I did 4h as a middle schoolers in our small hometown that I'm actually moving back to and hoping to get back into it to help the kids and the leader out!
What happend to your kid and friends kid (nit being introduced and such) is just downright not okay for a 4h meeting, ESP the first meeting.
When I was in our club, anytime anyone was new or just sitting in on the meeting that we had once a month at 6-7 pm we would all go around say our name, a little about our horse and our goals for the year. Each meeting someone was to bring a baked good, cookies, cupcakes, anything as a group like snack. A lot of the time we all just took something so it was like a fun kids snacky potluck! Both these things, introductions and bringing food made us talk more to one another and open up a bit and helped up get comfortable as a group.
The other thing we did was have an agenda each meeting, this is something our leader would do. We would talk about last weeks meeting incase someone missed it, talk about up coming events in the community that would be of intrested to our group, always **** around ideas for fundraisers. We would bring our 4h binders and our leader would help us with any questions.
Our club would put in a schooling show for our horse community, at ha,oween we still do what we call horse a ween, very fun! Games in horse back, games on the ground, costume classes, prizes and tons of fun!
When it got to be nicer weather we would do more riding as a club as some of us didn't have the means to make it every mounted meeting but of course if we had time to come and watch and learn it was highly recomeneded. Some of the older kids in our community would invite us over with our horses to help teach us more about say showmanship and what to expect at fair and shows, sometimes we would all pile up in a parents car or two and go watch a event to learn more and where expected to come to our weekly meeting and be bake to talk for 15 minutes about what we saw and learned and hoe to use on our own horses, we would go to clinics where they're where just speakers such as vets talking about wrapping, wound care, colic and all sorts of very impotent things and they would hand out pamphlets on feeds, give away vet wrap and simplcaveat care type products. Our 4h leader bred Tbs and so we go to learn a lot of breeding and fowling and why it's important to imprint and the training for a foal and all the safety prociations. That was very fun.
When it got time to prep for fair we had lots of mounted meetings, given checklists for what we would need fir riding, stable care, hauling, and everything in between for when we where at fair so we would be well prepared. We would get groups of us torture and make a trailering buddie list and make sure the hirsute where good with their hauling partners for sftey reasons, go over loading and un laoding for the younger kids.
It wwas very user friendly, parents always helped out with food, carpooling, watching or video taping any kids that needed it.
Hope this helps!