Cheshire County 4-H

Cheshire Furry Friends 4-H

Hello, and welcome to Cheshire County 4-H!

We are so glad you’re here. Being here is the first step on a path to giving the children in your life extraordinary opportunities for growth.

4-H is the community for everyone. We do it all – we are in the woods, on the farm, on the shooting range, in the garden, making, stitching, engineering, building, leading through service, climbing mountains, and always reaching new horizons.

Everything we do in Cheshire County 4-H is designed and implemented to build a more inclusive and positive environment. Much of what we do is rooted in community improvement. By strengthening the communities around us we strengthen our own. We learn by doing and are always making our best better.

In 4-H, youth complete hands-on projects in areas like agriscience, STEM, healthy living, and citizenship. 4-H’ers receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles.

Our programs are primarily geared towards youth from ages 8-18, however we have ways for 5-7-year-olds to participate as a “Cloverbud” in several types of programs. Our program is structured in the form of community Clubs and afterschool programs, county-wide events, and SPINs (short-term programs designed around a SPecific INterest). Whether you are looking to join a tight-knit group that meets routinely (a community Club), be casually involved in something fun and positive (SPINs), or anywhere in between, your children can work on projects in areas of their interest, expand their level of understanding, and build relationships that will last a lifetime.

4-H Clubs and programs would not be possible without our dedicated group of Volunteers. 4-H Volunteers are some of the best people in the world. You can be sure they are truly invested in giving their attention and skills to your children because they do it for free. 4-H nationally gets over a billion dollars of time and expertise from our Volunteers every year. Why on earth would they do that? Because giving your children skills and opportunities is incredibly rewarding to them, and 4-H supports and empowers them to make the maximum impact possible. If you are someone like this then I want you to come on-board here in Cheshire County. There are many ways to volunteer and support our program.

Visit our list of community Clubs and afterschool programs below and events and activities to learn more about how you can get started in 4-H.

To stay in the loop on upcoming programs and opportunities, sign up for our monthly newsletter.

We hope you’ll join us in making the best better!

Kim Bylancik
4-H Program Manager, Cheshire County

Cheshire County 4-H: Something for Everyone


Welcome to Cheshire County 4-H!

Join 4-H to spark your passion and become involved in your community! 4-H is for youth ages 8 to 18, and our Cloverbud Program ages 5 to 7. Youth can become involved in a variety of ways including afterschool programs, clubs, SPINs (SPecial INterest programs), or at county and state events. Adults are welcome to join 4-H as volunteers to help engage youth-adult partnerships.

The 4-H community pledges to use our heads for clearer thinking, our hearts for greater loyalty, our hands to larger service and our health for better living to help our clubs, community, country and world. This is done through participating in projects and pathways from animal science to healthy living, to STEM, and everything in-between!

Interested in Cheshire County 4-H? Connect with us


Upcoming Events

Events Calendar

There are many opportunities to participate in 4-H in Cheshire County!

Join a Club

Many 4-H’ers choose to join a local or countywide Club, which provides opportunities to make new friends, learn from volunteer adult leaders, and gain skills in many project areas. Take a look at the list below of clubs currently active in our county and then contact us to let us know if there are any clubs you might be interested in checking out, and we will put you in touch with the club leaders.

Join as an Independent Member

Maybe you’re not necessarily interested in joining a club at this time, and that’s OK!  4-H is committed to bringing you programs wherever you are. Youth and families who attend county-wide events and SPINs or work on 4-H projects independently are recognized as Independent Members.

Find an Event

At the county level we also offer several county-wide events that you can casually attend and enjoy.  County-wide “SPINs” are Special Interest courses that are implemented like field trips or workshops and introduce you to a new hobby or project area, or scaffold more advanced concepts in favorite project areas. Check out our Events Calendar to find a short-term program that might interest you!

Volunteer

If you are interested in volunteering with Cheshire County 4-H, there are many ways to get involved. Take a look our Volunteer Information to find out how you can participate,  whether you are looking for the occasional opportunity to volunteer or a more extensive commitment.

Interested in joining a 4-H Club in Cheshire County? Connect with us to get started.

Colts and Fillies 4-H
Colts & Fillies

Alstead Area

Horse, Community Service, Leadership

Cows R Us
Cows R us

Hinsdale Area

Cloverbuds, Dairy, Community Service

Monadnock Mountaineers member
Monadnock mountaineers

Jaffrey Area

large Animals/Livestock, Horse, Cloverbuds, Sewing, Community Service

 

4H Rabbit members
Furry Friends

Keene Area

Rabbit, Cavy, Community Service

Mini Horse
Minis too!

