Youth Exchanges Canada

This summer, the Essex 4-H Exchange Club had a fantastic opportunity to participate in the Youth Exchanges Canada trip. The 4-H Youth Exchanges Canada program is a reciprocal exchange between 4-H groups across Canada and is administered by 4-H Canada. Four Ontario groups were selected to participate this year, the Essex group being one of them. The exchange provides delegates with the opportunity to travel to other parts of Canada, and in doing so, experience the culture, geography, history, and economy of the regions they visit.

Essex 4-H Exchange Club
By Alexandra Lockley

In July Essex 4-H Exchange Club left Windsor Airport to travel to Canwood, SK. After a long travel day we arrived at Saskatoon Airport where we were welcomed by our host group and met our twins. We travelled about 2 hours by bus to our groups homes. Our first morning we all met at the Aiken Family’s home for brunch and than travelled to a nearby Bison farm for a tour, than we had some friendly games of 5 pin bowling, bench ball and a BBQ and finished the evening with a baseball game.

Sasketchewan View
Amazing views in Saskatchewan

We had a family day to spend with our host family and everyone went to different lakes for the day and enjoyed the hot summer weather they were having. Our next day we travelled to Blue Mountain for “Fear Factor” which was being harnessed in and climbing a 30 foot telephone pole and standing on a small platform and jumping off trying to hang on a trapeze, than if you made it you hung upside down from your feet and let go! After most people in the group braved the jump we went zip lining, we ended then went for a swim in the lake. Our next stop was the Crooked Trees, the trees in this area grow crooked and can not be explained, the trees across the driveway are straight.

Ziplining adventures

Our next day we went to a bronze foundry and it was very interesting how the bronze was melted and designed into all different kinds of artwork. The local John Deere dealer was having a “Hay Day” and we went to check out some new tractors and balers, and had a great lunch. At the Aiken home we had a dough bake by the campfire, it was something new for us and enjoyed by all. Then we were off to a Branding, this was an awesome experience that most felt was the highlight of the trip! We watched and than helped with rounding up the young beef cattle and made sure they were vaccinated, branded and sent back to their mothers. Some of the group was even able to ride horseback to push the herd of cattle out to a different pasture as the sun was setting. We then went down to a river and had a bonfire and dinner and tried some new things bison and elk stacks and a few tried the prairie oysters, we all felt like real cowboys and cowgirls!

Wismer Clydesdales
Exchange group shot

The week went by too quickly and our last day we went we went the Doukhobor settlement where we learned how this group of Russian immigrants made homes dugout in the sides of the hills and saw the largest tree in Saskatchewan. Next we headed into Saskatoon to visit a wave pool for some fun than it was dinner at the Taste of Saskatchewan and opening night of Hamlet on the river.

Many friendships have been made and wonderful memories of a beautiful province.
In August we were able to host our new friends from Saskatchewan. When they arrived our first stop was the Roots to Boots festival in Amherstburg, we were able to show them the tall ship, a cannon being fired on the Detroit River by people in period costumes, we were hosted for dinner by the O’Connor Family.

Our next day was a family day and many travelled to stay overnight in Niagara. Tuesday was spent in Niagara Falls where we went on the Maid of the Mist and enjoyed the indoor water park. Our next day start with donuts and peach juice at Colasanti’s followed by goofy golf, a tour by Mr. Joe Colasanti and than buffet for lunch. We then challenged the twins to a game of 10 pin bowling at Empire lanes. On our way to Point Pelee we stopped for pictures by the Big Tomato in Leamington, and a drive by Heinz. We braved the black flies and made it to the tip for a picture, we also made a stop at the board walk, and nature centre.

Maid of the Mist
Maid of the Mist expedition in Niagara Falls

Thursday we headed to Windsor for a tour of the Chrysler Windsor Assembly Plant to see how minivans are made. After our interesting tour, Local 444 hosted us for a pizza lunch from Franco’s. Even though the weather was cool and raining we than headed to the river for a tour on the Windsor River Boat. We went to Coventry Garden for a walk by Peace Fountain Park and had ice cream from Cooleez! This evening we had a fun night back at the Kiwanis Camp near Kingsville. Taras Natyshak joined us to welcome our friends from Saskatchewan, and we also had an exchange student staying with a 4-H Family from the LABO program and she was also welcomed. Everyone was given pins and certificates. We than had some fun with a hay bale toss, ride that pony dance, and lifesaver pass games, followed by smores and a dough bake.

