Welcome to Clover Connection, Buncombe County 4-H's Homepage!

4-H FAQ's

4-H is a FUN "learn-by-doing" educational program for young people ages 5-19. Through 4-H clubs, projects, presentations, activities and events, young people make new friends while gaining knowledge and skills that last a lifetime. 4-H provides excellent opportunities for parents to spend quality time with their children. Parents can volunteer to help with club activities and many families turn 4-H events into family outings. To learn more about the overall North Carolina 4-H Program, click here.

Who can join 4-H?

Any boy or girl 5-19 years of age (as of January 1), regardless of race, sex, disability, color, national origin or religion may join 4-H by enrolling through a 4-H club or their 4-H office, which is part of their county's Cooperative Extension Center. Children 5-8 years of age may participate in 4-H through the Cloverbud Program.

Where does 4-H meet?

Most 4-H clubs meet once a month, although some meet more often. Meeting places vary, depending upon the club and its activities. Some meet in homes, others in community centers or church buildings. Special activities and programs are often held in the conference room of the Buncombe County Extension Center.

Clubs are led by volunteer leaders, and a typical meeting consists of a brief business meeting, an educational program, refreshments and recreation. The program should be a "hands-on" experience and may include tours, special interest programs, presentations by 4-H'ers or community service projects. 4-H'ers, volunteer leaders and parents work together to determine how the club will work and to develop a yearly calendar of club activities and responsibilities. Through continued club membership, 4-H'ers gain skills in decision-making, cooperation and communication.

A list of the 4-H Clubs in Buncombe County can be found at Buncombe County 4-H Clubs

No club in your community? For information about starting a club in your area, call the Buncombe County Cooperative Extension Center at 828/255-5522 or e-mail Mary McGlauflin, Buncombe County 4-H Agent, at mary_clayton-mcglauflin@ncsu.edu


Many of the applications and forms referred to below can be found online at NC 4-H Awards and Incentives Program.

4-H Project Records. Project records highlight what a 4-H’er has learned and done in a specific project area for a period of 12 months. The books are judged in age categories of: 9-10, 11-12, 13-15 and 16-18. They are submitted to the Buncombe County 4-H office by December 1 of each year. The top county winners in each of the curriculum areas are then submitted for district competition. For a guide to completing 4-H project records, go to
North Carolina 4-H Project Record Guide .

4-H Cumulative Records. This is an accumulation of up to three years of 4-H project work in a major project area. Records are submitted in age categories of 13-15 and 16-18. These books must be postmarked to the State 4-H Office by March 1. State winners receive cash awards. The County 4-H Agent must sign off on this record book.

4-H Presentations. A method of presenting information by demonstration or illustrated talk for competition. The time limit is generally between 5 and 12 minutes, with specific time regulations in certain categories. Each county determines how 4-H’ers are selected to compete at district competition. In the junior categories, the first place winners from district competition can go on to compete at the State level. In the senior age divisions, the first and second place winners can compete at state. State winners in sponsored categories receive cash awards. In specific categories, the state-winning seniors may go on to compete at the national level. To learn more, check out

4-H Ambassadors. Applicants must be at least 13 years old and a 4-H member for two years as of January 1. Ambassador registrations and portfolios must be approved by a county 4-H professional before submitting to the state 4-H office. 4-H’ers may earn Bronze, Silver, Gold and Emerald Ambassador levels by completing portfolios for each level. Each level has specific requirements. A 4-H member can only achieve one Ambassador level per portfolio submission. Ambassadors portfolios are submitted in April and October.

Application, Resumé and Interview (ARI). Date due in State 4-H Office: May 15. Applications must be at least 14 years old as of January 1. This program is used to select the delegations to attend National 4-H Congress, National 4-H Conference and the International Leadership Conference. Participants must complete a two-page application and submit a resumé of no more than two pages. The resumé should highlight the 4-Her’s achievements, project work and leadership throughout his/her career. The County 4-H Agent must sign off on the application before it is submitted. Interviews are held in conjunction with the ARI retreat. Winners are announced at the conclusion of the retreat.

Sewing Workshops. Buncombe County 4-H sponsors a series of beginning sewing workshops each spring to help 4-H'ers prepare to compete in the 4-H Fashion Revue or Craft Fair. Usually held at the Buncombe County Extension Center, the workshops are taught by highly experienced adult volunteer seamstresses, and are opened to 4-H'ers who are at least nine years old as of January 1.

Fashion Revue, Craft Fair and Talent Showcase. Each spring, 4-H members from across the county show off their talents in all facets of expressive arts--from sewing and photography to singing, dancing or playing a musical instrument. Outstanding Junior and Senior entrants are selected in both the Fashion Revue and Craft Fair, and two participants in the Talent Showcase are chosen to perform at 4-H Entertains at District Activity Day in the summer. To check out
scenes from the 2008 Buncombe County 4-H Talent Showcase and Fashion Revue, click
here. For shots of the 4-H Craft Fair entries, click here.

Teen Retreat. The North Carolina State 4-H Program is divided into six districts; West, West Central, South Central, North Central, Northeast and Southeast. Each district has a teen council and elected officers. These teen officers help to plan the district-wide 4-H events for the year which include District Activity Day, Teen Retreat and other district teen activities. Teen Retreat is generally held in the spring. This leadership building retreat generally offers training and workshops centering around the state 4-H project. 4-H’ers ages 12 to 19 are able to attend. To get a feel for what goes on at Teen Retreat, check out the photos of Buncombe County's delegates to the 2008 West District Teen Retreat by click on 2008 WD Teen Retreat.

