Wildside Challenges

  • Family hiking in the mountains
Get Out Into The Great Outdoors!
wildside logo

We challenge you, your friends, family and clubs to pick one of our 4-H wildside challenges . These challenges will get you out of the house and connect you more to your "wildside".
Challenges can be done separately, but you can also harness their synergy and complete all of them together. Tailor your participation to your family's interests and have fun!

How to Start Any Wildside Challenge
  1. Register for the Wildside Challenge at 4-H Online.
  2. Receive instructions and any materials needed (by email and/or mail)
  3. Mail your completed Logbook (if challenge uses a logbook) to your County 4-H Office  
  4. Earn your Wildside patch!

* Note: Your 4-H Online profile will show current challenges. Please connect with your county 4-H program team if a challenge is not available in your county.

  • wildside backpack with patches
  • hiking challenge trail sign
  • invasive species challenge patch
  • Winter Bird Challenge Logo
  • photography patch

    2021 4-H Wildside Photography Patch

  • fall foliage challenge patch graphic

Wildside Challenge Patches

Of course the real prize is the fun you'll have getting outdoors, but each challenge has a patch you can earn.  The patches are perfect on jean jackets or backpacks. 

Learn about each Challenge


Winter Bird ID

Bird ID

How many bird species can you identify in New Hampshire? Challenge yourself to learn more. Winter is a great time to begin learning how to identify bird species because there are fewer here to identify this time of year. Those that stay are surprisingly easy to approach and recognize.  When you register, you will be mailed a logbook which you will use to identify and document at least 6 different bird species on two separate winter outings. When you have completed your logbook, you can mail in or drop them off to receive your limited-edition Winter Bird ID Challenge Patch! 
While you are out and about with your family participating in your favorite winter activities, take a closer look at the birds in your natural surroundings. This challenge is a Bird identification project: On any winter outing, you will need to accurately identify at least six different bird species that have chosen to call New Hampshire home all year round and record your findings about them in your provided logbook.

December 1, 2022 - February 27, 2023

Ages: 5-18

Min. Effort: ID & document at least 6 different bird species on 2 separate winter outings
Download a Logbook


Christine Whiting
Coös County 4-H Program Manager

Tracy Shepard
Administrative Assistant

How to Participate

Hurry, because like migrating birds, the time to complete this challenge goes quick!

Register for the 4-H Wildside 2022-23 Winter Bird ID Challenge via 4-H Online to get started. You do not have to be a 4-H member to register - follow the instructions below to sign up. After registering, you will receive an email and logbook with complete instructions for completing the challenge. 

Here are the specifics on how the Winter Bird ID Challenge works: 

Register on 4-H Online 

Youth ages 5-18 can register for the Winter Bird ID Challenge in 4-H Online. If you are not a 4-H member, use the help guides linked above to get signed up. You can register for the Challenge all the way up until the Challenge end date. 


Get Your Logbook 

Printed Logbooks will be mailed out to you on the first Tuesday after you register. You can also stop by the 4-H office to grab extras at your convenience. To schedule an office pick-up, email your County 4-H Office.  You can also download and print a copy if you prefer: LOGBOOK

Plan Your Outings 

On any type of winter outing with your family, 4-H Club, or group, look for birds to identify by sight and song. 

 Here is a list of eligible types of outings: 

Winter Bird Challenge Cover



Winter Bird Id Logbook Inside
  • 4-H Club Meeting or Event
  • Snowshoeing 
  • Maintaining Bird Feeders
  • Hiking or Walking
  • Skiing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Outdoor School Events
  • Hunting

Participating in an outing that is not on this list? That’s awesome, add it. The point is simply to get out of the house and more in touch with your wildside. 

Identify Birds

Choose at least 6 of the bird species listed in your logbook to accurately identify while you are out and about.


    Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

    Chickadees and Titmice (Paridae)

    Nuthatches (Sittidae)




    Finches and Allies (Fringillidae)






    New World Sparrows and Allies (Passerellidae)

    Old World Sparrows (Passeridae)


    Record Your Findings

    Fill out a logbook section for each bird species. You are permitted to identify multiple species during the same outing. For example, you can identify several species taking a walk in the woods, at a 4-H Club meeting, etc. However, you are required to do at least 2 different outings to get 6 different bird species. The logbook has 5 components:

    1. Information section: Name of species, date of outing, town, type of outing, description of location.
    2. Picture of bird: Either a photo or drawing of the bird identified in the labeled section of your logbook (can be done on a separate sheet of paper and taped into the logbook).
    3. Description of Species: Describe the species you have identified using key markers (i.e., size, coloring, beak/tail shape)
    4. Feather: Photo of bird feather(s) or tape in a found feather of listed species.
    5. Description of Bird Song/Call: Identify bird species by their song/call and write down what sounds you hear. 

    Submit Your Logbook 

    Return your filled-out logbook by Monday, March 6, 2023 to your County 4-H Office. 

