NDSU Extension - Ward County


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Ward County Extension

Administrative Building | Suite 123

225 3rd St SE

PO Box 5005

Minot, ND 58702-5005


Office Hours: Monday - Friday

8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Phone: 701.857.6444


Fax: 701.857.6454


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4-H Basics

Types of Membership

Cloverbuds - a non-competitive introduction to the 4-H club experience for children ages 5-7.

4-H Members - Youth ages 8-18 experience hands-on learning through a variety of projects, programs, and events.



Purpose - the purpose of the Cloverbud program is to give young children a sense of belonging to a group and a chance to learn to get along with others while building self-confidence and self-esteem.  As they develop a relationship with an adult helper, they explore interests and develop a positive attitude about learning.

Activities & Projects - Cloverbuds do not sign up for specific projects.  Leaders provide short lessons and activities appropriate for the age of the group.  Cloverbuds can participate in local events such as Activity Day, Achievement Days, livestock and horse events.

4-H Members

Purpose - the purpose of 4-H membership is to give youth an opportunity to learn through hands-on, learn-by-doing techniques.  4-H members learn about leadership, community service and an endless variety of project areas.  Our vision for ND is for 4-H members to become positive, productive citizens and catalysts for effective change to meet the needs of a diverse and changing society.

Projects - Projects can be through individual study or in a group setting, such as at a club meeting. Please see the Project Guide for more information.

Programs & Events - 4-H members in this age group can be involved in many different activities and events on local and state levels.

What are 4-H Projects?

There are almost 100 projects available on a variety of subject matters of interest to youth. Projects are real-life experiences that help the 4-H'ers learn to make sound decisions. Projects put the hands and minds to work. 4-H projects take on a wide variety of interests and activities that are designed to attract boys and girls regardless of their place of residence, economic status, race, etc. Members are expected to complete the projects in which they enroll. Projects provide the basis of the 4-H program by offering various educational experiences. Carrying out a project will help the member "Learn to Do by Doing" as well as learning why things happen the way they do.

Why projects? The project is a teaching tool that can be used to develop boys and girls to their maximum potential so long as we view project works as a "means to an end" and not the end in itself. This means that the basic objective of 4-H - the development of the boy and girl - is the most important consideration, not the garment the member makes or the calf the member raises, or the miscellaneous project the member completes.

How are projects conducted? Project work is conducted through various activities and events such as: project meetings; regular club meetings; tours to visit projects of members; family activity at home; exhibiting project work at shows, fairs, etc.; record keeping.

What are guidelines to selecting projects? Parents and the member should know and fully understand what is expected of them before they enroll in a project. Projects are selected in the fall when enrollment forms are filled out. Usually younger members should limit their projects to one or two. Older, more experienced members may be able to do several different projects, including those that are more difficult. Factors that parents and leaders should consider in helping a club member to select a project are:

  • The project should meet the needs and interests of the member. The problem here, however, is that in many cases the youngster does not really know if they would like a particular project without first giving it a try.
  • The project should be appropriate for the age and ability of the member.
  • The member must have enough time to devote to the project.
  • Is the project acceptable to the family and can it fit into the family situation?
  • How much will the project cost?
  • Is there an opportunity for ownership and management responsibilities?
  • Are there leaders to help with the project in the club or are the parents willing to help the member with the project?

Are 4-H members expected to do their own project work? Yes, with help and support. 4-H is a learn-by-doing program. Leaders, junior leaders and parents may tell or demonstrate to members how some things should be done, but 4-H members are expected to learn how to do things themselves.

Are projects done individually or as a group? Both - Some projects, like biking and planting trees for conservation, are more fun when done as a group. Others like making a dress or building a bookcase will be done individually by each member of the group.

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