Summer activities are in full swing, but Nebraska 4-H youth manage to find time to prepare for county and state fairs.
On June 7 in Falls City, Neb., the local Richardson County 4-H Extension hosted a Clover Camp for 5-7 year olds. Children participated in craft activities and had a head start on developing their skills in a “learn-by-doing” approach to prepare them to participate in 4-H events during their years at school. come.
Clover Kids is a 4-H program offered throughout Nebraska and open to children ages 5-8. In Falls City, the June 7 event was open to current Clover Kids and community youth interested in learning more.
Kaytlyn Kennedy helped organize Clover Camp. Kennedy has been involved for 10 years and is an assistant educator and lead educator for the 4-H Richardson County Extension in Nebraska. Alongside him were Jami Ankrom, the extension assistant, and Emily Nussbaum, a native of Falls City, who is currently the office manager of the extension board. They both animated the manual activities and directed the children.
“Camps like this spark interest from an early age,” Kennedy said. “Some continue later, some don’t.”
At camp, young children created chore charts to take home and use over the summer, some even to use in preparation for the fair. They also built several art projects using sand and paint. This was intended to allow them to generate their creative skills in projects that could also be presented at the fair and presented in a non-competitive way if they so wished.
Clover Kids is encouraged to display something at the county fair, but it is not required. Clover Kid exhibits at the fair are non-competitive and exhibit only, with additional entry ribbons. The project provides an example of how young people can feel part of the fair without being competitive. Members have a place and a time to talk about their exhibit and show what they have learned.
Nebraska 4-H programs seek to develop confidence, creativity and skill in children. It also allows young people to compete after reaching the traditional 4-H age of 8 years.
Other opportunities for young children interested in the 4-H program include joining a 4-H club or after-school program. Nebraska counties may also offer additional opportunities for Clover Kids, and each county has its own guidelines and deadlines for participation.
Along with Clover Camp, Nebraska Extension is also hosting two “Project Paloozas” for young participants ages 8-18 on June 21 and 28. Project Palooza is a camp for the older group of 4-H kids who have the opportunity to participate and create elaborate crafts that can be used to participate in fairs later this year.
Young state or county fair competitors compete in a wide variety of events and competitions. The variety ranges from animal events to photography and fashion. You can find more information about prizes, events and rules here.
The Nebraska State Fair is Aug. 26-Sept. 5, and the Richardson County 4-H and FFA The fair is from July 24 to 30
Learn more about 4-H opportunities across Nebraska.