Gratitude is an important foundation to the Ohio 4-H program, and it is easy to adapt for any age group. Gratitude means you have a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. This is a wonderful skill to instill in our 4-H members, and it’s as simple as saying, “Thank You!”
Here are some easy ways to start helping our youngest members say thank you:
- End every meeting with Thank You – As your Cloverbud meeting comes to an end, take a few moments to reflect with the members what they learned that day. Maybe have some of the members share what they learned or what their favorite thing was. Bring attention to anyone who may have helped them during that meeting – did you have a guest speaker, did parents help with the craft, or did another member bring snacks? Once the helpers have been identified, tell the members on the count of 3, we are going to say “Thank You” all together. Lead a countdown and thank those people you identified. This is a simple activity, but it helps connect everything from the lesson and immediately recognizes those in the room.
- Write a Club Thank You Note – Is there something your club or Cloverbud group has done that has received attention? Maybe the club won best decorated club booth, received an award at the fair or project judging, or received recognition from the Extension Office. Take time to write a thank you note expressing your appreciation for being recognized. If your Cloverbud club has members of all ages, help an older member write the thank you card and then pass it around for all members to sign their name.
- Send a Postcard – While Cloverbuds may be our youngest members and still developing those foundational life skills, this is a great way to let them take ownership of a thank you card. Make a post card with most of the Thank You message typed up and leave a few blanks for the members to write in their own message. See the picture below of an example we used for our county fair. Cloverbuds should be encouraged to share what the experience or gift means to them, and then say thank you in their own words. It also helps them identify the important parts of a thank you note that they can include when they are able to write one on their own.
Whether your club year is coming to end or you are starting a new 4-H year, November is a wonderful time to practice saying Thank You. If you need a few suggestions, write a thank you note to your county Commissioners for supporting your local program, the state 4-H office for their continued support, or your Extension office for the work they put into your county 4-H program.