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4H Clubs

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Groups, Clubs, & Teams > 4H Clubs


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4H or other animal opportunities for 8 year old?

Sept 2012

My 8 year old daughter loves animals and would love to volunteer with them in some capacity. I do know there's a Montclair 4H and did a little online research into it, but would love to hear anyone's recent experience. I'm worried 4H may be too much of a time commitment. Also, from what I read, at least when it comes to the pigs, they end up in the slaughterhouse. I don't think she'd be into that as a final outcome!

So am wondering if there's another program that involves feeding chickens or goats once a week, for instance. It would be great if there were some education involved as well as some hands-on experience. We live in Berkeley. Thanks for any ideas! my kid loves animals


My husband and I and our daughter have had a wonderful experience with Montclair 4H. Our daughter started out in the Rabbitry Project with one little Netherland dwarf rabbit. Amy-bunny didn't require a huge time commitment on our part and our daughter learned to be responsible for her care. She learned to show Amy-bunny in rabbit showmanship at the Alameda County Fair, did bunny dress-up at the Fair for a few years and as she became more knowledgeable, participated in ''Rabbit Bowl'' (think old ''College Bowl'' only about rabbits). This summer she worked at the Fair in the Small Animal Barn. She learned so much about how to work with rabbits and with people, too. She was also involved for a year in the Goat Project and learned a lot in that project, as well.

4H is part of the UC Cooperative Extension and has a very good curriculum for their various projects. Project leaders are typically parents in Montclair 4H (though you don't have to be a leader to join). All leaders must go through a security and background check before they can become a project leader. In addition to animal projects, there are science, cooking-related and textile-related (knitting/sewing) projects, as well. The types of projects offered in any given year depends on what expertise an adult has and who has time to lead a project. Yes, in the Swine Project the pigs make a one-way trip to the Fair but you and your child do not have to be a part of this project. 4H also provides fabulous leadership opportunities that provide enrichment outside school. There's Presentation Day, when children make a short presentation on a topic that's typically related to their project (but isn't limited to that). In projects, the older kids typically either lead or co-lead projects along with the adults and act as mentors to the younger children in that project. Our daughter benefited from that mentoring and learned about giving back as she grew older. 4H teaches children more than about a specific animal or subject area, it teaches children what it means to be a responsible team player and good citizen.

Meetings are once a month at the Montclair Rec Center and they are very organized and well-run by the elected student officers. The adult leaders (Carla and Tina spend a lot of their time) meet w/ the officers a week before the monthly meeting to set the agenda and help ensure the organization runs smoothly. There is typically a community service project, as well, e.g. working at the Alameda County Food Bank, donating gently used warm jackets, etc. We became involved with 4H since our daughter was 10 (she is now 18) and found it a very rewarding experience. Peggy K T

Editor note: replies were also received for Volunteer Jobs Working with Animals


4H group for 13yo in Oakland or Alameda?

Oct 2011

Hi, Wondering if there is a 4H group near Alameda. Either Oakland or Alameda. My 13 y/o daughter is interested in joining.


There is a 4-H group in Montclair. Unfortunately, the deadline to register for this group was at last night's meeting. There is another group in San Leandro, East Hills 4-H, google them. 4-H Mom
Montclair 4H - the meet at the Montclair Rec. Center. We have not been personally involved but a huge group of my kids friends participate and love it! Maggie
About 4H, my daughter did the Montclair group for a couple of years, and as a family with a single, working parent, it just didn't work for us. It is a great group with hard- working, engaged, lovely members, but it is very much geared to those with a SAHP; meeting times can vary and often one gets short notice for meetings and events, many of which happen during after-school hours (aka work hours). It's all volunteer, so I'm not dissing, but our experience was that it didn't work without a SAHP. I hear the club in Marin (San Rafael?) confines its meetings, even project meetings, to Monday nights. That is second-hand info, but it might be worth a look. Have fun! Nancy
I met some nice young women from the Montclair 4-H club at this weekend's Maker Faire: Montclair 4-H Club Location: Montclair Recreation Center, 6300 Moraga Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611 Meeting: 1st Monday @ 6:30 pm Contact: Carla Bossieux and Tina Popenuck at 525-4156 and 339-7077 carlab2001@earthlink.net, tinapop@earthlink.net If you just Google 4-H and put in your zipcode you will get a listing of all of the clubs in Alameda County. I took the time to look this up for you because I was in 4-H in Wisconsin as a kid - great experience. Mary in Oakland.
My son just joined the Lamorinda 4-H club. I believe the cut-off for this year was the end of last month but you may still be able to join. They meet once a month every 3rd Thursday from 7-8pm in Lafayette. In addition your daughter will participate in 1 or more projects of her choosing. The project meetings are usually once or twice a month, often on weekends where they do a hands on activity. May be too far for you but check out their website http://www.ca4h.org/ - there are several clubs in the bay area. Teresa
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