Finally! It’s an exciting time for a Cloverbud when they are ready to take 4-H to the next level and become engaged in 4-H projects like their older siblings or older club members. How can you, as a volunteer, help them to be successful during this time of transition?
First of all, does your club have some type of “ceremony” acknowledging this milestone? This ceremony could be a graduation activity, a special induction or initiation ceremony, or something else that is appropriate for your club. In addition to some type of acknowledgement activity, you might want to plan a meeting with the Cloverbuds and their parents to explain the different types of projects and the opportunities that are available to members who are eight and in the third grade and older. Take time to explain that projects are primarily self-directed but there is help available. Let them know your expectations in terms of project completion and project deadlines. Help them to be realistic in project selection for their first year. Encourage them to take one or two projects, rather than several, so that the member and the parent do not become overwhelmed and discouraged. Lastly, check in with them throughout the project year to be sure that they are on target and meeting their goals.
It might be helpful to assign an older 4-H member to serve as a mentor for the younger member. The older 4-H member should have similar project interests and be willing to assist the younger member with their project work.
Celebrate and enjoy this momentous occasion along with your Cloverbuds, as they move to the next level!
Although fairs might have a reputation for deep fried foods and rides, there are plenty of ways to make a day at the fair healthier for you and your young child.
Here are some suggestions:
- Plan ahead. Before you head to the fair, offer your child a healthy meal or snack. Fresh or frozen fruit is a good choice, since it might be difficult to find at the fair.
- Seek out healthier food options at the fair. Most fairs offer some or all of these items. Although some contain added sugar or a fair amount of sodium, they are healthier choices than corn dogs, fries, and elephant ears.
- Corn on the cob
- Roasted nuts
- Dipped fruits
- Turkey leg (often big enough for the whole family!)
- Don’t be fooled! For example, before you order a “fruit smoothie” ask if it has real fruit in it or if it comes from a mix.
- Avoid smoking areas and ask that tobacco and e-cigarette policies be enforced so children won’t breathe secondhand smoke.
- Getting your heart rates up by walking depends on comfortable feet. You and your child will see and do more at the fair if you both wear the right shoes. Athletic shoes might be better than sandals, as you might need to walk through gravel, dirt, grass, straw, or even mud.
- Help your child identify one thing he or she really loves about the fair, and spend plenty of time making the most of that experience. It might be a ride, a game, a certain barn, or a petting zoo. If it involves a sweet or fried treat, choose a reasonable serving size or consider splitting it among several people. For example, one funnel cake can serve up to 4-6 people. After the treat, enjoy some lower sugar and lower fat items at the fair.
- Carry a water bottle so your child can stay hydrated without loading up on sugary soda with empty calories. Save money by refilling the water bottle at the drinking fountain. For a fun beverage, order a hand-shaken lemonade with half the usual sugar.
- Slap on a hat and spread on plenty of sunscreen to avoid getting sunburned, even when the day is a little cloudy.
- Avoid spreading disease by not eating in the barns, washing hands (yours and your child’s) before you eat, and washing hands after touching animals. If you can’t find hand-washing stations with soap and water, use hand sanitizers.