The Ambassador Beat: Olivia Bolender

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 2015, 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 Olivia Bolender, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from York 4-H Association

Hello, my name is Olivia Bolender and I am honoured to be representing 4-H Ontario as a 2015 Ambassador. I am proud to say that I am a York 4-H member and have been for 10 years. I live on a dairy farm in Stouffville with my parents and grandparents. I just recently graduated from Georgian College with my diploma in Fitness and Health Promotion. In September I will be heading to the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus, where I will earn my associate diploma in Agriculture. Throughout my 10 years in 4-H I have completed over 40 clubs and have attended many regional and provincial events. I love being a 4-H Ontario Ambassador because I have the opportunity to promote 4-H to adults and youth across the province.

For a lot of my life I have watched the people around me volunteer, which led me to do the same. My first volunteer experience was being a committee member at my local fair. For me, volunteering was a very positive experience and it made me want to continue to volunteer. I learned leadership and teamwork skills and how to effectively communicate with others. Joining 4-H caused me to see more volunteers in action, which helped grow my passion for volunteering.

When I heard about the opportunity to volunteer at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, I knew it was something that I would love to do. I found out about the opportunity while at school and immediately applied. I went through the interview process and months later I was chosen to be a volunteer at the CIBC Stadium for Athletics. Working alongside athletes and other volunteers for the Pan Am Games made me proud to be a volunteer. It was brought to my attention during the closing ceremonies, while listening to a speech from the Vice President of the Pan Am Games, how much work has been put in to make the two-week event a success. It has taken a large number of volunteers to make the Pan Am Gams successful over the past two weeks. This volunteer experience has really made me appreciate 4-H Ontario and its volunteers that have been successful for 100 years.

I have come to realize that in 4-H there is a real sense of community and camaraderie among volunteers. Our 4-H volunteers are motivated by passion and not recognition, and have given me a real tangible sense of belonging within my 4-H community. Our volunteers practice small acts everyday that make 4-H and extraordinary organization to be a part of. As 4-H Ontario celebrates its 100th Anniversary, events are planned across the province so that members, leaders, volunteers and sponsors can celebrate this moment in history. I am honoured that I am able to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of 4-H Ontario and its volunteers.

 

The Ambassador Beat: Nic Willemsma

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 2015, 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 Nic Willemsma, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Chatham-Kent 4-H Association

Hello! my name is Nic Willemsma, and I have the honour of representing 4-H Ontario as a 2015 Ambassador. I live in Kingsville, one of the most southern towns in Canada, where I work on a neighbour’s dairy farm. I am currently taking the Social Media Program online through Algonquin College, and I plan on using what I learn from this program to promote agriculture and 4-H.

I have been a 4-H member for 10 years and  have been able to attend many 4-H camps and opportunities that 4-H has to offer including Career Mania, Provincial Exchange Trip, National 4-H Members’ Conference, PLC (Provincial Leadership Camp), and FLIA (Future Leaders In Action).  Without the help of volunteer facilitators 4-H would not be able to run these great opportunities. Earlier this month (June) I attended my first event as as a 4-H Ambassador and was able to help facilitate Discovery Days in Region 6 and see the other side of a 4-H camp.

Back in 2013 one of my 4-H leaders recommended that I go to this 4-H camp that took place over March break called PLC. I had never been to a 4-H camp before and little did I know that it was going to be one of the best weeks I have ever had. After returning home from PLC I started looking up what other 4-H opportunities I could go to. Later that year I attended Career Mania and last year I attended FLIA and the National 4-H Members’ Conference.

Through these opportunities I have been able to meet and network with 4-H leaders and 4-H’ers from across Ontario and Canada. I am looking forward to meeting more people and sharing with them the great opportunities 4-H has to offer for members and even non-members

 

The Ambassador Beat: Laura Scott

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 2015, 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 Laura Scott, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Grenville County 4-H Association

My name is Laura Scott and I am proud to say that I am one of the 2015 4-H Ontario Ambassadors. Not only is this an honour to be an Ambassador, it’s an extra special year as we celebrate 100 years of 4-H in Ontario.

To start, I should probably introduce myself. I call the Grenville County Association home, and have my entire life. I am 18 years old and I am going in to my second year at the University of Guelph, majoring in Food, Agriculture and Resource Economics. I have completed over 35 clubs, ranging from beef, dairy, field crops, craft and cooking. I have been in 4-H for nine years, and have loved every single minute of it!

After reciting the 4-H motto of “Learn to do by Doing” for the last nine years, this year is when I believe that I am seeing that come into effect the most. While I’ve had to learn almost every skill I’ve gained from 4-H by actually doing it and practicing, I am noticing it so much more this year while I learn how my role as an Ambassador works.

Our year began with training and the reception, where we were first introduced and met our team for the year. After that, it was a pretty quiet spring for me. I went to an event here and an event there, but nothing steady. Let me tell you, that changed drastically when June rolled around. Even though this isn’t the busiest month we’re going to have as Ambassadors, it’s the first busy month for me. I’ve met so many new people and been so many places that it makes my head spin – in a good way, of course!

With the month kicking off with one of our major sponsors, UPI Energy, hosting their charity golf tournament, my month kicked off the learning to do by doing. I’d never been to a golf tournament before this one, and boy, was I ever glad that I had most of the Ambassador team with me as familiar faces that day! While we had a blast at the UPI Tournament, I found the 4-H Ontario Foundation Golf East Tournament even more fun! We had beautiful, warm weather, and I got to talk to so many people that are local to my area and who wanted to ask me about my time in 4-H, as well as my plans for after I’m finished university.

Of the three events that I attended in June, Region 2 Discovery Days was by far the biggest learning curve I’ve experienced as an Ambassador. I have younger siblings and I’ve helped young kids in my 4-H clubs whenever needed, but 40 kids in one room for six hours and they’re all between the ages of 9 and 12? The thing I learned the most from that day, was to roll with it. That and that kids come out with some of my favourite things. One member, when he got the wrong answer in a mock Go for the Gold Competition, snapped his fingers and said “Oh, barnacle nuggets!” This made me double over with laughter.

So all in all, I am learning so much from adults about my career options, but the kids are teaching me just as much, if not more. So far, my Ambassador experience is off to an amazing start, and I can only hope it keeps going this way for the rest of the year!