4-H Cloverbuds

What are Cloverbuds?

  • About the Cloverbud Program
    The 4-H Cloverbud program exists as a distinctive component within the total 4-H youth development program. It is designed as a nonformal approach to developing the confidence, social skills, decision making abilities, subject matter knowledge, and physical skills of 5-8 year old youth. As youth begin their 4-H Cloverbud experience, they take part in a unique blend of activities and opportunities specially designed for their age level.


  • Who can be a Cloverbud?
    Any Ohio youth, age five as of January 1, or in kindergarten through second grade, may enroll in the Ohio 4-H Cloverbud program.
    Although all counties in Ohio implement the Cloverbud program, not all groups (such as: community-project clubs, schools, etc.) provide the opportunity for the involvement of Cloverbuds. Individuals should check with the local Extension office to discover where a Cloverbud group meets in their particular county.


  • What is the difference between Cloverbuds and older youth 4-H members?
    • Type of Learning:
      • Cloverbud learning is activity centered.
      • Older member learning is project based.
    • Type of Instruction:
      • Cloverbud instruction is leader driven.
      • Older members receive instruction from a leader and through self-study.
    • Recognition:
      • Cloverbuds are recognized for their participation only.
      • Older members are recognized for participation, goal achievement, achievement of standards, and being the best in their area via competition. 
    • Learning Resources:
      • Cloverbud activities come from an approved statewide curriculum, or may use materials approved by their county agent following the Cloverbud program parameters guidelines.
      • Older members utilize project manuals or other materials designed for their age group. 

  • How Cloverbuds participate
    The Cloverbud program is geared toward activity based learning. Curriculum is based on age appropriate research and involves cooperative, experiential, and noncompetitive activities.

    The Cloverbud Activity Manual is a series of lessons that address such subjects as citizenship, expressive arts, the environment, personal development, and plant and animal science to name a few. Each lesson includes a background information section followed by a recommended teaching plan.


  • Can Cloverbuds exhibit at the fair?
    Yes, Cloverbuds are encouraged to exhibit something from their approved curriculum at the county fair. However, Cloverbud exhibitions must be noncompetitive and for an exhibition only. A Cloverbud "show-n-tell" is an example of how youth can feel a part of the fair without being competitive. Members are provided a place and time to talk about their activity and show what they have learned.

    Formal scoring of Cloverbuds, or competition of any kind between Cloverbuds and 4-H members 9-19 is not permissible. Any fair participation recognition system, special prizes, or awards must be given equally to all Cloverbud members.


  • May Cloverbuds go to camp?
    Again the answer is yes! Cloverbuds may attend camps especially designed to meet their developmental characteristics and needs. A Cloverbud day camp involves youth in a one day, or a series of days, at a "camp like" setting where educational, hands-on activities occur. Cloverbuds may also attend overnight camps especially designed for their age level, but are not to be in these settings with older youth or for more than three nights.


  • Who teaches Cloverbuds?
    Much of the Cloverbud program is guided by an adult volunteer, whether in a club like setting, a school, or special emphasis group. Adult and teen volunteers guiding the Cloverbud program receive specific educational instruction on how to work with this particular age group.