extension staff in charge. Behaviors that are disruptive to the event will be documented and a letter describing such will be sent to the district office, Extension agent and parents/guardians of those involved. Examples of offenses include, but are not limited to:

Minor Offenses

  • Habitually late to program activities.
  • Not in the room at designated time.
  • Not demonstrating good manners.
  • Using language that is offensive to others.
  • Not respecting the rights and privacy of others in attendance at the program or event.
  • Untruthfulness to chaperones, leaders, event organizers and others in attendance.

Intermediate Offenses

  • Inappropriate visitation.
  • Leaving a 4-H activity without prior approval from the staff in charge.
  • Intentional damage to facilities or property.
  • Threatening or bullying behavior toward another.

Major Offenses

  • The use of tobacco products of any sort.
  • Using alcohol or drugs.
  • Carrying an unauthorized weapon or firearm.
  • Threatening another with bodily harm.
  • Cheating.
  • Theft of any kind.
  • Sexual misconduct.


For every offense, regardless of severity, the 4-H member (or program participant) will receive a verbal reprimand. Letters of apology shall be written by the violator to the appropriate people.

Major Offenses

  • Automatic removal from event/activity and/or sending a participant home at the parents’/guardians’ expense.
  • One or two major offenses during any program year is an automatic suspension of membership in all Kentucky Extension programs for the remainder of the program year, along with the possibility of facing criminal charges, depending on the offense. In addition, the program participant or volunteer may be asked to resign from all leadership roles held and/or to give up monetary awards or scholarships from the Kentucky Extension program.

Intermediate Offenses

  • One or two violations are grounds for removal from event/activity and/or sending a participant home at the parents’/guardians’ expense.
  • Three violations during any program year are grounds for the participant or volunteer to be excluded from participating in any county, district or state activities for the remainder of the program year. In addition, the participant or volunteer may be asked to resign from all leadership roles and/or to give up monetary awards or scholarships from the Kentucky Extension Program.

Minor Offenses

  • Consistent discipline problems requiring more than two documented reprimands are grounds for sending the participant or volunteer home at the expense of the individual or their parents or guardians.
  • Habitual discipline problems requiring more than four reprimands during the program year is grounds for the participant or volunteer to be disallowed from participating in any county, district or state activities for the remainder of the program year. In addition, the participant or volunteer may be asked to resign from all leadership roles held and/or to give up monetary awards or scholarships from the Kentucky Extension Program.


Event managers responsible for Extension events and activities are encouraged to communicate to program participants and adult chaperones prior to an event a standard of acceptable behavior, via the Code of Conduct Form. Standards of behavior and consequences of behavior should be reviewed with participants as part of the initial orientation.

In the event of a breach of the Code of Conduct, the event manager shall:


  1. Obtain all relevant facts.
  2. Brief the on-site adult responsible for the youth delegate (Extension staff or volunteer).
  3. If not on-site, but available via phone, brief the county Extension staff member and, if necessary, the District Director.
  4. Review consequences of misbehavior. The following steps should be taken when sending a 4-H member home:
    1. Extension staff member contacts parents.
    2. Parents advised that child is being sent home by safest, most direct means, and that parents are responsible for the cost.
    3. Event managers decides if parents should be given the option of picking up the child.
    4. County Extension staff member collections money from parent to pay transportation charges (if applicable).
    5. Event manager sends follow up correspondence to appropriate county Extension staff member, district director and child/parent for documentation.
  5. For each reprimand given for an intermediate and/or major incident, appropriate documentation should be collected and a copy submitted to the 4-H agent. The originals should be retained by the event coordinator. 



Individuals who are in disagreement with the decision of the leader (s) in charge of an event or activity may request a review board. The person coordinating the event may also convene a review board for the purposed of determining what has occurred and what disciplinary action should be taken. A review board should consist of two Extension staff members (including the event coordinator), two adult volunteers and three program participants (including the highest ranking member of the leadership team, if applicable). The Extension professional coordinating the event shall serve as the chairperson of the review board. Disciplinary action should only be discussed with those involved, their parents/guardians and their Extension leaders.