University of Illinois Extension has a variety of hands-on 4-H workshops and special interest clubs open to youth and teens. Check out the current offerings and sign up to gain new skills in a variety of topics, from cooking to photography, drawing to archery and more. 

Age requirements and fees vary depending on the workshop or club. You can find out more and register here or call the Illinois Extension office at 309-756-9978.

Upcoming Workshops open to all youth:

Photography 101: Sat, March 12, 9:30-11 a.m. Rock Island County Extension, Milan

Join this workshop to learn more about the art of photography, lighting, and composition. You’ll also discover ways to enhance the photos you take using your cellphone camera. If you want to become more involved in photography, instructor Mike Bisom will help you get started! FREE. For youth ages 8 to 18. Register here.

Put it Up: Fruit Leather & Freezer Jam Food Preservation Class, Wednesday, March 16, 6 -7:30 p.m., Rock Island County Extension,  Milan

IL Extension nutrition and wellness educator, Kristin Bogdonas will lead this workshop where you will learn how to make strawberry-banana freezer jam and fruit leather. See the process, taste the results, and get a jar of jam to take home. $10 supply fee. For youth ages 9 to 13. Register here.

Portrait Drawing Workshop, Saturday, April 2, 10-11:30 a.m., Rock Island County Extension, Milan

Have you ever wanted to draw pictures of your friends and family? You will learn techniques that artists use to make realistic looking pencil and charcoal portraits: shape, line, proportion and shading. We will also work on colorful Picasso-esque portraits. You also get to take home your own starter drawing kit! $10 supply fee. For youth 8 to 12. Register here.

April’s “I MADE THAT!”  DIY Cooking Kits features Quick Breads, register by March 28

University of Illinois Extension & 4-H are offering a fun opportunity to build confidence and healthy habits with the April “I Made That!” cooking kit. Learn how to make a variety of quick breads, including drop biscuits, loaf bread, cornbread, and muffins. Discover proper mixing techniques, leavening agents, substitutions, and how to evaluate bread. After spending time in the kitchen, youth can head outdoors to enjoy all that spring has to offer as they explore and participate in a scavenger hunt to celebrate Move More Month. Register now for this April program. Kits are $5 and include a back-yard scavenger hunt, a baking guide, quick bread recipes, evaluation tools for your cornbread and muffins, baking powder, poppy seeds, and your choice of a spatula or measuring spoons. They will ready for pick up beginning April 4 at one of our Extension offices in Milan, Viola, or Galva. Register by March 28 here.

Upcoming Special Interest Clubs, open to all youth. (Non 4-H members must enroll in 4-H, which is $20 per year.)

Archery Club, Fridays, 6:30 p.m., Devil’s Glen Park, Bettendorf

Calling all archery enthusiasts. Become a master archer as you get to practice target shooting each week! Learn safety and responsible handling and use. Equipment is provided by Youth Shooting Sports Association, and grants from the 4-H Foundation, NRA, & USA Archery. There is a $20 fee per 6 week session.(New 4-H members also pay the 4-H  enrollment fee of $20).  Open to youth ages 8 to 18.  Register here.

Air pistol/Air rifle Club, Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m., Milan Rifle Club, Milan

Boost your marksmanship skills as you get to practice each week. You’ll also learn firearm safety and responsible handling and use.  Equipment and ammunition provided by grants from 4-H, NRA, United Way, Midway USA, and many QCA Outdoor Organizations. There is a $20 fee per 6 week session (New 4-H members also pay the annual 4-H $20 program fee.)  Open to youth ages 8 to 18. Register here.

Lego Robotics 4-H Club, Thurs, March 17, 6 p.m., Rock Island County 4-H, Milan

Robots are everywhere in everyday life. Learn to design, build, and program robots in this exciting, hands-on club. This club is open to all youth ages 8 to 18. It (generally) meets on the 3rd Thursday of each month. Email 4-H educator Jennifer Peterson at

4-H Fishing Club, Saturdays, April 23-May 28, 9-11 a.m., Aledo

Mercer County Fishing Club will start on April 23, from 9-10 a.m. at Central Park in Aledo. Then they will meet at various fishing ponds around Mercer County every Saturday, April 30- May 28, from 9 to 11 a.m. Pond locations will be announced at the first meeting. Limit of 10 youth. Open to youth 8 to 15 years of age. Register by April 15. Fee is cost of your own supplies, plus $10 bait fee (club will supply the live bait). New 4-H members also pay the annual 4-H $20 program fee. Register here.

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, call 309-756-9978.