Keene Area

Horse, Community Service

4-H sheep members
Monadnock woolies

Keene Area

Sheep, Community Service

4-H livestock
Stonewall farm 4-H

Keene Area

Animal Science, Community Service

Switch'n Horns member
Switch'n horns

Keene Area

Beef, Dairy Cloverbuds, Community Service

horse
Tail Blazers

Keene Area

Horse, Community Service

Cheshire County YLT
Youth Leadership Team

Keene Area

Leadership, Community Service

 

4-H goat member
Pitcher Mountain

Stoddard Area

Goat, Community Service

Swanzey Saddles Community Service
Swanzey Saddles

Swanzey Area

Horse, Rabbits, Community Service

 

Bits and Bridles member
Bits & bridles

Walpole Area

Horse, Community Service

Mechanical Madness with robot
Mechanical Madness

Walpole Area

Robotics, Community Service

Pinnacleview Club
Pinnacleview

Walpole Area

Dairy, Community Service

4-H members
Abenaquis

Westmoreland Area

Cloverbuds, Community Service

youth at deerfield fair
Cheshire County Independent Members

Cheshire County

Independent Members can cover any independent project area

4H at Strolling of the Heifers
Hill & Valley

Winchester Area

Dairy, Community Service

Sunbeam 4-H
Sunbeam

Winchester Area

Crafts, Foods, Sewing, Community Service

youth in classroom

 

 

Reach out to your local County 4-H team to get started on your 4-H journey!

Cheshire County 4-H in Action

  • 4-H teen at 4-H Day at UNH

    Every year the University of New Hampshire hosts a 4-H activities day for teens that includes leadership activities. 

  • 4-H youth at horse show

    Rockingham County 4-H has an active horse program, and 4-H horse project members have the opportunity to participate in county and state-level horse shows each year.

  • 4-H youth participating in STEM challenge

    Rockingham County 4-Hers enjoy participating in STEaMPunk challenge activities through our STEM & Makers program.

  • 4-H volunteer

    4-H clubs and programs would not be possible without our dedicated group of volunteers.

  • meet your local legislators event

    4-H hosted a "Meet Your Local Legislators" event for teens.

  • 4-H club at sea perch challenge

    Rockingham 4-H club members participate in the Sea Perch Challenge.

  • 4-H teen wins scholarship

    Rockingham County 4-H graduates can receive college scholarships from the Rockingham County 4-H Foundation.

  • dog show at deerfield fair

    The annual 4-H Dog Show at Deerfield Fair

  • 4-H members with goats

    4-H members showing their animals at Stratham Fair.

  • 4-H members at craftapalooza event

    4-Her's show off their felt "paintings" made at a Craftapalooza event.

  • 4-H caroling event

    4-Her's gather every year to sing carols at the Rockingham County Nursing Home.

  • Leah Gonthier practicing shooting sports

    Rockingham County 4-Her Leah Gonthier placed first in the National 4-H Shooting Sports Quiz Bowl in 2020.

  • 4-H members at Grilled Cheese Contest

    Cheshire County 4-Hers have the opportunity to demonstrate their cooking skills at the Grilled Cheese contest.

  • 4-H at state house

    Cheshire 4-H teens have the opportunity to practice Citizenship.

  • 4-H demonstration

    Cheshire County 4-Hers have the opportunity to present their projects at 4-H Presents.

  • 4-H member on Pitcher Mtn

     4-Hers can take part in a number of Wildside challenges throughout the year, such as the Winter Hiking Challenge.

There are countless ways to support Cheshire County 4-H, and no way too small. Thank you for considering supporting the important work we are doing in any of these ways.

To support our programs by donating to our Foundation, you can make checks payable to the "Cheshire County 4-H Foundation" and send to Cheshire County 4-H, 12 Court Street, Keene NH, 03431. All donations received go directly to fund Cheshire County 4-H programs and scholarships.

We are always seeking volunteers to fill a number of different roles. If any of these roles is right for you, email Rockingham.4H@unh.edu.

Youth Leadership Team Advisors

This role will facilitate a program where the teens in the county learn more about their identity though community improvement projects, social experiences, retreats, planning events, and attending workshops about leadership concepts. Time commitment: 2-3 hours per week.

SPIN Facilitators

We are seeking volunteers with interest and experience in special project areas (examples: hydroponics, maple sugaring, livestock, etc.). 

Club/Project Leaders

To volunteer as a Club leader, project leader, or SPIN facilitator, there is a volunteer application and onboarding process. We are here to get you started and guide you through it – start by completing the 4-H Volunteer Application online.

Pathway Committee Members

These volunteers would meet 4-6 times a year to help plan county-wide programs in either Agricultural Science, Healthy Living, or STEM pathway areas. These Volunteers get “first dibs” on paid trainings, workshops, and certifications that are related to the pathway they are planning for.

