The Ambassador Beat: Chris Deklein

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2014, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Chris Deklein, 4-H Ontario Ambassador, Middlesex 4-H Association

Hello, my name is Chris Deklein. I am from Dorchester, Ontario and live on a 150 acre hobby farm. I have three sisters that are all younger than me. My drive towards the dairy industry came when I was little going to the Royal with my mom. She would take me around the whole building and the coolest part of the whole experience for me was going to the 4-H Canadian Classic Jr. Dairy Show and the International Holstein Show. Being six years old at the time made me think ‘Wow I really would like to do this someday’.

When I was 10 I started in the local 4-H Club in Dorchester in Middlesex County. My first two years were a learning curve and being in 4-H the motto is “Learn To Do By Doing”. In my third year I was able to do really well as a junior member. From this I was able to make the Middlesex Classic Team. At this point I did not know what I was getting myself into. I had to get sponsorship; I had to make sure everything was in top shape for when we left Saturday morning. Fortunately in my first year we had a lot of senior members on our team. When we went I did a lot of listening and did what I was told being a junior member on the team. On Sunday night for preliminary showmanship I was so nervous. I could not eat anything. By the time I left the pack to go to the ring I was shaking so much I didn’t know what to do. By the time I got into the ring 45 minutes later I was feeling a little calmer. I went into the ring with a heat of at least 40 junior members from all over the country. Luckily I was pulled in and made my heat for the first year attending this event. Going on the next day I did not know what to expect. I made my heat but now I had to go into the finals with 30 more people. Going in with high expectations does not always go so well. I was 28th that day but putting it into perspective, being 28th in junior across the country was not so bad. Later on going into senior showmanship we had a senior that made her heat the night before and was in senior showmanship finals. Looking at the TV screen in the barn I saw that she was in second place, which is really good but it was her last year and it would have been nice to see her win. All of a sudden, in the senior showmanship final lineup the first place showman’s calf would not stop moving in the lineup and the judge switched them. All of a sudden everyone from our team was cheering and were so happy for her.

I am now 19 and this will be my sixth year attending the Classic. I am very excited yet again to meet and interact with the general public and other dairy youth across the country.

The Faces Of 4-H Ontario

Senior Members Enjoy Their Roles as Ambassadors

By: Ryan Métivier

Another year of the 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is well under way, and these energetic young individuals have been busy promoting the 4-H program and values across the province. In 2015, the program will reach the milestone of turning 10 years old.

Left to Right: Sarina, Chris, Tamara, Kate, Brooke, Paul

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. They attend 4-H Ontario events across the province, as well as representing the organization at community events to promote the program.

“I have embarked on this journey with five others as we travel across Ontario to network with sponsors, volunteers, and youth,” Tamara Hamilton of Russell County 4-H Association says. “Doing this has opened us up to see how much 4-H has impacted others and how much it has brought communities together to share the common values that 4-H promotes with our head, heart, health and hands.”

This journey has allowed the Ambassadors to meet other like-minded 4-H’rs in the program.

“I believe the Ambassador Program has enabled me to expand my leadership and communication skills and create lifelong friendships,” says Sarina Goodfellow of Lennox & Addington.

“I became an Ambassador because I am very passionate about the 4-H program because it has molded me into the person I am today,” says Paul Knoops of Oxford County. “I am enjoying meeting the volunteers and members across Ontario and hearing their story. I love to hear what clubs people have done, looking for ideas for my local clubs.”

To date, the Ambassadors have been traveling across the province helping at events such as regional 4-H Ontario Discovery Days, Ontario 4-H Foundation Golf Tournaments, the UPI Energy Golf Tournament, Career Mania, Colborne Lions Family Day, the LINC Family Festival in Stratford and the Oxford 4-H Tractor Club Meeting. At many events, Ambassadors lend a helping hand while also acting as a friendly face of 4-H.

In June the Ambassadors came together at the annual Ambassador Program Sponsor Tour at UPI Energy LP and GROWMARK Inc facilities, for a chance to hear from the program’s sponsors and tour various facilities.

