The Ambassador Beat : James Gilchrist

2020 4-H Ontario Ambassador hopes for the year

Hi all my name is James Gilchrist and I am one of the 2020 4-H Ontario Ambassadors. I have been in 4-H since I was 10 making this my 12th and final year of 4-H. During my time in 4-H I have completed about 25 clubs. Every year I have completed a Dairy Calf project, but I have also completed an assortment of other clubs such as demo derby, explore 4-H, a variety of life skills projects, plowing, tractor safety and sporting chance. After my first provincial leadership camp, Future Leaders in Action (FLIA), I came back wanting to get more involved in 4-H whether it’s on a club level as a youth leader or a provincial level like becoming a 4-H Ontario Ambassador. 

Hopes for the year as a 4-H Ontario Ambassador

During my year as a 4-H Ontario Ambassador I really want to get out to interact with the with the community, to let the public learn about 4-H and help the 4-H community become more passionate about 4-H. I’m really excited about all the events that have been booked for the ambassadors so far and those that are still coming in. There are several events coming up that I’m very excited for such as the Discovery Days in Emo (Region 1) as it will be the farthest west I have traveled in Canada. I will get to see what 4-H is like for those in northern Ontario. As well I’m pumped for the FS golf tournament in June because it will be the first golf tournament I have ever attended. I will get to meet the sponsors and learn more about FS. Another thing I am eager to see while attending camps and events is to get to see the next generation of 4-H members. Hopefully I can help ignite their love and dedication to 4-H much like the camps and facilitators of the camps that I attended did for me.

Along with the camps and events we will be attending as 4-H Ontario Ambassadors, we need to complete a community engagement project. This project is meant for 4-H Ontario Ambassadors to get out in our communities to make a difference and to promote 4-H and what its about. I have several ideas in mind for my community engagement project, but you will have to stay tuned to see what it is I will be doing

New this year, the 4-H Ontario Ambassadors will be on Instagram and I can say that we are all super excited about it. We will be chronicling our lives as 4-H Ontario Ambassadors and keeping you up to date on where we’ve been, what we have done. Please check us out on Instagram @4honambassaors


The Ambassador Beat : Rose Danen

Following in My Mom’s Footsteps: Why I Want to be a 4-H Leader

I can’t believe what I’m about to say… I’m going to be 21 this year.

While most may see 21 as a pretty insignificant milestone, the thought of my 21st birthday breaks my heart because it means this is going to be my last year as a 4-H participant.

Over 10 years in 4-H?! Where did the time go?!

The last few weeks have been spent reminiscing about all the amazing memories and opportunities 4-H gave me – clubs completed, camps attended, friends made, skills developed. All this reminiscing made me sad because I didn’t want it to be over.

But then I began thinking about my mom, and how this all started because she encouraged 10-year-old me to join my first 4-H club. This is when I realized ‘Wait! This doesn’t have to be my last year of 4-H.’

 A 4-H Leader Just Like My Mom

My 4-H journey isn’t over… it’s just beginning. I can become a 4-H leader, just like my mom!

I came to this realization because my mom never gave up 4-H herself after she turned 21. She has actively continued to be involved in 4-H since she was a little girl. She started as a member, then a volunteer, and now she’s a leader.

In my eyes, my mom has always been a 4-H leader. It has become a part of her identity. She’s the one who taught me how to show cows, how to recite the 4-H pledge, how to be a leader.

Looking at my mom’s 4-H journey, I realized being a 4-H leader is a great way to stay involved in 4-H and follow in my mom’s footsteps.

Why I Want to Be a 4-H Leader

I think the biggest reason why I want to become a 4-H leader is because it allows me to pass on the torch.

If it wasn’t for my mom, I would have never joined 4-H and been given all these amazing opportunities and I want to give other youth that same opportunity my mom gave me. I want to spread the awesomeness that is 4-H to all corners of my community.

I also want to be a 4-H leader because it can be an awesome outlet for me to utilize the skills I learned as a 4-H member.

Through the clubs I have completed, I learned how to sew, how to bake, how to garden, how to lead a healthy lifestyle. How awesome would it be to take those skills and pass them on to the next generation of youth?

Also, the skill I would be utilizing the most – leadership – also happens to be the most prominent skill I developed through 4-H. Being an ambassador, going to Provincial 4-H Leadership Camp and Future Leaders in Action, completing the Youth Leader project… all of it will make me an amazing 4-H leader.

I also want to be a 4-H leader so that I can give back to an organization that has already given me so much. I want to donate my time and money and invest in youth of tomorrow. I want to take my passions and turn them into new clubs. I want 4-H to spread its reach into more urban communities.

Though, as long as I get to keep being a part of 4-H, I’m happy. 

