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!