Kate Higgins of Huron 4-H says the opportunity has allowed her to see how 4-H is run across the province, something she’s been able to do by attending both the Region 4 and 5 Discovery Days.

“I became an Ambassador to have the opportunity to become more involved with 4-H not just locally, but also provincially,” says Higgins. “I am always curious to see how other communities run things and I have experienced many new methods. So far I have learned how to better think on my toes and to be as creative as possible when working with kids.”

Each year, senior members are invited to apply to become Ambassadors for the following year. To be chosen for the 12-month term prospective Ambassadors must submit a formal application, take part in a panel interview and commit to a training weekend. Further training sessions may be offered to ensure Ambassadors are equipped for their roles and gain the most knowledge and experience from their terms.

Becoming more involved with the organization and expanding her 4-H knowledge is what York County’s Ambassador Brooke Thompson says made her apply for the program.

“I have really enjoyed going to my various events meeting new people and learning new things. Each event has been unique and I have been encouraged to try new things and follow the 4-H motto ‘Learn To Do By Doing’.

Be sure to keep an eye out for these friendly faces at events and in your community over the coming year.

To book a 4-H Ontario Ambassador for your event complete our request form online at www.4-hontario.ca/ambassadors

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador Program is sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. 

This Couple Is Completely Fore 4-H

Written By: Ryan Métivier

If you’ve ever attended one of the Ontario 4-H Foundation Golf-East tournaments, you’ve most likely seen and had the pleasure of speaking with a couple of friendly 4-H faces in Gib and Elsie Patterson.

As owners of Anderson Links Golf and Country Club, the Pattersons have hosted the tournament in Ottawa for the past eight years — right from its beginning.

The couple both partook in 4-H as members, and credit 4-H for bringing them together into what has turned into 52 years of marriage.

Elsie, who is originally from Tweed, Ontario says her sisters and her whole family were involved in 4-H when she was young. Her mother was a leader as well.

“We’re country people and a farm family. 4-H was a family and it was an outing for us from the farm,” Elsie explains.

Growing up, Gib’s farm was not too far from where Anderson Links sits now, close to the Ottawa airport. When his older brother turned 16 and got his driver’s license, they began attending 4-H meetings.

“4-H was one of the best clubs or organizations for young farm people at the time,” he says. “I think it
still is.”

So after joining 4-H in 1954, the following year the brothers were lucky enough to win a trip to National 4-H Club Week, where they represented Ontario in judging potatoes for 4-H competitions.

“We went to the Royal Winter Fair and we were very happy to come out as the winners. We even beat the team from Prince Edward Island. We were happy about that.”

Elsie adds a few more memories about the many trips and exchanges she took part in as a youth, and also about the friendships she made, some of which have been lifelong. “It was meeting the people — meeting young people our age from all over Ontario — that  I remember most.”

Elsie reflects on a friend her brother met from England, which her family got to know very well.

“All these years my mother had kept in contact with him and we still go back and forth with him,” she says. “He’s 84 now and his son is in Manitoba. Every spring or fall he comes to see his family and he always makes the trip to Belleville to check in on my family. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

But despite the many memories they both share of their time as 4-H members, Gib concedes that meeting Elsie was definitely his biggest takeaway.

Working in the summer of 1959 as a summer assistant in Frontenac County with a gentleman who had actually been his 4-H Ag Rep when Gib was a 4-H’er, Gib was able to use the connection to land the Assistant
Ag Rep position for Hastings County after he graduated college.

Hastings includes the Tweed area, where Elsie was the secretary in the agricultural office. Decades later, the couple have four kids who have all been through 4-H, plus 12 grandkids, of whom two are also involved in the 4-H program.

Gib led several clubs such as golf, plowing and forestry clubs, but outside of 4-H, he says he loves to teach and was a teacher for nine years in high school. He has an interest in young people and likes learning and staying curious. It is this that he tries to teach to the staff at the golf course.

“I teach them to be curious. To keep your head on a swivel and keep moving. See what’s happening and try and understand why things are happening. I call it the game of life. You never have to work when you play the game of life.”

