Ambassador Beat: James Gilchrist (Show Your 4-H Colours)

Show Your 4-H Colours

 Hey All,

It’s me, James Gilchrist, writing to you again. If you do not know me, I am one of the 2020 4-H Ontario Ambassadors. I am from the Niagara region and have been in 4-H for 10 years!

November is an important month for 4-H, especially this year with all that is going on with COVID-19, because it is Show Your 4-H Colours month!

Showing Your 4-H Colours was established in 2007, to celebrate everything 4-H and as well as, an opportunity to give back to the organization. Every November 4-H members, leaders, alumni, and supporters put on their 4-H green and celebrate the achievements and impacts the community and programs have made in Canada and beyond.

Showing Your 4-H Colours throughout the month of November, helps to highlight the incredible things that 4-H and the incredible youth are doing within their regions and communities. As well as, showing how the 4-H programming creates responsible, caring, contributing and strong young leaders.

Due to COVID-19, without any of the in-person events that we normally enjoy, this year we need to show off our 4-H spirt whatever way we can. We can do this through social media and in our daily lives to show that we are still an active part of our community by showing our 4-H spirt and resourcefulness. I usually like to show my 4-H Colours by helping out at our 4-H banquet or in our food booth. But this year I am showing my spirit by trying out as many clubs as I can. Please put on your GREEN, 4-H logos, shirts, hats, socks, ties, and coats and let us show who we are.

If you want to know more visit the 4-H Canada website

I challenge you to post what you are doing to #ShowYour4HColours. This November put on your 4-H green and get out there on social media or while socially distancing and show your 4-H spirit.




It’s time to get baking! As we get closer to Halloween, show your 4-H spirit by baking some clover shaped cookies and decorating them to create your very own spooky clover cookie!

After you are done making your spooky cookies …

  1. Take a picture of your spooky creation
  2. Post your photo to Instagram
  3. Make sure to tag the 4-H Ontario’s Instagram (@4h.ontario)
  4. And use the hashtag #4HSpookyCloverCookie
  5. All before November 2 at noon

… and you could win a 104 PIECE CAKE DECORATING KIT!

(Which includes: A Cake Turntable, 36 Icing Tips, 2 Silicone Pastry Bags, 2 Icing Spatulas, 3 Icing Smoothers, 50 Disposable Pastry Bags and More!)


Here’s a recipe from 4-H Locally Submitted Project “The Cookie Jar” that you can use as the base for your decorations!

Sugar Cookies (adapted from Five Roses Cookbook)


· 1 Cup (250 ml) white sugar

· 1 cup (250 ml) butter, softened

· 2 eggs

· 2 ½ cups (625 ml) all purpose flour

· 1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda

· 2 tsp (10 ml) cream of tartar

· ½ tsp (2 ml) salt

· Pinch of nutmeg


· Beat sugar with butter until well blended.

· Add eggs and beat well. Add flour, soda, cream of tartar, salt, and nutmeg and blend until well mixed.

· Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill dough for at least 1 hour or overnight.

· Preheat oven to 350o F (180 o C).

· On a floured surface, roll out dough with a rolling pin to approximately ¼” thickness.

· Using cookie cutters, cut dough into shapes and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

· Cookies can be decorated with sprinkles, chocolate chips, etc. at this time prior to baking.

· Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are just beginning to brown.

Makes 3 dozen.

And here are some “Better Baking Tips” from the Batter Up 4-H Project:

· Use cookie sheets (or a pan turned upside down) because there are no sides to interfere with the circulation of heat. Bright, shiny sheets reflect heat and give a delicately browned crust.

· Because most cookies will spread a little, spacing is necessary to prevent them from running together.

· Check of doneness of cookies when the minimum baking time is up. The cookie should be set so that when you touch it lightly with your finger, almost no imprint will remain.

· Use a wide spatula to remove cookies from the sheet as soon as you take them from the oven. Place on a cooling rack. As the cookie cools it becomes hardened. If left on the pan it will stick and may break as you remove it.