Mini-Gardening Project. Each summer. Buncombe County Extension Master Gardeners provide seeds, plants and instruction for 4-H members who participate in the county 4-H mini-garden project. Participants work together as families and 4-H'ers must complete a gardening journal as part of the project. At the end of the summer, participants get together for a potluck sharing of the fruits (and vegetables!) of their labors, and receive recognition for their efforts.

NC 4-H Congress. Held the third week of July, NC 4-H Congress is the culminating 4-H event for the year. The event is geared for teen 4-H’ers ages 13-18; however, junior 4-H’ers may attend if they were named district presentation winners. Congress is held on the campus of NC State University. Activities of the week include: State Fashion Show, State Talent Show, State Presentation Finals, Honor Club Tapping, State-level Hands-to-Service Project, State 4-H Council Officer Elections, Banquets, Dances and lots more.

4-H Camps.
The North Carolina 4-H Camping Program offers programming for 4-H’ers of all ages. Counties generally take a delegation of 4-H’ers (ages 8-13) to one of the 4-H camping centers for 4-H Junior Camp each summer. County camp locations and dates change each year. A few of the general 4-H camps utilize Counselors-in-Training (CIT). These are 4-H’ers not quite old enough to be a full time camp counselor – but at least 16 years old. CIT’s generally work at a camp for two weeks to gain counselor experience. Other 4-H Specialty Camps available are: Fur, Fish and Game, Shooting Sports, Marine Science, Cloverbud, Foprestry and others. Camp recruitment begins in January of each year. To learn more, check out
NC 4-H Centers. The Swannanoa 4-H Education Center, North Carolina's oldest 4-H camp, is located here in Buncombe County. For more information about its program opportunities, check out http://www.swan4h.com/

4-H Electric Congress. North Carolina 4-H Electric Congress is an educational event designed to recognize excellence in the Electric Program throughout the state. Electric Congress travels from region to region of the state, thus allowing for a variety of programming opportunities for everyone. 4-H members participate in workshops, meet their power company representatives, and interact with other electric winners. 4-H’ers must be at least 11 years old to attend. Counties may send 2 project winners, 2 cumulative record participants, and one program recruiter. April 15 is the deadline to register. 4-H Electric Congress is usually held the 2nd week of July. To learn more, check out NC 4-H Electric Program

TRY-IT (Teens Reaching Youth through Innovative Teams). TRY-IT provides an opportunity for 4-H teens to become teachers/facilitators by completing required training at a basic TRY-IT retreat. Teams of at least three 4-H teens and one adult volunteer receive specific training to become certified TRY-IT members. TRY-IT teams utilize their skills to teach specific curricula to younger youth in their counties. Basic TRY-IT retreats are typically held in the spring and fall of each year. To learn more, check out 4-H TRY-IT

Animal Shows. Each county and district offers a wide variety of animal shows. Generally, the following shows are offered across the state: District Horse Show (May); State 4-H Horse Show (the second week of July); State Dairy Judging (the end of June); State 4-H Horse Bowl (March); State 4-H Horse Judging (April); State Stockman’s Bowl (October). There are many other shows held on the county, district and state levels. Your Livestock Agent or 4-H Agent should be able to share those dates.
Check out slides of the 2008 WNC Livestock School by clicking here. To learn more, check out
4-H Youth Livestock Programs

4-H College Scholarships. High School Seniors may apply for 4-H scholarships. The application is to be postmarked to the State 4-H Office and signed by the County 4-H Agent by January 15. One application form is completed if applying for one or more scholarships. Several of these scholarships are restricted to youth that meet certain criteria. The County 4-H Agent receives information on these scholarships in early December. Scholarship awards range in amounts from $500 to $2000.

4-H Horticulture Contest. The Horticulture Contest takes place at State Congress in July. It consists of three part parts: a knowledge exam, testing what you know about horticulture; an identification test of flowering annuals, vegetables, woody shrubs and trees and indoor foliage plants; and a judging section that works your skills in determining plant quality. Winning teams are eligible to compete at a NJHA. To learn more, check out NC 4-H Horticulture Program

4-H Food Show. In the fall, the Buncombe County 4-H Program sponsors a 4-H Food Show (formerly Baking Contest) which showcases the culinary skills of 4-H'ers from across the county. Clover Cash incentives are awarded to the top Junior and Senior entrants, and ribbons to participants in each category and age division.

NC 4-H Honor Club. A 4-H’er must be 16 years of age or older as of January 1 to apply. Membership is based on a point system involving community service, 4-H activities, leadership and citizenship. Applications are due in the State 4-H Office on January 15. The County 4-H Agent must sign off on this application. To access an Honor Application, go to NC 4-H Honor Club Application

4-H Group Awards. There are several group awards that clubs and other 4-H groups can apply for each year. The NC 4-H Honor Club sponsors the NC 4-H Community Service award. This award is judged on ONE community service project completed by a 4-H group. To apply, complete the form available through your 4-H office. Return with supporting materials to the State 4-H office by March 1. The 4-H Electric Group Form is also due March 1. A club/group or county program can submit for this award. The form for this award is available through your local 4-H office. State 4-H Project awards change each year with the state 4-H project theme. These awards are generally due in May to the State 4-H office and are presented during NC 4-H Congress.

4-H International Exchange. North Carolina hosts Japanese exchange students ages 12-18 for one month, beginning late-July. Host families must complete an application and in-home interview. 4-H members may elect to host a year-long exchange student from Japan or one of the Newly Independent States. Host families are typically secured in early spring. To learn more, check out NC 4-H International Exchange.