That curious nature is likely what helped to get the ball rolling on starting up the Golf-East Tournament.

During a Queen Of The Furrow competition in Peterborough County where Gib was judging, Lyndon Stewart, a former 4-H Ontario Executive Director, was also the emcee. “That night they were in our little cabin and Lyndon and Gib talked half the night and Gib said if you can have a tournament in Guelph, then why can’t you come east?” explains Elsie.

Anderson Links is the Patterson’s third golf course. Gib opened his first golf business in 1971 on the farm they bought from his father, which his grandfather originally bought in 1901. Their first golf course, Emerald Links of Manotick, opened in 1990. This was followed by Cloverdale Links in Winchester in 1996, and then Anderson Links in 2007.

The Pattersons also own a driving range and mini putt facility in Orléans. Gib has his broker’s license and is a developer in real estate, although he’s since passed the torch of building homes onto their son, who built the very clubhouse 4-H golfers meet in at Anderson Links. The family has also built three subdivisions around their Emerald Links course.

Eight years into the Ontario 4-H Foundation Golf-East Tournament the Pattersons are happy to see the 4-H system still carrying on each year when they host the tournament. If you’re ever in the Ottawa area and looking to hit the links, be sure to keep an eye out for Gib and Elsie, who are always happy to share 4-H stories and memories.

4-H’ers create the Calf Canopy

Written by Ryan Métivier

4-H alumni Sarah and Kevin Wolters are the proud creators of the Calf Canopy, an idea that was inspired while they were doing chores at Sarah’s family farm, Huffmandale Holsteins. The two were both born and raised in the Quinte area and have been married since the fall of 2013. Originally designing the Calf Canopy as a project to help them group-house their pre-weaned calves without taking the risk of building a new facility, they eventually realized they had a marketable product.

While working at their current work place, The Machining Center, Sarah and Kevin began working on a system to develop the product. They had the advantage of having all of the tools necessary for fabrication at their disposal. While nearing completion of their first canopy, their boss (also Kevin’s father), saw they were onto something and enlisted the company team to help in the development of the product.

“The Calf Canopy is a product that tied our two families together,” says Sarah. “The Huffman family helped inspire the idea and establish the functions required of the canopy. The Wolters family assisted us in making the canopy functional and marketable.”

Two prototypes were built (one that was compatible with three regular hutches and one that holds one super hutch), and were brought to the Hastings County Plowing Match. After some amazing feedback, they’ve also had a display at the Quinte Exhibition and Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show.

Sarah and Kevin have decided to take their ideas a step further and have started their own company, S+K Agro Solutions, to sell their product line. The company is now a division of The Machining Center.

Long before they were business partners, Sarah was a 4-H’er. A member since the age of 10 in Hastings County, she’s participated in numerous clubs and attended Leadership Camp and Judge-It Day. She’s also still a leader in the Hastings County Horse Club.

4-H can also be credited for bringing the two together, as they met at a mutual friend’s party – a friend Sarah knew through 4-H, whom Kevin knew through school. From there, Kevin also became a 4-H member when he was 20 and participated in the Hastings County Plowing and Dairy Management clubs. Today he still helps with the milkshake booth and any clubs and events Sarah is involved in.

“4-H helped me connect with other farmers and gave us a lot of valuable resources and contacts to help us get a good start,” says Kevin.

“4-H had a huge influence on me because I grew up involved in it and it helped me establish relationships within my community and all over Canada,” adds Sarah.

She also lists several skills she’s taken away from 4-H including: team building, speaking with self-confidence, leading, putting herself out there, participating in meetings and documenting key ideas.

Looking forward, Sarah and Kevin hope to continue to improve their product and develop new concepts.

“For now S+K Agro Solutions is known as the developers of the Calf Canopy, but If another neat idea comes our way, we will look into developing that idea into a product,” she says.

With a goal of being a company that comes up with ideas that are innovative, functional and adaptable, they encourage producers to come forward with ideas or custom needs that they need completed on their farms.