· To keep soft cookies moist, store in a container with a slice of apple or fresh bread.

· To keep crisp cookies from going soft, store in a loosely covered container

3 4-H Activities that Promote Healthy Living!

Hey 4-Her’s, with all of this COVID CRAZINESS surrounding us, it is becoming increasingly important to focus on a living a healthy lifestyle. Here are 3 4-H activities that ensure physical fitness, teamwork, and healthy eating habits! 


Time: 10 minutes

Materials/Resources: None!


  • Find a partner (in your bubble) to participate with you.
  • To begin, both you and your partner must link arms while sitting on the floor back to back.
  • Both of you are to sit on the floor and must try and get to a standing position without using their hands.
  • If you have successfully completed this activity, you can keep adding one more person every time you can stand up successfully.
  • See how many people you can get doing this task successfully before the task becomes too difficult.

Personal Reflection:

 Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How has this activity assisted in recognizing your strengths and limitations?
  2. How can this group activity be applied into your own individual fitness program?
  3. What has this activity demonstrated for you regarding your own strength?

 Consider:  Recognize the importance of teamwork and to determine your own strength when accomplishing a task. Consider your own strengths and areas of improvements with strength training.


Time: 15 minutes


  • Writing utensils (pen/pencil)
  • Lined/Blank Paper


  • Write the alphabet on the left side of the page.
  • Make a list of exercises that starts with each letter of the alphabet A-Z.

Personal Reflection:

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How can this activity serve as a review for the different exercises that I know?
  2. Was this activity too difficult, too easy? Explain.

Consider:  Consider using these exercises or a variety of different exercises in your personal fitness program.


 Time: 10-15 minutes

Materials/Resources (be mindful of allergies):

  • Plastic cups
  • Plastic straws
  • Blender
  • Your choice of fruits – bananas, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, apples, melon, peaches, etc.
  • Almonds, sunflower seeds
  • Your choice of yogurt – vanilla, strawberry, plain etc.
  • Fruit juice


  • Cut up fruits (like apples, peaches, melon, bananas) and place in the blender. *ask a guardian for help if you need to*
  • Add yogurt and fruit juice to the blender with fruit.
  • Blend together and serve.

Personal Reflection:

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why is it important to eat healthy and stay hydrated when exercising?
  2. How can the individuality of making fruit smoothies compare to creating a fitness program?

Consider:  Consider how healthy eating and proper nutrition could be used throughout your personal lifestyle and fitness program.


These are just A FEW ways you can introduce healthy lifestyle habits into your daily routines!  If you enjoyed these activities, make sure you sign up for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Virtual Marathon Charity Challenge! You can support 4-H Ontario, all while promoting your own healthy lifestyle!

Sign up now using this link:



The Ambassador Beat : Marissa Lester

My name is Marissa Lester and I have the honour of being one of the 2020 4-H Ontario Ambassadors. I have also recently graduated from the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus where I studied agriculture. Through my two-year program I managed to balance homework, assignments, classes, and a part time job as well as my 4-H life! It was not the easiest thing I have done in life, but it was well worth it!

4-H has been an extremely big part of my life ever since I joined. When I decided I was going off to college, I was worried about finding the time for schoolwork, training a show heifer, and a part time job but I am so happy I continued to make time for 4-H.

Lucky for me, Ridgetown was only 45 minutes away from my hometown of Brigden. It was tough to get into a routine but I made time for my assignments, to be an active member in my 4-H clubs, halter break two heifers, and also work my shift on Saturdays. Throughout this experience I learned important time management skills and how to prioritize the things you care about most in life.

There were a lot of other students in the same boat as me who all shared the same passion for 4-H and would not give it up for anything in the world. I’m very thankful for those friends I had made through college and the support system we created.

