Jake Paradisin, age 7, shares his public presentation on "How to Draw a Dragon" at a Namaste Friends 4-H Club Meeting , 2010
Image by Bridgid Beames

Namaste Friends 4-H Club

4-H Clubs

4-H Clubs provide a wide variety of opportunities for young people aged 5-to-19. More than 300 youth are enrolled in our 4-H Club program, in groups that are as varied as your imagination. Members of 4-H clubs are learning about environmental issues, veterinary medicine, science, engineering and technology (SET), sewing skills, healthy lifestyles, and having fun in the process!

If youth have a hobby or interest that they would like to explore, and enjoy being with friends, join a 4-H club where members learn something new while having fun, improving communication and leadership skills, and serving their community. If there isn't already a 4-H club that meets your needs, our 4-H staff can help a parent or adult volunteer organize and support a club.

Why 4-H Clubs?

Inspire Kids to Do Activity Guide

Tompkins County 4-H Club Opportunities:

4-H Jr. Tailwaggers: This club is for youth interested in training dogs and community service. Members have the opportunity to engage in the 4-H Youth Fair as well as the New York State Fair. The club also sponsors the Chili Cook-off every year at the 4-H Youth Fair. Currently there are over 30 members, aged 8 to 18. Meetings are held once a week either at the Cornell Livestock Pavilion or 4-H Acres. If interested in learning more about this club, contact Cindy Wagner at cw14@cornell.edu.

Dryden Dragonflies: This club is active in a variety of project areas, with an emphasis on community service. Meetings are generally held twice a month on a Tuesday or Thursday at Covenant Love Church. Members range in age from 12-17 years and past projects have included, baking, snowshoes, rocketry, cooking, crafts, public presentations and photography. If interested in learning more about this club, contact Julie Young at alfredyoungs@yahoo.com

F.L.O.W. (Future Leaders of the World): This enthusiastic, Family & Consumer Science-oriented club meets on school break days and spends their all-day meetings doing anything from woodworking, sewing, and photography to public speaking, community service, and trip planning. Formed in 2013, this club is full of new energy. The club cooks their own meals and snacks when meetings fall over mealtime, and are ready to think outside the box during planning meetings. Those interested in this club should contact Club Leader Beth Wilcox at 533-4707. There is no additional cost to join this club.

Giddy Goats: This is an Ag club where we learn about goat husbandry and fiber via hands on activities. We meet once a month to learn to care for and bout fiber goats and the fleeces. We learn how to process fleeces from shearing to washing to spinning and knitting. For more information please contact Lisa Ferguson, 607-351-7361, lisa@laughingoatfber.com

Hands and Harts (Fur n' Feathers): The heart of our club is community service and youth leadership. Founded in the 1970's, our members participate in projects and meetings that promote larger service to our local and global communities as well as projects that spark youth interest. Past meetings have included hosting an apple pie bee to benefit Loaves and Fishes, making fleece hats for refugee families, participating in the Feed My Starving Children Mobile Pack, maintaining the trails and gardens at 4-H Acres, and sponsoring the ice-cream social at the annual 4-H Tompkins County Youth Fair. Additional projects have included rocketry, sewing, making Ukrainian eggs, nutrition and wellness and sculpting bonsai trees. Fur n’ Feathers is active in the 4-H Youth Fair, 4-H Duck Race, public presentations and the New York State Fair. Members range in age 8-19. Parental participation is encouraged. Please contact Brenda Carpenter (btc6@cornell.edu) for more information. 

Little Bunny Foo Foos: This club is for youth who are interested in learning about rabbit health and care, as well as getting involved in community events. The club meets once a monthgenerally at 4-H Acres, to learn about different rabbit topics, play games, make posters and sometimes rabbits will be brought to the meeting. If interested in learning more about  rabbits,  haveing fun, devloping friendships and giving back tot he community contact Gail Kaiser (607)564-9078, gskbunnies@gmail.com. NOTE: This club is open to youth 8 years old and up.

