Cloverbuds….Moving to the Next Level

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!

Campus Connections

Hello again! Great to make this 4-H Cloverbud “Blog” Connection with you.

Have you ever heard the phrase “ages and stages”?  You probably have a good sense about what that means. Basically that kids at particular ages have general characteristics about how they think, relate (social), feel (emotion), and grow (physical abilities). Yes, kids develop at different rates and are certainly not the same, but they do possess general developmental characteristics.

Ages and stages are important for our 4-H Cloverbud program because it is designed with activities and structure to promote positive development. It is also why the 4-H Cloverbud program is different than the program for older youth. The characteristics of 5 to 8 years olds have program implications. Here are a few examples:

  • Characteristic: Short Attention Span = Implication: Activities are short in length (5 – 10 minutes)
  • Characteristic: Energetic = Implication: Engage kids with movement and hands-on activities
  • Characteristic: Hard time separating winning/losing from own identity = Implication: Provide encouragement in noncompetitive settings

As you are doing your great work as a 4-H Cloverbud volunteer, think about the “ages and stages” of your Cloverbud kids. In doing so, we can help grow their life skills.

Thanks for your commitment to the 4-H Cloverbud program as we enhance the healthy development of children throughout the state!