At the end of the day, it’s important to prioritize your interests and passions in life. Would I say give up your senior 4-H years? No definitely not! Your senior 4-H years in my opinion are the best ones that are filled with many accomplishments and opportunities you will not want to miss out on!

It can get difficult.

It can get stressful.

It can get overwhelming.

However, it’s important to remember to do what is best for you, to do what you love, and to never give up. Most importantly, you need to never stop ‘learning to do by doing’ whether you are in 4-H or not!


The Ambassador Beat : Caitlyn Kolb

My Club to Club Exchange to Alberta

In 2017 I was lucky enough to participate in a 4-H Club to Club Exchange to Consort, Alberta, and to this day that is one of my most memorable 4-H experiences…

Myself, along with eight other members from my association and two chaperones got to travel to Consort, Alberta. We started off our trip by meeting our host families and getting comfortable in our new homes for the week. Each of us were paired up with a “twin” who we lived with for the week. It was a neat experience for us from Ontario because our homes are all in town or on the outskirts of town where we have a quick drive to get groceries or don’t have to drive far to a city for a day trip. However, in Consort it was the norm to drive 2 hours just to get groceries! So, for us that really was the middle of nowhere!

During our time in Alberta, we visited the Drumheller dinosaur museum, went to Capt Ayr lake for a day, and even toured a honey and bison farm! Some of my favourite memories included going to a rodeo in Vermillion and spending a night in a cabin in Banff! There were endless opportunities to learn a little more about a new province and to interact with new people.

Two girls standing in front of tourist spot in Alberta

I think the most amazing part of this experience were the amazing friends and connections I made through this exchange. I still keep in contacts with many of the 4-H members from Consort and have even been back to visit them three more times! I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity and for the friends it has given me.

Group of youth walking down rocky cliff in summer time             To any 4-H’ers considering participating in a Club-to-Club Exchange I would highly recommend going. It was an amazing opportunity that has benefited me in so many ways!


Brant 4-H Hosts Virtual Cloverbud Club

By Laura Goulding

Despite the uncharted territory that has followed the COVID-19 pandemic, many 4-H volunteers have risen to the challenge of hosting virtual and online clubs so 4-H’ers can continue to learn and connect with others during this time. Even Cloverbuds!

The Brant 4-H Association began hosting a virtual Cloverbud Club in June and 18 participants joined the club. The club plans to host six meetings over the summer, each with a focus on a different topic. Youth and volunteers meet virtually every two weeks for a short and sweet 20 to 40-minute-long meeting. Within the two weeks leading up to the meeting, Cloverbuds have a variety of at-home activities to complete related to their upcoming meeting topic.

The first meeting topic the Brant 4-H Cloverbuds focused on was recycling. “We got them to make their own paper hat to wear to the meeting and one of the club leaders did an activity where they held up different items and the kids identified if it was garbage, recycling or compost,” says Lesleigh Elgie, Brant 4-H Cloverbud Club Leader. “They also made a gift for their dad for Fathers’ Day out of something recycled.” 

The club’s second topic was called “Our Heritage”, just in time for Canada Day! Cloverbuds wore red and white to the meeting, played Canada Day bingo and were encouraged to make a special Canada Day treat. Each youth also decorated a quilt block about themselves and one of the leaders digitally ‘sewed’ each block together to create one big quilt.

Craft made into digital quilt.

“We ask them kids to get the activities done the day before the meeting, we email all the completed activities to one leader and she puts them into a slideshow. Then during our ‘show and tell’ time we play the slideshow and each kid gets to tell the group about the activities they did. It gives them all time to talk for a few minutes,” says Lesleigh.

Like many other virtual clubs, technology can sometimes pose a challenge but Lesleigh notes that being prepared is key and it’s all about trial and error. She also mentions that the Cloverbud age group is very welcoming and grateful for the interaction with their friends and the activities are a lot of fun for them.