For more information on S+K Agro Solutions and the Calf Canopy, visit: www.themachiningcenter.com/sandkagrosolutions

The Ambassador Beat: Kate Higgins

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2014, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Kate Higgins, 4-H Ontario Ambassador, Huron 4-H Association

The World of Dairy Through Ambassador Eyes

Take it from me that it isn’t just in 4-H clubs that you are “learning to do by doing” but also in the extra 4-H experiences you endeavour such as my Ambassador events. I continue my Ambassador journey this month by learning about a different world of showing cattle. During the month of August and end of July I was granted the privilege of going to two dairy related events.

On July 31st I attended the Inter-County Dairy Judging Competition in Ancaster and on August 22nd I was the lucky Ambassador that got to go to the West-Central Junior Show.

At the judging competition I got to mark quizzes, input scores, and retrieve scores during the day where I quickly learned some important parts of a dairy cow. Some important words I continuously heard were size of withers and width of hips among other lingo! I also saw how seriously this judging competition is taken when participants had to change outfits two to three times to be dressed for the certain activity. This formal atmosphere is enforced by the experienced Bert Stewart who has taken the winning top four participants to the prestigious World Dairy Expo in Madison Wisconsin to compete as team Ontario as an exhibitor. The good efforts are all paid off when winners are given beautiful crystal bowls as prizes from sponsors and Ontario Holsteins.

At the Junior Show I got to hand out ribbons and prize envelopes to the show participants. As I watched the multiple heats and classes I picked up some tricks of the dairy showing trade and general rules. The showman always wears white (although by the end of the day not everyone is still entirely white!) to symbolize the old milk man and the size of the heifer should match the size of the showman. There is no show stick like in beef showing but the showman pushes on the front shoulder of the calf to adjust it accordingly to have the feet square under the calf while the hair on the spine of the calf is spiked and after the heifer does a number one or two the showman pushes on the spine to straighten it out and pulls down the tail. From listening to Stephanie Murphy, a former Ambassador and World Dairy Expo Exhibitor, give reasons for her placing I learned it is important to hold the head of the heifer high but to give some space between you and the calf.

These two events were a wonderful experience! I would like to thank Jason French for inviting me and being my contact for both of the events along with the other welcoming Ontario Holstein staff. Also thank you to John Drummond for being a friendly face at both events and introducing me to many of the volunteers at these events. I look forward to continuing my learning on my Ambassador journey this fall!

 

The Ambassador Beat: Paul Knoops

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2014, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Paul Knoops, 4-H Ontario Ambassador, Oxford 4-H Association 

My 4-H Ambassador Experience

I have been lucky enough to be selected as one of the 2014 4-H Ontario Ambassadors and I am having a great time as one. I have had the opportunity to meet some great people through 4-H, whether it is 4-H Ontario staff, volunteer leaders, members, or sponsors of different 4-H programs. All these people were met through different events I have been lucky enough to attend and help out at. I am so happy I took the risk in applying for this position and have loved every second as an Ambassador since.

I have been a member of 4-H for over 10 years completing approximately 45 life skills projects in that time. I have held many positions at the club level, gone through Go For The Gold many times, and took part in many provincial camps and opportunities. After all of that, I felt being an Ambassador would only further my experience with 4-H. I also see this program as a way for me to give back to the organization that has helped me so much through the years and has been a lot of fun as a member.

As an ambassador I have had the chance to travel Ontario and take part in many events and opportunities throughout 4-H. I even had the chance to return to some of the opportunities I went to as a younger member and could reflect on my experiences there. I went to my first 4-H opportunity about 10 years ago, going to Discovery Days for Region 6 and I had the chance to return to the same arena and be a volunteer for the event. It was a lot of fun seeing the other side of the event and watching the kids through the day open up and make new friends along the way. I can attribute getting this far in 4-H and becoming an Ambassador to opportunities like Discovery Days keeping me involved and excited to go to other 4-H events.

Another event from my youth I went to was Youth Adventure Camp (YAC), and this summer I got to return as a facilitator. It was a great week where I got to not only meet some great members from across Ontario, but also the chance to bond with members of 4-H Ontario staff and excited and enthusiastic volunteers. I had an amazing week and am truly impressed by the younger generation of members coming through 4-H and was happy to see how respectful and enthusiastic the group was. The experience was so great I hope to be able to help at more camps like that in the future.

