The Ambassador Beat : Lauren Bos

Oh the Places You Could Go….(even when you are stuck at home) 

By Lauren Bos

When I picked this topic for my blog post I originally thought that things would be much, much different. Not once did I think that we would be locked down in quarantine. My first weekend as a 4-H Ambassador was a great experience and gave me a chance to connect with the other Ambassadors. Everyone was super kind, and it was a weekend that I will never forget. Hearing everyone’s 4-H memories, the clubs they had been involved in, and so much more about each of them. Better yet, we also signed up for all the amazing activities planned for the summer!

Then COVID-19 happened. Like many others, 4-H Ontario made the tough decision to put in-person events on hold or cancel them due to the current pandemic. If it weren’t for COVID-19, by this time of the year we would have been at the Ontario 4-H Foundation golf tournaments, Discovery Days and events such as fairs and plowing matches, and of course the FS Sponsor Tour.

We planned to travel the province speaking about the amazing benefits of 4-H, and suddenly we couldn’t. As 4-H Ambassadors, we knew we had to turn this negative into a positive. We have had monthly meetings through Zoom to keep up with one another and to meet any deadlines that are coming up. These meetings also gave us the opportunity to hang out and brainstorm. We asked ourselves some questions:  

  • How about when we aren’t being 4-H ambassadors?
  • How can we as 4-H members showcase 4-H?
  • When we are just out and about with our day not wearing our 4-H attire, how do we showcase 4-H?

As 4-H members, we normally share our determination, hard work and learning at our achievement days, which typically are done in person. We realized that there are ways to recognize achievements during COVID-19 that don’t involve an in-person element. When those around us see how we act and care for what is going on, it exemplifies exactly what 4-H is all about: Head, Heart, Hands, Health and how we “Learn To Do By Doing”.

Youth standing with lambs at fair.

Through 4-H, we are taught to treat everyone as an equal. We are always willing to teach others about what we know and aren’t afraid to ask questions to learn more about what we don’t know. We have also learned how important it is to be involved in the community from participating in fairs, farmers’ markets, doing roadside clean-ups for the health of the environment and so much more. Contributing to our community is a big part of what makes 4-H so great and amazing.

The places that we could showcase 4-H are all around us. It truly is going to be an amazing year even with the differences of COVID-19. Many clubs been able to meet virtually and talk about what we’ve been up to which has really helped keep us connected. As 4-H members, alumni, friends, and family, we can all show how 4-H has changed us for the better in  what we do, how we live, what we have learned and so much more. Oh the places we can go, even when we cannot.


Youth uses 4-H baking skills to start small bread business during COVID-19

By Laura Goulding

Brock Ruttan, Prince Edward 4-H’er, began the 4-H Bread Venture club in early 2020, his first 4-H club since graduating from 4-H’s Cloverbud program. In the Bread Venture club, Brock enjoyed spending time with his friends and learned how to make bread and pretzels.

In March the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and all in-person 4-H activities were suspended until further notice as a result of social distancing protocols put in place by the government. Unfortunately, Brock’s Bread Venture club was cancelled after only two meetings, but that didn’t stop him from building upon his new found baking skills.

Youth standing in kitchen beside baked goods he made.

Brock’s Aunt, Treena, helped him bake bread at home and from there Brock learned how to make cheese bread, cinnamon buns and garlic bread. “My favourite is cheese bread because cheese is my favourite food and my next favourite food is bread, so why not put it all together in one,” says Brock. 

“My family liked my baking so much that I was doing a lot of baking and using all the flour and yeast. I asked for money so I could buy more ingredients and keep making bread,” says Brock. In addition to building bread making skills, Brock also learned about the relationship between expenses, revenue and profit, critical elements in running a small business. 

“We are so proud of him and this is the reason we need to keep 4-H for young people. We may have the next successful chef in our midst,” says Lynn Ward, Prince Edward 4-H Association volunteer.