Milk Duds and Jolly Ranchers: Join other youth 5 years of age and older for an on-the-farm experience! Members will tour a working farms, learn how to care for dairy cows, goats, sheep and alpacas, gain an appreciation for agriculture, learn about dairy products and wool, current events in the farming industry and more! Special meetings for Cloverbuds too! Opportunity for youth to lease an animal for show at the 4-H Youth Fair. Contact Stephanie Gumaer, sgumaer@gmail.com for more information.

Namaste Friends: is a general interest club with current members between the ages of 5 and 15 years old. They cover a variety a topic areas at general monthly meetings and encourage older members to pursue topics that interest them in-depth either working independently, through supplemental small group meetings, or with other members and clubs in the county. The club meets at the Namaste Montessori Elementary School in Jacksonville. Project areas they have explored include Plant Sciences, Bats, Sewing, Electricity, Fishing, Public Presentations, Pottery, Embryology, Goats, Bike Safety, Native Birds, Pond Life, wood working, photography, food science and more. The group studies "Entrepreneurship" and run their own micro businesses. Namaste Friends is currently looking for adults interested in becoming special project leaders or general co-leaders. We are sorry, but this club is fully enrolled this year. Please contact Bridgid Beames,  bridgid.namaste@gmail.com for more information.

Thread Cafe: We are a project based cub where members can learn the basics of knitting (cast on, cast off, knit purl) and crocheting (chain, single crochet, etc). We will construct projects from conception to completion. We will complete at least one knit and one crochet project and we will also have special activities, presenters and outreach opportunities.For more information please contact Katrina Goodge, keg222@cornell.edu.

The Poultry Club:  The 4-H Poultry Club welcomes youth of all ages; we currently have members ranging from age 4 to 13. You do not need to own poultry to be a member- just a passion to learn about them in a fun group! The club currently meets the second Sunday, from 4 – 5 p.m. at 4-H Acres. At our monthly meetings (which last about an hour), we aim to learn about many types of poultry (chickens, ducks, turkeys, etc.), with an emphasis on chickens. Meeting topics include breeds and body parts, poultry diseases/how to do a health inspection, embryology, dissections, how to show a bird at the fair, and a non-poultry meeting learning about the birds in the Cornell Raptor program! In addition to learning about poultry, we want the members to develop life skills such as responsibility, respect, and team work. Contact Kasey at 707-495-8778 or kms433@cornell.edu for more information. Kasey is a PhD student in animal science at Cornell, and was a 4-H’er in 4-H in California for 9 years in the poultry, swine, horse, and rabbit projects.

Sweets and Treats 4-H Club: Interested in learning new baking skills and techniques or just interested in getting together with others to share recipes and baking experiences? We are accepting new members. Youth 8 and over will meet twice a month. Younger (5-7 years) Cloverbuds, will meet the first Saturday of each month. Both groups will meet in the Teaching Kitchen at the Cooperative Extension Education Center in Ithaca. Parents are expected to help supervise activities and help with club events. Youth will be building a collection of recipes, l;ear to prepare baked goods for evaluation at the 4-H Youth, participate in the 4-H Holiday Bake off and have TONS of FUN! For more information for youth 8 and over please contact Lynn, oomoma@msn.com, and for youth 5-7 please contact Vendamae vmt5@cornell.edu.

Think the World: We're a group that aims to get kids outside enjoying and learning about nature, and helping them to become good eco-steards in the process. We'll talk citizen science, professions in the conservation and ecology field and more. We'll have a mid year focus on public speaking. One of the main goals of TTW is getting kids outside more often, we also will have a monthly family hike at one of our local parks or hiking trails. Contact Lisa at lisascanlon04@gmail.com

NOTE: Contact clubs for membership fees information.

If you would like to provide positive opportunities to youth in your area, consider becoming a new club leader in your community. 4-H staff provides orientation, on-going training, access to resources and help you build connections to other leaders. Contact Brenda Carpenter, btc6@cornell.edu, or (607) 272-2292.


Brenda T. Carpenter
Extension Community Educator, 4-H Youth Development
(607) 272-2292 ext. 142

Last updated March 18, 2020