One of my favourite parts about 4H is the Go For The Gold competition. This opportunity is a lot of fun and I have been participating in it for years. I recall my first few years, hardly knowing what 4-H was but playing anyway, and losing mostly every game. However I went back every year because I had so much fun playing, and eventually got to represent my region at the provincial level twice. This year I got to help at my local Go For The Gold as a scorekeeper and judge. I enjoyed being on the other side of the table as much as I liked playing. Being one of my favourite parts of 4-H, it was nice to be able to continue to be a part of the great opportunity. I hope to be at the Royal for the provincial championships this year and continue being a part of Go For The Gold.

It has been a lot of fun these past months and I look forward to my upcoming events the rest of the year. If the next half of being an Ambassador is as great as the first, it should be an interesting and entertaining year.

The Ambassador Beat: Tamara Hamilton

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2014, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Tamara Hamilton, 4-H Ontario Ambassador, Russell 4-H Association 

My Ambassador Journey

My name is Tamara Hamilton and I have been given the opportunity this year to represent 4-H Ontario as an Ambassador. From the start of my 4-H career I knew that this was an organization that I wanted to be a part of for many years to come! From showing cows to scrapbooking or even baking, 4-H offers so much to anyone including building our teamwork ability, social skills, and leadership. Over the eight years now that I have been a part of 4-H, it has given me so much. But these things haven’t just been handed out to me. That is the power of 4-H.

You see 4-H has built on to my personality and has actually opened me up more to becoming who I feel I was intended to be. I have developed leadership, enthusiasm, communication, and teamwork skills from not just every meeting I participate in, but also every camp I have attended where I have met friends all over Ontario that I am happy to say that I will have for life! Throughout these years I have wanted to give back to all that 4-H has given me and I wanted to show more people what this organization is all about and what better way to do that then to apply to be an Ambassador.

As an Ambassador, you get to travel across the area to promote 4-H to youth, volunteers, and even adults! At first I didn’t think I would get the position as I was up against many older members, but arriving at Guelph for the interview I just took a deep breath and presented to the best of my ability and the judges loved it! Now six months later I find myself attending many events all over the place! I have been able to attend county meetings, volunteer symposiums, and recently got to go to a event at Anderson Links where many different sponsors came out for a good day at the golf course. I was able to meet up with many people from all around our district and see how they contribute to making 4-H great!

Being an Ambassador has given me the ability to realize that 4-H is run off the community as it is a non-profit organization. It’s the people that wish to do the same as I do – give back, that keep each and every event running. I still remember the first meeting I ever went to and how much excitement it brought and I can only wish for any individual of any age to see how they do can get involved as at any age the value of Head, Heart , Hands, and Health for the better for our club, community and even country are always important.

The Ambassador Beat: Sarina Goodfellow

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2014, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Sarina Goodfellow, 4-H Ontario Ambassador, Lennox & Addington Association

Representing 4-H has to be one of the greatest things to do. Being a 4-H Ambassador and going to different events and spreading the word of 4-H is a great opportunity where you get to meet new people and creat lifelong friends.

I started 4-H when I was 11 years old. I had told my parents that I really wanted a rabbit and that I was going to join 4-H and show it. So after a lot of convincing they gave in and got me a rabbit. So i kept my end of the deal and joined 4-H and it was the best decision I have ever made! I started out by just joining the vet and rabbit clubs. After that I started joining more clubs each year and attending local and regional events such as Discovery Days and Napanee Fair. I then continued to become a youth leader in my county and still attended events such as Go For The Gold, Judge It Day and Ignite Leadership! I also joined my county’s board, which I have now been on for two years and has also been a great experience. All of these things have contributed to me being able to become an Ambassador.