Friday morning we had to pack up the camp and headed to Amherstburg once again, we had a tour of Wismer Clydsdales farm, lunch in the park and a tour and tinsmithing at the Park House. We than went to the annual Steam and Gas Show in McGregor to see a thrashing demonstration and had dinner hosted by the Stratichuk family. This was our last night together and everyone spent it with their twins.

Alexandra Lockley is a 4-H’r from Essex 4-H. Alexandra has completed 12 project including Walk on the Wild Side, Fitness 4 Health, and Drama.

Which 4-H Recipe Do You Still Use?

4-H Ontario is in the process of creating an 4-H Ontario Alumni program to reconnect 4-H Ontario Alumni to 4-H. There are so many amazing memories and stories that have evolved over 4-H’s long history and we want to be able to rehash these moments and share them with current and future 4-H’rs. As part of our initiative to connect with Alumni, we’ve created postcards that dive in to each Alumnus’ favourite 4-H memory, favourite recipe, and many other 4-H topics. For this blog post, I’d like to share an Alumnus’ response to the postcard that asked “Which 4-H recipe do you still use?” This recipe has been enjoyed by many across multiple generations so I’m excited share this 4-H favourite.

Which 4-H Recipe Do You Still Use?
By Joan, Temiskaming 4-H Alumnus 

Recipe Card
Collecting 4-H memories

“I took part in my first homemaking Club unit ‘The Club Girl Entertains’ when I was 12 in 1946. During that unit we were given a recipe book with many recipes in it that we tried making during the unit. Several have been favourites over the years. They were easy to make, tasty, and required items found in my family’s cupboard.

Cocoa Paste
Mix 1/2 cup cocoa poweder and 3/4 cup white sugar. Add 1/2 cup water. Stir thoroughly and cook in a double broiler for a least 30 minutes until the mixture is smooth and well blended. For hot chocolate, add milk until desired flavour is reached. Serve. For chocolate milk, once milk is added, allow mixture to cool and store in fridge.

I can’t begin to count the number of gallons of this our family made and served to friends in Junior Farmers, 4-H, Young Peoples and to friends gathering together to celebrate special occasions. Everyone always enjoyed it and still do.”

Share Your 4-H Story4-H Ontario’s Alumni program is funded through a Promotional Partnership with Hyland Seeds, including the position of 4-H Ontario’s Coordinator, Alumni Services. Hyland Seeds is passionate about agriculture and believes in supporting the people who are deeply rooted in the agricultural industry; dedication to 4-H is proof of this commitment. Thank you Hyland Seeds!

An Eye Opening Experience

In the beginning of July, the 2012 4-H Ontario Ambassador embarked on the annual Ambassador Sponsor Tour. This tour gives the Ambassadors a chance to meet the 4-H Ontario Ambassador Program’s sponsors GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP, and gain a little intel on what these companies are all about. 4-H Ontario Ambassador, Steven Stockdale, shares his experience on the tour below.

An Eye Opening Experience at the 2012 4-H Ontario Ambassador Sponsor Tour
By Steven Stockdale

Steven Stockdale

I recently took part in the 4-H Ontario Ambassador Sponsor Tour on Thursday July 5th. I was joined by my fellow 4-H Ontario Ambassadors and 4-H Ontario staff representatives Marianne Fallis and Wraychel Horne.

During the tour we visited many FS locations such as FS PARTNERS in Ayr, the GROWMARK, Inc. Ontario Distribution Centre in Kitchener, North Wellington Co-op in Harriston and the UPI Energy LP card lock and distribution centre in Guelph. A side trip during this tour was to the Stone Crock restaurant in St. Jacobs – what an amazing place to eat! The food there was just fantastic. If you know me, you know I like food. LOL.

Group shot
Tour group shot

My favorite part of the tour was stopping at FS PARTNERS in Ayr. The grain storage they had there is unbelievable. I’m from Peterborough, and we do not have grain storage facilities that are this impressive. It was like looking up to the Jolly Green Giant; I just couldn’t believe my eyes!

Grain storage
Grain storage bins at FS Partners

Another part of the tour that was intriguing was the test plots. It was interesting to see the partnership between the farmers and FS showing how to improve his fields and improving his crop yield over the long term with multiple crops.  This would be valuable for many farmers as most don’t just plant one year but many years.