    For Coös County 4-H Office:
    Christine Whiting
    629A Main Street
    Lancaster, NH 03584

    Get Your Patch 

    We will send your completed logbook and your limited-edition Winter Bird ID patch back to you after the Challenge end date.  

    How to Register for an Event in 4-H Online

    New to 4-H Online? 

    If you would like to participate in a 4-H event on a one-time basis...
    Help Guide: How to Create a 4-H Online Participant Profile and Register for an Event


    If you would like enroll in the NH 4-H Program as a new member and then register for an event...
    Help Guide: How to enroll in 4-H Online and Register for an Event


    Already have a 4-H Online family account?

    If your family members are already enrolled in 4-H Online…
    Help Guide: How to register for an event in 4-H Online

    If you need to re-enroll before registering…
    Help Guide: 4-H Online Re-enrollment


    Winter Hiking Challenge

    bootprint in snow

    The weather outside is frightful, but a hike is so delightful. There’s no place inside to go, so hike in the snow, Hike in the snow, Hike in the snow…

    Fight Cabin Fever!

    A popular Challenge designed to push your winter hiking limits to the next level. How incremental you push that limit is up to you and your family, Club, or group. You can participate in and accomplish the challenge even if you have never hiked before. However, this program will still challenge you if you are an experienced winter hiker, too.

    December 21, 2022 - March 21, 2023

    Ages: 5-18

    Min. Effort: 4 hikes


    Mike Harris
    Rockingham County 4-H Program Manager
    Bettina Sietz
    Administrative Assistant

    How to Participate

    1. Register for the Winter Hiking Challenge event in 4-H Online.
    2. As soon as you register, a digital copy will be mailed to you, so you can get started. We will also mail a physical copy to your indicated mailing address.
    3. Complete at least 4 hikes between December 21 and March 21, following the guidelines in your Log Book.
    4. Mail your completed Logbook to your County 4-H Office by Monday, March 27, 2023 to earn your Wildside patch!

    Winter Wonderland Photo Challenge

     Use a camera or your phone, it doesn't matter, as long as you are happy with your picture!

    Enjoy an additional challenge this Winter!

    This one is a photography-oriented challenge that will push your artistic mind, your sense of wonder, and your ability to capture “the moment” to the next level.

    How it works: while you’re on your hike, walk in the woods, or out and about select at least four from the nine themes below and take a photo that best captures the essence of the theme.*
    *More information  on the themes on the details tab below.

    1. Snow/Snowflake
    2. Icicle
    3. Sunset/Sunrise
    4. Animal Tracks/ Animal (NOT pet)
    5. Lights
    6. Snow Building
    7. Winter Activity
    8. Winter Mood Making
    9. "Frozen In Time"

    The fine print: We will be selecting 12 photos from all the seasonal challenges this year to make a calendar for 2024.


    December 21, 2022 - March 21, 2023

    Ages: 5-18

    Min. Effort: Choose 5 out of the 9 themes and submit a picture for each (5 pictures total).


    Caitlin Wollack
    Strafford County 4-H Program Manager
    Bettina Sietz
    Administrative Assistant

    How to Participate

    1. Register for the Winter Wonderland Photo Challenge  in 4-H Online.
    2. When you register, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to a file request folder. Use this link to upload your pictures.
    3. Take as many pictures as you want, but submit only your 5 best! You can choose your themes from 9 different options*. The challenge is on between December 21 and March 21.
    4. Last day to upload your pictures is Friday, March 24, 2023 to earn your Wildside patch!
    *Photography Themes
    1. Snow/ Snowflake
      There will be several snowstorms this winter. Can you capture the significance of a storm in one picture?

    1. Icicle
      If anything, our winters are getting icier. Icicles can be magnificent. Can you get a picture of the most impressive one?

    1. Sunset Sunrise
      The sun stays low all day throughout the winter, and it can create some brilliant and uniquely colored sunsets and sunrises. They can be challenging to capture. Can you get one picture that does it justice?

    1. Animal tracks / animal (not pet)
      Animals are out scavenging for food all winter, and they leave their footprints in the snow. Can you find some and properly identify the species? Additionally, can you take a picture of any wildlife?

    1. Lights
      Daylight shortens in the winter, and we light up the evening in response. There are even several holidays that celebrate with light. Can you take one picture that captures the magic?

    1. Snow building
      There will be snow forts, snow people, and snow construction of all kinds. Take one picture that showcases what you make.

    1. Winter activity
      Going skiing, ice skating, or sledding? Are you doing to the Hiking Challenge or something else outside and active? Take one picture that captures the fun.

    1. Winter mood making
      While winter is a time to enjoy outdoor activities, it is also a time to hunker down and get cozy! Can you capture a cozy indoor winter mood with one picture?

    1. “Frozen In Time”
      No guidance with this one. It’s open to your interpretation. What this means and how to capture the essence of this theme is up to you. Provide an explanation.

    The fine print: We will be selecting 12 photos from all the seasonal challenges this year to make a calendar for 2024.