A Message to My Fellow Senior 4-Hers

This realization isn’t just for me. It’s for all senior 4-H members who are trying to figure out how to say goodbye to 4-H as they grow too old to be a member.

Guess what? You don’t have to say goodbye either.

You too can become a 4-H leader and start giving back to your community. Being a 4-H leader is such an amazing opportunity for you to volunteer, to mentor youth, and be a part of something bigger than yourself.

I’m sure you have a 4-H leader like my mom. I’m sure that leader has had a significant impact on your life and who you are today. Can you imagine being able to have that same impact on the next generation of 4-H members?

Now that I have this idea in my head, I can’t wait until the time is right in my life to become a 4-H leader.

Thanks mom.


The Ambassador Beat: Christie Annett

The Bigger the Challenge, the Bigger the Opportunity

This year marks my graduating year from 4-H as a member.  I was 9 when I joined my first 4-H clubs: Horse, Field Crops and Sheep. I am now 21 and as I look back, I reflect on my commitment to 4-H throughout high school, college, jobs, schoolwork, sports, moving and a full-time job. We grow by overcoming challenges and I have definitely grown through all my 4-H experiences so much that I am now a 4-H Leader.

According to 4-H Ontario, the average tenure for a youth is 3.7 years (2018), yet I was in 4-H for 12 years. Why do some youth stay in 4-H and some move on from 4-H after only a very few years?  For lots of young people, there is pressure to get a job, combined with school work and other extracurricular activities. For me, my parents made sure 4-H was a priority.  My dad was my field crop leader and all my siblings were in the club. My mom always said this is our time in life to be 4-H member and take advantage of as many 4-H opportunities as possible! So, I went to Career Mania and that was when I knew that I wanted more. I LOVED 4-H camps and made new friends that I still have to this day.

So, how can we encourage members to stay in 4-H longer? I think it is important for both parents and youth to understand the long-term impact that is possible through 4-H. For some parents, becoming a volunteer in their Association is a great way to start. I think that we should take on this challenge and increase that 3.7 year tenure to 10 years and more!


The Ambassador Beat: Rebecca Stockdale

The 4-H Pledge and my 4-H story

By: Rebecca Stockdale

I have been in this wonderful program for over a decade and am now starting my 11th year in 4-H. Every year I look back and reflect on all the memories I have made, the relationships I’ve built and all of the lessons I have learned.  

From cold 2 a.m. mornings at the wash rack at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair with my club, to the summer nights playing games at cooking meetings, nothing will compare to the experiences that 4-H has blessed me with. The skills we learn in 4-H shape us into well-rounded people.

Throughout the years in 4-H, I have often found myself relating to the pledge, especially now that I am a new volunteer.

I pledge my head to clearer thinking:

  • I have learned to problem solve and think on my feet. For example, at one of my clubs I had to save a recipe when my group added a tablespoon of cinnamon instead of a teaspoon.
  • Social skills and public speaking techniques are skills I’ve gained doing 4-H activities through learning to judge, leading activities and giving instructions in clubs.

I pledge my heart to greater loyalty:

  • In livestock clubs, the main lesson you learn is how to care for animals. Because you spend so much time with them, becoming attached to your 4-H project is inevitable, which teaches empathy and responsibility.
  • Through working with different age groups, we have a chance to help younger members, and encourage them to try new things.
  • One of the best parts of 4-H is building relationships and making lifelong friends. Thanks to this program I have friends from one end of the province to the other.

I pledge my hands to larger service:

  • Giving what you can to help others and accepting help yourself is a big part of the program. I have been to many cattle shows and achievement days, and everyone is always willing to help each other prepare for the day.
  • In my 4-H family we often help boost each other up and give strength to other members. Supporting your friends are a huge part of 4-H.

I pledge my health to better living:

  • I have learned how to be a better person and value my health. Most clubs get me outside and give me the chance to exercise. Physically when we’re playing games and working with animals, or mentally, when brainstorming.

This pledge is not only for my club my community, my country and my world, but for my schooling, my career, and my future.


The Ambassador Beat : Mel Karpenko

Without 4-H, it’s a dream. With 4-H, it’s an experience.  

By: Mel Karpenko

I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and MY WORLD.  

Who would have guessed that what seems to many as a small-town club for farm kids, would offer youth the chance to travel 8,513km out of their comfort zone? For me, it was an incredible opportunity I was fortunate to experience through 4-H.

Imagine – You fill out the application and dream of being selected for a life changing experience. All you can do is answer the questions to the best of your ability, hit send and cross your fingers and toes.  

Skip ahead and you receive a confirmation that you have been offered the chance to interview for the 4-H Canada Going Global Exchanges program! Suddenly this is becoming very real. You are aware that there is tough competition for this opportunity and that many of the applicants are just as deserving of the position. So, you prepare and make sure to do your best. 

