4-H Expands with New Clubs
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Join the club! Around 100 youth in Caldwell County already belong to a 4-H Club, and there is still room for more members.
Youth ages 5-18 in Caldwell County can join a variety of local 4-H clubs to explore their interests, learn a skill and make new friends. 4-H focuses on youth development through education, and all eight clubs are free to join. Enrollment can be completed at v2.4honline.com.
“More young people need the kind of hands-on, youth-led experiences that 4‑H programs provide – experiences where they learn by doing, grow from failure, express their ideas and use their influence to drive positive outcomes,” says the National 4-H Council. “Adult mentors provide guidance, ask questions, share learnings and encourage.”
For youth ages 5-7, the Cloverbuds of Caldwell County 4-H Club offers age-specific activities on topics such as pets, nature and science. The club meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month in Lenoir during the school year. Teenagers can also sign up to assist as volunteers during the club meetings, which are from 6-7 p.m.
The county has two animal-focused groups: the Livestock 4-H Club and Saddle 4-H Club. Both of these are open to youth ages 5-18.
The Livestock Club welcomes youth to learn about livestock species – cattle, sheep, goats and others through hands-on activities. They meet on select Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m. typically at the Caldwell Agricultural Fairgrounds. Many members do raise and show livestock, but it is not a requirement to join.
The Saddle Club, whose basis is the horse project, meets the first Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. Similarly, no horse is required to join, and it meets outside at 4912 Carpenter Road near Granite Falls. With a rich history, it is the longest-standing 4-H Club in the county.
Science and technology
There is a group for youth excited about science and technology as well. The Circuit Breakers 4-H Club is for youth ages 10-18 who are excited about STEM or electricity. Meetings are held at the Extension Meeting Room in Lenoir from 6-7 p.m. on the first Monday of the month. The club is currently preparing for a drone competition on April 29.
The newest 4-H Club, just formed in April 2023, is unique in the region. Named the Jr. Historical Dance Troupe, the 4-H Club’s basis is learning old English dances. Similar to square dancing, a caller to prompt participants, and the dances are social as well. This club supports the healthy living aims of 4-H, and it meets the third Friday of the month from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Caldwell County Meeting Rooms in Lenoir.
Another distinctive club is the after school club at Baton Elementary School. Fourth and fifth-graders at the school can join the Baton Elementary Bear Paws 4-H Club. It usually meets the last Monday of the month while school is in session from 3–4 p.m. If youth at the school are interested in joining, they should tell their teacher they want to join 4-H and participate. The Bear Paws are currently the only school-based 4-H Club in the county. Families can talk to their local school or the 4-H Agent to learn more about this type of program.
Clubs at capacity
Rounding out our local 4-H Club list, two clubs are at capacity at this time but plan to have more space in the future for new members. One is the Appalachian Aces 4-H Club. It is centered around shooting sports and is for youth ages 9-18. Instructors have held twice-monthly meetings this spring, and weekly meetings with archery practices will resume in May. These are held at the Caldwell Agricultural Fairgrounds on select Thursdays. By the summer, the club will be expanding and adding riflery as a discipline, meeting for those practices at another location in the county.
The other 4-H Club that is currently at capacity is the Cooking 4-H Club. It meets to cook, bake and have fun with food. They meet on the third Monday of the month in the evening from 6-8 p.m. in Lenoir.
To learn more about how youth can participate in current 4-H Clubs or to learn about local volunteer opportunities with them, contact Caldwell County 4-H Agent Sarah Kocher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coming later this year, new volunteers who enjoy sewing, quilting and other fiber arts are working with Caldwell County 4-H to form another group. Families with youth interested in practicing fiber arts such as sewing and crochet are encouraged to reach out to 4-H Agent Sarah Kocher. An interest meeting will be held Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at 6 p.m. at the Caldwell County Meeting Rooms in Lenoir.
Local 4-H information is also available online at caldwell.ces.ncsu.edu.