When asked about one piece of advice she had for anyone interested in running a virtual Cloverbud Club, Lesleigh said, “Give it a try! It’s been a fun experience and we look forward to keeping it going over the summer months. Certainly, if anyone has any questions they can reach out and we’d be happy to share our schedule and support any other Cloverbud experience.”

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.

The Ambassador Beat : Caitlyn Kolb

My Youth Adventure Camp Journey

Shy, quiet 12-year-old me hopped on to a bus full of other kids that I had never met.

I was scared.

I was nervous.

But most of all I was excited! Little did I know that the next five days would have such a huge impact on my life today.

As the bus pulled up to the camp we were all greeted by several enthusiastic camp facilitators! This was the beginning of my first Youth Adventure Camp journey!

I remember so clearly. At 12 years old I didn’t really realize it but looking back on it now I can see how much this week really made me who I am today.

The week was full of activities such as ice breaker games, archery, camp fires, camp songs, capture the flag, swimming and so much more! As the week went on I made new connections with so many people, developed my leadership skills, and was able to step outside of my comfort zone.

I conquered my fear of heights while rock climbing, was able to take on a leadership role by assisting a blind-folded person to build a tent, and problem solved by completing several puzzling challenges.

As my week of Youth Adventure Camp came to an end we all said goodbye and I headed back on that bus. 12-year-old me looked back on the week, remembering the fun times and the people I met, but not fully aware of how that week had such an impact on my life.

After that week I knew I wanted to attend that camp again. So, I did… two more times!

As I got older and continued going back to Youth Adventure Camp I slowly started to understand how the volunteers and facilitators were so focused on shaping us group of kids into future leaders at a young age. Every single activity we completed was in some way positively impacting the future of all of us.

Here I am today (of course wishing for another summer at Youth Adventure Camp), once again reflecting upon my experiences at camp.

I was so quiet, shy, and unsure of how to act in group situations at 12 years old. But now I am 19 years old, just finished my second year on university and beginning my summer job as a crop scout.

I am comfortable working in group settings, I enjoy contributing to group projects and taking on leadership roles whenever possible. I am able to strive to be the best I can and to constantly push myself outside of my comfort zone.

It all started the second I got on to that bus heading to Youth Adventure Camp.

I am so thankful I attended Youth Adventure Camp and would highly recommend it to anyone between that ages of 12 and 15 as it is a great way to build leadership skills at a young age that will stick for all future endeavours!



The Ambassador Beat : Jasmine Gillyatt

My Favourite 4-H Club

Being in my final year of 4-H, and during this time of social distancing, I find myself thinking a lot about my years in 4-H. All the experiences I’ve had, and the friends I’ve made. But one question comes back to me every time, and it’s a question I haven’t ever been able to answer, what is my favourite 4-H project?

With 67 projects completed in all, I have yet to find one project to be my overall favourite but I still look back from time to time and remember the skills I still learned from all of them.

Narrowing it down, I think I would have to lean toward a club that I have been a Youth Leader with. They say you remember things so much better if you can teach it to others, and I think that is true for youth leading a club too. I also find that I enjoy those clubs so much more. I have been a Youth Leader in five clubs throughout my tenure: Beekeeping, Book, Square Dancing, Best Of The Bakery, and Spice Of Life. Being a Youth Leader allows you to become more involved in the club as a whole. You can lead activities with the members and end up enjoying the club more because you are sharing in the fun of an activity with others.

If I had to pick my absolute favourite I think I would have to say Spice Of Life. In this club I got to watch members (leaders and myself) go from not being able to identify many herbs and spices to being able to identify most of them. I watched members come out of their shells and become comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas.

In each club I have learned something new, met new people, and had new experiences that I never would have had if I hadn’t joined 4-H.  4-H has some of the best people I have ever met, from the leaders to its members. Their involvement in these clubs makes them even better. That’s why I find it so difficult to pick just one club to be my favourite, and that’s why I will always recommend 4-H to anyone I meet. It’s not just about that one six meeting club, but every club, throughout your entire 4-H career.