Ambassadors on tour
The five 4-H Ontario Ambassadors: (from left to right) Victoria Kyle, Jennifer Pollock, Steven Stockdale, Julia Romagnoli, and Samantha Klaver

For me the tour was valuable because it really showed me, as well as the other Ambassadors, a first hand look at what our sponsors do and we learned how diverse the companies are. I feel proud to have such great sponsors for the 4-H Ontario Ambassador Program.

About Steven
Steven Stockdale grew up on his family’s dairy farm and has a passion for the 4-H program that has been passed down to him from his parents. He has completed more than 45 Club projects during his ten years as a 4-H Member and has attended multiple 4-H opportunities at the local, regional, provincial and national levels. Steven has held many 4-H Club executive positions including President and Vice President and even Youth Leader, as well as being a volunteer soccer coach in his community. All of these experiences demonstrate his strong leadership and teamwork skills. Steven’s ability to share his 4-H experiences with others while enhancing the Member experience for future generations are just two of the many qualities that make Steven an excellent Ambassador. Steven currently works at Sky Jack in Guelph as a Certified Welder.

The Road to Rio

4-H’r Bridget Graham recently embarked on a journey to the 2012 Earth Summit. Bridget is extremely passionate about environmental sustainability. She credits 4-H’s “Learn To Do By Doing” philosophy for helping her chase her dreams. Read on the learn more about Bridget’s experience in 4-H and at the 2012 Earth Summit.

The Road to Rio
By Bridget Graham

Bridget GrahamUrsus maritimus is how it all started. Polar bears, or as I used to call them sea bears. My fascination only grew from there, until the summer of my 18th birthday when I finally got to venture North to the place that will always have a piece of my heart.

I am from the small village of Beachburg, Ontario north of Ottawa in the country of Renfrew. Growing up I have always been an active Member or 4-H, as well as Junior Farmers and a past Queen of the Furrow (2010). I have recently just finished my first year at Dalhousie University in Halifax where I am studying Sustainability and Canadian Studies.

Bridget having fun
Bridget having fun while she pursues her passion. Photo by Mary Paquet

4-H has had a huge impact on my life, and I will always be grateful for that. My first project was a Club called Christmas in the Valley, and for the past eight years I have been apart of countless home craft and livestock Clubs. In the past I have showed dairy cattle as well as sheep and I became a junior Leader, which helped me gain incredible leadership skills. I became a role model to the kids and I still feel like I am learning how to interpret that role everyday. I became an ambassador for my local 4-H Clubs and agricultural community. The 4-H motto is “Learn To Do By Doing”, and that is what I have been practising. I have been fortunate enough to travel the world since my youth, and by “Learning To Do By Doing”, I have realized so many of my goals and I am even more passionate today. 4-H is an organization that has truly changed my life.

My passion for sustainability that I developed during my youth guided me to my next adventure. I recently traveled as an Students on Ice Alumnus to Brazil for the United Nations conference on Sustainable Development also known as the Rio+20 Earth Summit. I was one of the 14 members of the Students on Ice Alumni Delegation who spent nine days in Rio. We are one of the only Canadian Youth Delegations, as well as being one of the only delegations representing the Polar Regions.

All of our members are under the age of 24, and we have a very interesting perspective seeing as how we have all either traveled or lived in the Polar Regions. Our delegation is also made up of a Home Team, who will be rallying support for us back at home. While in Rio we attended the conference and hosted our own side event on UN grounds.

The Rio+20 Earth Summit marks the 20thanniversary of the United Nations environment and development conference, which was held in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro. There are several major outcomes of that conference such as the Climate Change Conventions that take place every year, the Kyoto Protocol, Agenda 21 and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Birdget Graham
Bridget advocates for sustainability in the Arctic. Photo by Jenna Gail

Our delegation focused on the Polar Regions because we believe that they are in great danger. The changes that we are experiencing in the South are nothing compared to the effects that northern communities are experiencing. The mission for our delegation can be broken down into four parts. We are addressing the current and emerging environmental, economic, and social challenges facing the Polar Regions. We are also hoping to promote long-term sustainability in the Polar Regions through education and collaboration with different groups such as the UN, and the Arctic Council. We are also hoping to present decision-makers at Rio+20 with a very interesting perspective seeing as how we have actually visited these regions, and finally we want to encourage decision makers to be accountable to future generations.