As an Ambassador I have been fortunate enough to attend events provincially, regionally and locally. Some events I have attended have been Colborne Family Day, both of the Ontario 4-H Foundation Golf-East and Golf-West Tournaments, the UPI Invitational Golf Tournament, McPherson Pioneer Day, Discovery Days and Region 3 Judge It Day. I have enjoyed every event I have attended and they were all a great chance to meet new people and make new connections.

I believe being an aAbassador has allowed me to inspire others to take every opportunity possible because you just never know where it might lead you! I encourage everyone, whether you’re a volunteer or member, to try to make a difference in someone’s life or to take a chance and go out of your comfort zone to make a difference because in the end it will be worth it.

The Ambassador Beat: Brooke Thompson

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2014, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Brooke Thompson, 4-H Ontario Ambassador, York 4-H Association

I have had so much fun engaging in different events so far this summer and I am really enjoying my time as an Ontario 4-H Ambassador. I have had the privilege to go to many more events since the last time I blogged. I have since been to Sunderland’s Maple Syrup Festival, a York 4-H fundraiser and barbecue, Markham Youth Forum, Region 3 Discovery Day, the UPI Energy Annual Invitational Golf Tournament, the Ambassador Sponsor Tour and the Junior Dairy Show in Orono. I have had a blast being able go to all of these events meeting new people and sharing lasting experiences within my role as a 4-H Ambassador.

The 4-H Ambassador program has given me the advantage to further my knowledge within 4-H allowing me to experience and see things that I would have never seen without this amazing opportunity. Learning about maple syrup, helping with a beef show, playing games with junior 4-H members, running a mini putt activity at a golf tournament, touring co-ops and learning about our sponsors GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP, and helping young 4-H members show their calves have been many of the highlights to my summer so far. It is always fun seeing familiar faces at 4-H related events as well as promoting 4-H to new people within the communities that I have visited around me.

I am looking forward to what the rest of my 4-H Ambassador experience has in store for me. I have more events coming up this summer that I am eager to get to! I want to personally thank all of those who have requested a 4-H Ambassador to participate at their events that they have planned. It has been both an honour and a privilege to be a part of the various events representing 4-H and making memories that will be cherished forever.

The Ambassador Beat: Kate Higgins

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2014, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Kate Higgins, 4-H Ontario Ambassador, Huron 4-H Association

Discovery Days As An Ambassador

It feels like yesterday, but in reality it was eight and nine ears ago when I attended 4-H Ontario Discovery Days as a young 4-H member. I had the privilege of going to Discovery Days in Teeswater in 2005 and Blyth in 2006 for Region 5. These are some of my fondest memories of 4-H that I still hold today! I still wear both my t-shirts even though one of them is a little worse for wear and has seen better days.

Being an Ambassador gave me the privilege of reliving the Discovery Days experience again from a different light. I went to Mildmay on May 31 for Region 5 and Erin on June 7 for Region 4. Both days were remarkable! I assisted participants with making their delicious pancake muffin snack and cool door hanger craft in Region 5 while getting to develop judging skills in participants in Region 4. I had so much fun spending the day with the kids and getting shot by a marshmallow gun by John Drummond. The groups of kids were unique in their own way, which made for a new opportunity for adventure at each activity! Whether it was coaching my team in Region 5 through Andy’s Mega Obstacle Course or making a parachute tee-pee with the kids in Region 4, they are days I will never forget.

Some things have changed since my original experience at Discovery Days, compared to my time now as an Ambassador, but many are just as awesome as I remember! There has always been the station rotation with parts like judging and Go For The Gold. Also, the t-shirts have been consistent souvenirs for the day, supported now by Beef Farmers’ of Ontario. One difference I can remember is having rabbits in Teeswater to judge. However Discovery Days will always be a day spent with good 4-H friends!

I would encourage every 4-H member to grab any friend, 4-H or not, and go to Discovery Days. It is an inexpensive, entertaining day that you won’t regret or forget. You can meet new people and also enjoy it with friends you already have. Events like these are only as good as the volunteers that are there, who never disappoint — so thank you for always making 4-H events incredible. I am so glad I had the opportunity to go again and any 9-12 year old should watch for a Discovery Day in there region and never hesitate to sign up for the next one.