A well-attended Cloverbud Activity Night

Our monthly Cloverbud Activity Nights have been well attended.

A Cloverbud at an Activity Night.

A Cloverbud showing off his craft project!

Frequently Asked Questions

Any child with a 4-H age of 5, 6, or 7 is considered a Cloverbud. 4-H age is the child’s age on January 1st of the current 4-H year.

Can 4-H and Cloverbud age members be in the same club?

In an ideal setting, Cloverbuds would be grouped together and pursue different activities than older 4-Hers. In reality, there are often clubs of mixed ages. Each child is encouraged to learn at his/her own rate and abilities. Expectations should be different for Cloverbuds and 4-Hers. See below.

How is the 4-H Cloverbud program different from the 4-H program?

  • Cloverbud clubs do not conduct formal business meetings or elect officers. Five-to-seven year olds are not yet ready to fulfill the responsibilities of club officership and require much more adult guidance when making group decisions. However, a structured routine is important to this age group. Starting each meeting with the same opening ritual, roll call, and pledges to the American and 4-H flags, provides structure while introducing the children to some of the elements of a business meeting. Use of a closing ritual is also recommended. Members can be assigned an “office of the day” to help conduct these rituals. This prepares Cloverbuds for future roles as club officers when they become old enough to assume such roles.
  • The educational component of a Cloverbud club meeting consists of activities rather than projects. A Cloverbud activity focuses on developing a single concept and/or skill. For example, the children might plant a simple dish garden and learn that it will need sun, water, and food to stay healthy. An activity such as this would be just one in a series of learning experiences for older children enrolled in an indoor gardening project.
  • Cloverbud clubs do not conduct nor participate in competitive events. Five-to-seven year olds are sensitive to criticism and do not accept failure well. They cannot easily separate the “doer” from the thing that is done-so, failure in an activity is translated into personal unworthiness. Their development is uneven, making it nearly impossible to “level the playing field,” a necessity if competition is to be fair. For these reasons, when Cloverbuds participate in county wide events, there is no competition involved. Feedback is always positive and focuses on strengths. Their work should be proudly displayed and their participation recognized. Recognition should be informal with all members being recognized equally.

How are parents involved in the 4-H Cloverbud program?

Parents are expected to support their children’s participation in the 4-H Cloverbud program by attending meetings, participating in activities with their children, and by encouraging their children to repeat or extend their 4-H activities at home. If part of a club, parents are also expected to cooperate with the club’s organizational leader as agreed upon at the beginning of each year.

How can I start a new 4-H Cloverbud club?

You will need to talk with the parents of at least 5 children considering participation in the 4-H Cloverbud program. You should contact the CCE Office and speak with a 4-H Educator who will help you fill out the appropriate applications and offer information to help get you started. You will be asked to give consent for a background check and schedule a time to meet with the 4-H Educator for a New Leader Orientation. You should also begin thinking of where and when your club will meet as well as what activities you will be doing.

Information taken from the NYS 4-H Cloverbud Leader Handbook,
Cornell Cooperative Extension, 6/2003 

Updated by CCE Livingston County 4-H Educators

Last updated July 26, 2019