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.