Thinking outside the bucket

4-H Thinking Outside the Bucket


4-H Youth Development: Thinking Outside of the Bucket!

  • Monday, July 6, 2020, 9:00 AM - Monday, July 20@ 9:00 AM

In our rural communities, summer programs serve the vital role of maintaining safe social connections, providing opportunities to develop new skill sets, and inspiring kids to be adventurous. They provide safe spaces that youth can learn communication skills, play games, and even discover new things about themselves. While COVID-19 may have canceled most of our local camps, fairs, and school-based summer programs, we are striving to create programs that replicate their experiences. Madison County 4-H Youth Development in collaboration with members of the NYS 4-H Team, CNY SNAP, and other local organizations are in the development of making weekly distance-based learning summer programs. These programs will have daily live virtual check-ins, pre-recorded instructional videos by educators and youth, and buckets filled with the materials needed for each day’s instructions. Each week for 3 weeks we will be filling 50 buckets with age-appropriate theme-based activities and lesson plans, that will be made available to 150 Madison County youth. Our themes include “A Week at the Fair”, “Explore and Engage”, and “Agriculture in the Classroom”. We call this new program: “Thinking Outside the Bucket”. Buckets for Week 1, "A Week at the Fair" will be ready for pick-up at the office on Thursday, July 2nd. Weeks 2 & 3 will be ready for pick-up the Thursday & Friday prior to the bucket week.

This program will be made available to any youth in Madison County ages 5-13, though only 50 slots will be available each week. Slots will be filled on a first come first serve basis, with registration required. To ensure that youth receive opportunities to interact with both educators and other youth, each weekly program will be broken down into 2 programs (25 youth each). Those 25 youths will then be placed into breakout rooms with educators to perform different games and activities periodically throughout the program (8-9 youth in an activity group). Ages 5-8 will meet from 9am-10am and ages 9-13 will meet from 11am-12pm daily. Upon completion of daily check-ins, icebreakers, and games, the youth will be tasked with completing that day’s bucket project. Bucket projects include making birdhouses, scribble bots, fitness challenges, planting flowers and vegetables, making dog toys, sewing stuffed animals for local donations, and so much more! There will also be additional lesson plans based on the themes that youth can then complete on later dates with their families and friends.

Lessons are hands-on and cover areas such as agriculture, animal science, health and wellness, STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), and civic engagement. Youth will receive shirts to commemorate their experiences, will be able to keep their buckets/projects, and there will be several opportunities for them to win additional prizes (such as completing their step challenges). We want our kids engaged, energized, and active this summer. This program was made possible by the generous donation of 300 buckets from Runnings of Rome, material supply donations and prizes from Tractor Supply Company of Oneida, and $3,000 of grant support received from the CNY Community Foundation and the Madison County Rural Poverty Fund. We are so appreciative!

A Week at the Fair: 07/06/20 – 07/10/20

Explore and Engage: 07/13/20 – 07/17/20

Agriculture in the Classroom: 07/20/20 – 07/24/2

Please only select 1 or 2 weeks per child, so that everyone gets a fair chance to participate.

Stay up to date with all of the CCE Madison County events and educational opportunities by visiting our website and/or liking us on Facebook. To learn more about the Central New York Community Foundation and the many ways they support our community, please visit their website:

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Last updated June 29, 2020