2022 is winding down and we are on the threshold of 2023 – a brand new year! Time to begin outlining your plans for your Cloverbud program in 2023.
As you begin to outline your goals for your Cloverbud program, think about your Cloverbud members. What topics spark their imagination? What gets them excited about learning? When planning your meeting topics, consider giving your Cloverbuds a short list of possibilities and ask them to vote on which topic they choose. This introduces them to the democracy process – learning to vote with the understanding that the topic with the most votes will be the lesson. Be sure that the list of topics you give your Cloverbuds to select from are topics that you are comfortable leading. Select your topics from the Big Book of Cloverbud Activities. Check with your Extension Office to obtain a copy or you can order directly from OSU Extension Publications. Ohio residents receive the best price when they order from their Extension Office.
Once you have identified your topic, begin planning your meeting. If you are not sure how to plan your meeting, try using this Cloverbud Meeting Planning Template. Remember to keep your activities short to allow for the attention span of your club members. The activities in the Big Book are designed with the ages and stages of Cloverbud members in mind. Activities are short, leader-directed, and move fluidly through the subject matter. You will not be able to complete all activities included with each lesson. Choose the activities which will inspire your Cloverbuds.
Are you using “My 4-H Cloverbud Year”? This is a great tool to introduce your Cloverbuds to the concept of completing a book. While “My 4-H Cloverbud Year” is not a project book (like our older 4-H members complete), it is an activity book which has information that your Cloverbuds can complete at each meeting – what they did at the meeting; what they learned. It also has general sections to complete about your 4-H Club, the pledge, and more! Check with your Extension Office or you can order directly from OSU Extension Publications. Ohio residents receive the best price when they order from their Extension Office.
Now that you have your topic, gather your supplies. What supplies do you have on hand? What supplies do you need to purchase? What supplies can you ask your Cloverbud members to bring to the meeting? Check with your 4-H club’s organizational volunteer to see if there is money available in the club budget to purchase supplies for Cloverbud activities. Each club handles this differently so be sure to check before you purchase needed supplies.
Have fun at your meeting! Let the Cloverbuds explore the topic and be sure to take advantage of teachable moments. Things may not always go as planned and that’s okay! Cloverbuds love to learn and will ask all sorts of questions; some of which may not be related to the topic at hand. Be sure to gently redirect questions you may not be ready to answer!
If you aren’t sure how or where to begin planning your Cloverbud meetings, check with your county 4-H Educator. They are ready and willing to help you plan and conduct a successful year for your Cloverbuds. Be sure to check out other resources you will find on this blog, such as Cloverbud Reading Adventures and Click It! Print It! Do It!.
Best wishes for a successful Cloverbud year in 2023!