Social Media Manager

We have a Facebook page and Instagram account and are looking for a volunteer that has experience using these social media platforms and would be willing to meet virtually throughout the week. Tasks would include making posts, keeping up engagement with families, and tracking trends. Time commitment: 3-4 hours a week.

Sewing machine maintenance and repair

We have a dozen sewing machines that need to be worked on in the county office.

Fundraising Collaborator

We are looking for volunteers to collaborate on county-wide fundraisers.

Video Producer

We are looking for a volunteer to help us produce and edit videos so we can take our messaging to the next level as a more effective way to inform our audience about all the opportunities we are offering.

If you would like to donate any of these supplies, email Rockingham.4H@unh.edu. For unique delivery circumstances, we can work out logistics with you.

  • Livestock Trailer
  • Arts and Crafts Supplies
    • Crayons
    • Colored Pencils
    • Tape
    • Glue
    • Colored Paper

The 4-H Basics

What is 4-H?

4-H is America’s largest youth development organization. The purpose of 4-H is to provide a supportive setting for all youth to pursue the projects and interests they love, all while serving the community and gaining valuable life skills.

What do the 4 H’s in 4-H mean?

The 4 H’s stand for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. Our organization’s title is directly connected to our pledge:

"I pledge ... my Head to clearer thinking, my Heart to greater loyalty, my Hands to larger service, and my Health to better living for my club, my community, my country, and my world."

How old do you have to be to join 4-H?

Our programs are primarily geared towards youth ages 8-18. However, we have ways for your 5-7-year-olds to participate as a “Cloverbud.” If you are older than 18 and still want to express the 4-H spirit, you can take advantage of our many volunteer opportunities.

How do I find my local county 4-H program?

New Hampshire 4-H is the youth development program of UNH Cooperative Extension, and our 10 County 4-H Programs in New Hampshire serving youth from all over the state. 4-H operates on many levels of the community. There are events, programs, workshops, and opportunities on both the County level and the State level (even the National level). Get started by finding your County 4-H Program here. Your county program is usually the county where you live, but if you are planning to join a 4-H club in a different county, that county program will be your home base.

How do I find a local 4-H Club?

The list of Clubs and Afterschool Programs on your County 4-H Program page is a great place to start. To get connected with a club, complete our 4-H interest form, and a 4-H staff member will be in touch to find out more about your interests and put you in touch with a Club Leader that fits your interests and location.

Who leads 4-H Clubs?

The best people in the world lead 4-H Clubs. No joke! 4-H Volunteers lead Clubs, and you can be sure they are truly invested in giving their attention and skills to your children because they do it for free. 4-H nationally gets over a billion dollars of time and expertise from our Volunteers every year. Why on earth would they do that? Because giving your children skills and opportunities is incredibly rewarding for them, and 4-H supports and empowers them to make the maximum impact possible. All 4-H Volunteers are supported by a professional staff, including your County 4-H Program Manager and Field Specialists who are University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension staff members.

What are 4-H Club meetings like?

4-H youth work on projects of all kinds within four general program pathways: Agricultural Science, Civic Engagement, Healthy Living, and STEM. Some Clubs specifically focus on one of these pathways. Other Clubs generally dabble in all four. Youth have opportunities to present and showcase their projects at the county fairs and other county, state, and regional events – but most of the learning and skill development happens in the Clubs. 4-H Club members build leadership by electing officers and conducting their own business meetings, work together on community service activities, meet new friends, and of course, have lots of fun.

What if I don’t necessarily want to join a club?

There are still many ways to be involved! 4-H is committed to bringing you programs wherever you are, and maybe joining a Club is not for you at this time. Youth and families who want to attend county-wide events and SPINs or work on 4-H projects independently are recognized as “independent members” or “participants”. Find a 4-H event near you or contact us to get started as a 4-H independent member.

How do I officially enroll in 4-H?

4-H Online is our official enrollment database. Registering in 4-H Online allows you to manage your 4-H clubs and projects, register your 4-H animals, and sign up for events. Enrollment as a club member or participant is required to register for your county events and SPINs. If you need help enrolling, check out our Enrollment Guide for NH Families.

How do I get involved as a 4-H volunteer?

There are many different kinds of opportunities to support 4-H through volunteering – see all of them here. To volunteer as a Club leader, project leader, or SPIN facilitator, there is a volunteer application and onboarding process. We are here to get you started and guide you through it – start by completing the 4-H Volunteer Application online.

Can parents be involved in 4-H Clubs?

Parents can and should be involved in 4-H Clubs. Speak to the Club Leader to define the best role for you!

How do I start a local 4-H group?

Screened 4-H Volunteers can start a 4-H group aka “Club.” There is a more involved orientation process for Club Organizational Leaders that is designed to bring their vision into reality and highlight the extra responsibilities. We are here to get you started and guide you through it – start by completing the 4-H Volunteer Application online.