4-H Family Leaves a Legacy for Future Generations

Written by: Ryan Métivier

Everyone has their reasons for wanting to give back to their community. For the Knapp family, supporting youth has been deeply engrained in their family’s culture since as far back as 1915. The year is significant as it’s the year Stanley Knapp, recognized as the “father” of 4-H in Ontario, formed the first recorded Boys and Girls Club in Waterloo. These short courses gave rise to the Junior Farmers’ Associations in Waterloo County. 

“He always seemed to be happiest when he was surrounded by children and young people and was a real believer in youth and their potential,” says David Knapp, Stanley Knapp’s grandson.

Knapp remembers fondly, his grandfather speaking passionately about giving youth a chance to learn for themselves and implement what they had learned to help future generations.  The Knapp family has been tied to the 4-H program uninterrupted for 100 years now. All four generations have been involved as members, leaders, coaches or supporters in one form or another, with a fifth generation on the horizon in the not too distant future.

David Knapp and his sister Beth Pearson accepted a Certificate of Appreciation to the Knapp Family for founding the first 4-H club in Ontario in 1915.

With Stanley’s induction into the Ontario Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2006, the family felt it was a fitting time to establish a fund in his honour to give back to the organization which he started and that has helped to shape their family’s lives. The Stanley Knapp Resource Development Endowment Fund was created this same year and supports project resource development. Most recently, funds were used to create the Judging Handbook in 2015. 

“His vision started it, but countless people have worked diligently over the years to ensure the 4-H program’s success and modify it for the next generations,” says Knapp.

In September 2015 at the 100th Anniversary Gala in Cornwall, David and his sister Beth Pearson accepted a Certificate of Appreciation to the Knapp Family for founding the first 4-H club in Ontario in 1915.

“It was obviously a pretty proud moment for my sister and I to represent the family,” says Knapp. “There’s not too many things that endure 100 years and to see the enthusiasm that is still there for 4-H and to have him recognized for having an idea way back then, was a very humbling and proud moment.”

If your family would be interested in creating a legacy by establishing a Family Named Endowment Fund, please contact a Trustee within the Ontario 4-H Foundation or Katherine Smart, Manager, Corporate Giving & Philanthropy with 4-H Ontario by calling 519.856.0992 x461 or by email at giving@4-hontario.ca.

Haldimand leaders ensure all are included

Written By: Ryan Métivier

In the Haldimand Girl’s Night Out Club members partake in activities based around topics such as skin and hair care, self-esteem, bullying, exercise and fashion. They also enjoy guest speakers on these topics and have a chance to learn how to make homemade body scrubs and face masks and participate in a Zumba class.

Last year, while recovering in the hospital following an accident, one member, Charlotte Huitema, was unable to participate in some of the club’s meetings. Rather than be forced to miss out, the club’s leaders made the extra effort to alter some of the activities and include her from the hospital.

The club is run by leaders Stephanie Huitema and Kaitlynn Young. Huitema was a 4-H member from 2006‑2012 and began volunteering once completing the program and Young began volunteering in 2013.

Kate Young, Stephanie Huitema, Charlotte Huitema

“I decided to become a leader because I loved my time as a member and was so appreciative to all the leaders that I had, that I wanted to be the same type of role model and community volunteer as well,” says Huitema.

“I got involved with 4-H because I felt I could help teach kids and to be able to learn something new from the clubs myself too,” adds Young.

In order to accommodate Charlotte, with internet access and a laptop she was able to follow the PowerPoints and group discussions from her hospital bed, which worked out great so she could sign off when she needed rest. As a senior member, she was able to help define various topics during discussions to the many first-time members and explain to them the structure of 4-H and how different roles work.

“It was really nice to be included in the meetings and being able to participate when the club started,” says Charlotte Huitema. “This gave me the opportunity to ease back into 4-H and not lose a club that I was interested in. The leaders were very supportive in allowing this option for me to participate.”

Both leaders were thrilled to be able to help this member stay a part of the club, have some socialization and assist in her recovery.

Interested in finding out more about 4-H Ontario, or becoming a member or volunteer yourself? Visit our website here to find out more about signing up!