As part of the development of our new 4-H Ontario Alumni Program, which is funded through a Promotional Partnership with Hyland Seeds, including the position of 4-H Ontario’s Coordinator, Alumni Services, we’ve been asking 4-H Alumni across the province to share their 4-H story.
Today I’d like to share Anne Arksey’s 4-H story. Anne was both a 4-H Member and Volunteer during her tenure with 4-H. Like many 4-H’rs across Ontario, the program had a big impact on Anne’s life. Thank you Anne for taking the time to share your story.
Remember, whether you are a Member, Volunteer or Alumni, we would love to hear your 4-H story. Don’t be shy, give us a call or email and tell us what 4-H means to you.
“Learn To Do By Doing”
By Anne Arksey
My first 4-H project was sewing my own dress when I was twelve years old. I had looked forward to my first 4-H Club with excitement since 12 was the magic age when you could join a club back in 1968 . I attended the Minesing Club which was led by Mrs. Isabel Downey, and all of the girls were older than me. After that first club, my mother, Mrs. Dorothy C. Giffen, and her friend, Mrs. Mabel Maw, started a club in Edenvale. Mrs. Wendy Ploeg later joined as a leader. My sister and I went faithfully to all of the clubs, and were thrilled with the silver spoons we received at the end of each unit. Our goal was to reach 21 units when we would receive a silver pie server (which I continue to use today!)
4-H developed a sense of responsibility, and commitment. The expectations were high for our behavior and our attention to detail in everything we did – from our record books, conducting meetings, to our completed project. We always looked forward to 4-H evenings – especially the ones where we learned to cook or bake and we got to sample the food! I found that I used many of the lessons I learned in 4-H later on for raising my own family. My sister and I both became 4-H Leaders when our own daughters were old enough to join 4-H. I was pleased that I was able to share this with my daughter. One highlight was when our Calf 4-H club toured ranches in Michigan and we also visited Michigan State University.
Showing my calf at the Royal Winter Fair in the Queen’s Guineas is a memory I will never forget since my white charolais calf backed in a glass door, breaking the door into many fragments, while cutting my calf’s tail. Kind Albertan’s sewed up my calf’s tail and helped calm my nerves.
Taking part in the 4-H Leadership Courses was also valuable and I met people from throughout the province of Ontario. I gained lots of friendships and experiences while in 4-H. What a fabulous pledge to live by – I pledge: My Head to clearer thinking, My Heart to greater loyalty, My Hands to larger Service, My Health to better living – for my club, my community, and my country.