LUSK – Younger siblings of 4-H kids often anticipate joining their older brothers and sisters in the show ring or on the firing line when they turn 8 years old. One way that Niobrara County 4-H keeps that interest up and encourages those in the “pre-4-H” age is through the Cloverbuds program.
Cloverbuds is designed to introduce five to seven-year-olds to the various project areas of 4-H as well as the concepts of community service, group meetings and the other side of extension, food and nutrition. The program meets once a month and kids typically prepare a healthy snack and learn about project areas with a hands-on activity.
The Niobrara County Cloverbuds meet on the third Monday of the month from 3:45 p.m. to 5 p.m. They can be found doing anything from making maple syrup candy to crafting nature luminaries. At the November meeting, members learned about wool and fiber arts, crafting their own woven God’s Eye decoration and woven bracelets. In December they created homemade evergreen swags and nature luminaries.
January found this group exploring the maple syrup industry and pioneer baking with biscuits, a German pancake and homemade maple syrup candy. Most recently, Cloverbuds learned the fundamentals of photography and what makes a nutritional snack with applesauce oatmeal cookies.
In addition to activities the Cloverbuds kids are encouraged to enter projects at county fair and there is even a pre-4-H part of the livestock shows and they can borrow an older member’s animal to try their hand at showing. They can also participate in the “Cloverbuds Parade’’ at the start of the fat stock sale which gets them up in front of people.
Anyone interested in enrolling their five to seven-year-old in Cloverbuds can contact the Niobrara Extension office at 307-334-3534. The program has rolling enrollment and kids can join at any time.