Welcome to Bedford 4-H!

Bedford 4-H is a general interest club based in Bedford, MA. Kids from any town ages 5-18 are eligible to join Bedford 4-H.

Projects

Each of our kids chooses a project every year and then spends the year learning about and doing that project. Many kids choose an animal for their project, like a sheep or a cow or a gerbil or a dog. But some kids choose another kind of project, like model rocketry or painting. And you can do more than one project in a year, even several at the same time. We're pretty flexible about projects. Kids often give presentations or demonstrations of their projects during Visual Presentations, or enter their projects in the Middlesex County 4-H Fair

Special Project Groups

Some projects, like working with animals, involve a commitment of many months. Others might involve only one or a few sessions to learn a new skill. Special Project Groups give 4-H kids a chance to work directly with an expert. Many of the skills can be directly transferred to Visual Presentations or Fair Projects. Examples of recent small project groups include:

  • lamp repair & lamp making
  • knitting
  • tatting (lace-making)
  • origami
  • nature crafts
  • food preservation

Large Animal Projects

Bedford 4-H works closely with other local clubs that specialize in certain farm animals. We recommend that kids just starting out plan to attend all or most of the meetings of these animal-specialty clubs in order to learn as much as they can from the experts in those clubs. Information about animal-specialty clubs can be found in the 4-H club directory. Most kids who wish to work with horses join a horse club.

Large Animal Leasing

Kids who can't keep large animals on their own property lease farm animals through Chip-In Farm in Bedford or Codman Farm. Leasing a large animal is big fun but also a big responsibility. Kids who lease animals are expected to show up regularly to work with their animals. They may be asked to do routine chores at the farm, and might be asked to pay for some or all of the animal's food and vet bills. There may be regular “lease meetings” at the farm, too. Lease agreements that list all the terms will be available.

Small Animals

4-H kids can work with dogs, cats, rabbits, cavies (guinea pigs), caged birds, or pocket pets (hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats, or degus) and show those animals at the 4-H Fair. Some small animals have their own specialty clubs. Bedford 4-H has a small animal expert adult resource who can help kids choose an appropriate animal, plan a project, and connect with other experts and kids interested in that animal.

Activities

Bedford 4-H has lots of activities but none of them are required. Each month, we get together and do farm chores at local farms. We feed and water the animals, clean up, and have a snack. We also do activities around our projects. For example, if you have a cow project, you might get together with other kids who are interested in cows and with a local farmer who knows lots about cows. If we don’t have an expert on your project, we’ll try to help you find an expert or a nearby 4-H club that knows about your project and would let you come to meetings. We also do special fun activities like going on a tour of an animal shelter or a vet's office or going swimming at a local pond. We do community service projects like planting flowers at the local senior housing or cleaning up trails. We do petting zoos for local preschoolers and march in the Bedford Day parade. We do special 4-H activities like the Winter Forum and Visual Presentations. And don’t forget the 4-H fair!

Farm Chores

Bedford 4-H kids work with cows, pigs, sheep, poultry and goats once or twice a month by taking part in Farm Chores at Codman Fair in Lincoln. At the farm, we feed and water animals, clean stalls, and do a fun activity together.

The Role of Parents

Unlike some organizations for kids, 4-H is based on family involvement. 4-H meetings are not drop-off meetings. Generally, children are accompanied by a parent or other adult during meetings. This is important for safety around large animals and also to foster the family learning aspects of 4-H. Parents also help by organizing specific meetings or field trips, preparing meeting activities, assisting leaders, and sleeping overnight as chaperones at the Fair.

Visual Presentations

Visual Presentations take place in March. Kids do a project, prepare a demonstration or presentation, and speak to a small group about their topic. Visual Presentations are great for helping kids learn to plan projects, keep records, organize their ideas, and speak in front of a crowd - all valuable life skills.

Kids that like the idea of trying lots of different things in 4-H might find they like to try a few activities and bring one to Visual Presentations, try a few more, and bring some of that work to show at the Fair.

The Fair

The Fair is a big milestone in the 4-H year. It is the last full weekend in August before Labor Day weekend, at the Middlesex County Fairgrounds in Westford, MA. Kids bring animals, sewing projects, model airplanes, poetry, and every kind of project to show at the Fair. The list of departments is endless! Kids who show large animals at the Fair will camp out for the three day weekend with a parent-chaperone. Older kids without animals can stay over also as Fair Workers. All kids and parents will have regular chores and volunteer assignments at the Fair. Hot meals are provided, and there is fun every evening after the Fair gates close, including a dance on Saturday night. Visit Middlesex County 4-H Fair to learn all about what you can do at the Fair.

Contact Us

For more information about Bedford 4-H please contact our Membership Coordinator:

Bonnie Hoover, email: hoover.bonnie at gmail.com, Phone: 1-978-254-5607

Other Links

Middlesex County 4-H

Middlesex County 4-H Fair

4-H Club Directory