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:

Covid-19 has affected virtually all aspects of everyday life – and has had a major impact on how we offer 4-H programs.Research has shown that children and adolescents will be affected by the pandemic in ways that will mark the course of their life-long development.Research has also revealed the incredible resiliency young people possess, especially when provided adequate support.

4-H continues to evolve and adapt programming to support the ever-changing needs of young people.4-H clubs are uniquely positioned to address and mitigate Covid-19 impacts on youth by focusing on building youth assets and providing supportive environments and relationships.

4-H club leaders receive special training on safety protocols and best practices to provide in-person meetings.Leaders will make decisions, based on activity, number of youth, space and meeting environment, to offer in-person meetings or creative and fun zoom opportunities.Parents may be asked to stay with their child/ren during in-person meetings to help enforce safety measures.

At this time, most 4-H clubs are accepting new members while in-person meetings are on hold.Please contact the identified leader of each club to learn more about their meeting status.

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.

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@laughinggoatfiber.com

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 month generally 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,  having 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.

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.

Cooking Buds - Club is Temporarily on HoldDo you have a “budding chef”? This 4-H club plans to meet once a month – either in-person or via zoom and is for youth 5 – 8 years old; members learn how to create fun savory dishes and enjoy craft activities related to food; contact Vendamae vmt5@cornell.edu for more information

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-stewards 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

Finger Lakes Conservation Club: What will your legacy be? Join other 4-H teens as they learn about the importance of conservation and stewardship and how their actions directly impact the future of our planet. Come learn, explore and understand how to be a become a steward of the environment through field trips, hands on activities and guest speakers. Topics will range from forestry, fishing, aquatic insects, water quality monitoring, to bird house building, habitat restoration and community service. Meetings are held the first Saturday of the month from 3:00-5:00 at 4-H Acres and is open to teens 12 years old and up. Please contact Shanna Jesch at sllljesch@gmail.com if interested or need additional information.

Botany Besties: We are the 4-H Botany Besties engaging youth ages 8-18.We have fun learning about plant science through workshops, field trips, experiments and community service projects, all while meeting and making new friends! In this club, we try to incorporate kids' ideas and inspirations. Our goal is to help kids manage their world better by giving them a safe place to learn, discover, and meet new friends.We hope to offer the members a way to think about their world as a livable and kind place. Here, with the 4-H Botany Besties, members have the power to mold and improve their world. We strengthen the members' spirits in becoming more confident leaders, feeling good about who they are, and offering the members hope of a bright and beautiful future. Let's get thinking! Contact Joann Gruttadaurio at jg17@cornell.edu or Wendy Sthokal at wsthokal@gmail.com. Or visit our member influenced website: alfilo.github.io/botany-besties.

S-TEAM – (on hold for 2020 – 21 year) The club will meet once per month for 1-2 hours; we have been meeting in the Community Room at the Shops at Ithaca Mall; Open to all youth, ages 8 to 18; our club’s goals are to build team skills, inspire kids to explore STEM, foster friendships, stimulate problem-solving & creative thinking. Meetings will entail activities led by local scientists or engineers and may include Plant science and DNA extraction, Engineering challenges for ALL ages (physics, building, circuitry), Fun technology projects (coding, nano technology, basic robots), and other ideas that the kids request! For more information contact Beth Rhoades, err23@cornell.edu

Raptor 4-H Club: Meet the Wingmen and Women of the new Raptor 4H Club! Come talk about hawks, howl for owls, and learn about falcons' gift for swift in our educational programs through Cornell Raptor Program while participating in hands-on activities and learning about husbandry for birds of prey! If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Heather Huson at hjh3@cornell.edu

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 April 12, 2021