My Rich History with 4-H

I love hearing and reading 4-H Ontario Alumni stories. It’s amazing to learn about the rich history of the 4-H program straight from the Alumni themselves. I find it extremely interesting to see how the program has evolved over the years to shape in to what it is today. Even though some of the activities have changed, there is one constant that always remains: The values of head, heart, hands and health, as well as “Learn To Do By Doing”. No matter the generation, every 4-H’r I have spoken with always shares that these values have impacted them, or shaped their lives in some way; it is truly amazing. Thank you to all the 4-H Alumni who are sharing their story. Myself, and many others, love to hear about your experiences with 4-H.
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My Rich History with 4-H
By Joan – A Temiskaming 4-H Alumnus

When I was 12 I joined my first homemaking Club in Temiskaming District. For the next 10 years I was involved in the 4-H program completing many units. In 1951, I received my County Honours and then in 1956 my provincial Honours. These awards were so special.

Another very special award was given to me. It was a trip to the University of Guelph to attend the first Girls’ Conference for 4-H Homemaking Club Members. It was held June 22−25, 1954.

Miss Laura Phippen was our home economist. She arranged for all the girls from her districts to meet her in Toronto as we had all travelled by train. After meeting us at Union Station in Toronto, she took us to Niagara Falls to see the sights and have a ride on the Maid of the Mist. We became aquainted with a few before we met many other 4-H Club Members from most counties and districts the next day.

After we registered in MacDonald Hall, we were taken up the stairs to our rooms. Over the door, on one of the floors, I noticed a sign that said “If you have nothing to do, don’t do it here”. That idea stayed with me to this day.

Each session gave us so many ideas about how to become a better person in every aspect of our world; our home, Club, school and community. We were asked to take a look at ourselves.

Some ideas for us to consider, and how each may be achieved were:

  • How to become a valuable family member, friend and Club Member
  • How to be friendly, have poise, tact and a sense of humour
  • How to be enthusiastic, happy, pleasant and helpful
  • How to stay healthy

At the end of this amazing conference, I was asked if I would take part in a dialogue with two other delegates to prepare a radio broadcast for the CBC. It was very exciting!

58 years later brings us to 2012. I look back over those years and think of the leadership role in which I have participated. The seeds were planted in my mind back at that conference that led me to become an elementary teacher, 4-H Leader and community leader.
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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!

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