GALLIPOLIS — 4-H Cloverbuds conducted their annual graduation ceremony Friday at Gallia County Junior Fair.
According to Tracy Winters, county director of 4-H activities and Gallia County OSU Extension Office, children must be in kindergarten and at least 5 years old before they can be considered eligible for the Cloverbud program. Once children hit third grade and at least 8 years old, they can become full-fledged 4-H members and able to engage in projects that can compete in the fair.
“Every club that has Cloverbuds, they have a separate section for them when they’re doing their club meetings. While (older) kids are at officer meetings, they do crafts and snacks and that type of thing. If you look in some of our booths, you can see examples of the things they made during meetings,” Winters said.
Winters said the children will sometimes engage in farm themes, health themes and or safety. She noted it was common for speakers like firefighters and police officers to engage with the children. She noted it is often up to the Cloverbud advisor to decide appropriate activities for the children.
“We have two Cloverbud curricula. They have a lot of different things, like the science of sound, music, that type of thing, and learning how to be a community partner. We teach them the pledges (of 4-H),” Winters said.
The director said the 4-H and Cloverbuds will often partner with Future Farmers of America efforts to help inspire children as they grow older into what kind of projects they may be interested in taking to fair competitions.
“Some of our 4-H kids who are also FFA members end up being camp counselors at our Cloverbud day camp. Before the burning of the (commercial) building, we used to do Clover activities there all week of the fair, but we couldn’t do that this year because of space,” Winters said. “We did things like Clover Clues. We had different stations around the fairground. Kids would come and get a clue sheet and it would say things like ‘This is where the cows live.’ Then the kids would go to the next station and get their next clue. When they finished all their kids then they got a prize.”
A lot of what the Cloverbuds are introduced to is meant to inspire them to decide what sort of specialized project they would like to enter when they become older.
Around 20 children received their certificates Friday as they made the jump from second to third grade in their journey to become full 4-H members.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.