This year on my blog I want to put a bit more focus on one of my favorite organizations, 4-H. Being a 4-H alumnus, I know first hand what a great organization this is. From club meetings, to projects, to camps and trips, there really is something for everyone.
One of the things that was not in place when I was a youngster in 4-H is Clover Kids. In Missouri 4-H, a child can sign up for the Clover Kid project at the age of five and be in this project through age seven. At age seven I was able to be a Junior member and a full 4-H member at the age of eight. So I only had one year of learning about 4-H and want it meant to be a member. Now children can have three years of learning and growing as a Clover Kid before they are old enough to become a 4-H member. Clover Kids are exposed to 4-H, but they do not sign up for extra projects nor are they allowed to compete for prizes or awards, only participate.
I love this project! So much that I am now in my fourth year of being the Clover Kid Leader for our 4-H Club. I started out slow, getting a feel for what I thought the kids and I would be able to accomplish in a year. Now I feel that I have a good grasp on the project and helping the kids enjoy 4-H, our club and their future projects.
Usually we have our first Clover Kid meeting in December, expect for this year. This year we are going to start in January. (A 4-H year runs from September to August.) Clover Kids are required to have at least six hours of meetings to complete their project. By starting in January I am ensuring that we will have our six hours and probably more.
Below I have a basic outline that I plan to use this year for the Clover Kid meetings. The main thing for me is that the kids learn the 4-H pledge and are able to recite it by a certain date, have a chance to make something at every meeting and that we include all or one of the four H’s: HEAD, HEART, HANDS or HEATH. I also have wonderful 4-H parents, so we almost always have a snack to eat after we are done.
Being a 4-H Clover Kid Leader is very rewarding! I love seeing the kid’s excitement when they recite the 4-H pledge and get their very first pin. They are eager to learn, make new things and new friends. The best part though, is seeing them bring their projects to the County Fair. Once they receive their colorful ribbons, they grin from ear to ear. Nothing beats that or the spark that is in their eyes.
*Feel free to download the PDF to use at your next Clover Kid meeting.
Blessings to you and all 4-H’ers,
Laurie – Country Link