Suddenly, it’s the end of March, you’ve just arrived home from school and you receive an email from 4-H Canada! You hold your breath as you click on the email and you re-read each word making sure you understand it correctly. After a moment it sinks in, all your preparation has paid off. You did it, you have been selected to travel to Argentina! 

The day finally arrives to board the plane and start your adventure. (Don’t forget to check the weather before you pack! Just because it’s south doesn’t mean it’s always hot!)  When you get off the plane and are welcomed by open arms, warm houses and grateful hearts. All that’s left to do is enjoy and absorb the experience.  

Being in an unfamiliar country with an unfamiliar language leads to strong relationships being built very quickly. Anyone who has been a part of a 4-H opportunity knows that relationships developed through 4-H are unlike any other.   

There are many opportunities available to 4-H’ers through both 4-H Ontario and 4-H Canada. Each opportunity offers new experiences to learn, grow and build relationships. Sometimes the hardest part is submitting the application.  


The Farmer-Florist. How this 4-H Farmpreneur turned her passion into a reality

By Laura Goulding

“Our mission is more flowers for more people more often,” says Amber Swidersky, Farmer-Florist and owner of Petals Flower Co. Petals Flower Co. is a full-service flower shop located on a small farm in Melancthon, ON. Born of a passion for flowers, Petals Flower Co. has a one-acre flower field with over a hundred varieties and colours of flowers, along with a flower shop in the garage on Amber’s family beef and sheep farm.

“There are so many awesome things about Petals, I think my favourite is that every day is learning,” says Amber. Amber began growing and selling flowers at the Shelburne Farmers Market in 2015 and in 2017 the opportunity emerged to take on flowers every day. Petals Flower Co. has four part-time staff who help in all areas of the business from delivery, flower field management, designing and much more.

In addition, Petals Flower Co. also offers a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program and hosts on-farm workshops. The CSA program provides flower lovers with the chance to fill their homes with fresh local flowers all spring and summer long. “Every Friday you show up and there is a bouquet with your name on it,” says Amber. For those interested in learning how to make their own creations, Amber hosts on-farm workshops throughout the year ranging from field to vase, Easter centre piece workshops, winter outdoor arrangements and wreaths and many more.  

“I always knew I wanted to be on a farm,” says Amber. “When I was young, I took some 4-H projects that were related to etiquette and crafting and took a break from 4-H. Then in my first year of University at Guelph I ended up showing a heifer at College Royal and decided to rejoin 4-H. I joined the South Simcoe Beef Club and it was there that I met my husband. I couldn’t get my heifer broke and the 4-H leader sent him down to help me with my heifer. Now both our children participate in 4-H, everything from paintball club, sheep club, marketing club and the beef club.”

When asked about the impact 4-H has had on her as a farmpreneur, Amber said, “Every day I learn to do by doing. It’s a huge take home for me and something I practice every day here at Petals.”


4-H gave me a passion for learning and growing. Here’s how I’m paying it forward

By Megan Pollock

One of the things that initially drew me to apply at Zeitspace was their passion for learning and growing.

This is not surprising as I have spent the last 19 years involved in another program with the same values, 4-H. I got so much out of my 10 years as a 4-H member that when I eventually graduated from the program, I immediately began leading my own clubs. This past fall I had the opportunity to bring 4-H to Zeitspace by leading a 4-H Computer Club with two other people, Todd Radigan and Tayler Black, at the Zeitspace office.

So, what is 4-H anyway? For over a century, the 4-H program has been empowering youth in Waterloo Region to learn new skills and become leaders in their community. Offering clubs such as Dairy and Beef, where youth learn to take care of cattle, and Field Crops, introducing youth to the science and skills required to develop profitable crops, 4-H has typically been associated with agriculture and rural living.

But more recently, Waterloo 4-H has been expanding their clubs to include skills and activities that are of broader interest, such as pizza-making, and ultimate sports. With three large cities in the centre of their region, Waterloo 4-H is especially driven to include youth from the cities in their programs and provide more programming in the downtown areas, while maintaining the programs agriculture roots.

The Waterloo 4-H Computer Club was able to do exactly that, with over half of their members living in non-rural areas, and hosting the meetings right in uptown Waterloo at the Zeitspace office. One of the benefits of having the meetings at Zeitspace was that none of the parents had to travel very far. The meetings were central and easy to access for youth living in Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge.

The first three meetings of Computer Club introduced HTML, CSS, Javascript, and general programming logic through teaching and activities.

“I’ve always wanted to learn programming so this was a great opportunity to do that,” says Rebecca, one of the Computer Club members.

One of the more unique things about the 4-H program is that any given club is open to youth aged nine to 21. This allows the younger members to benefit from the mentoring and leadership of the older members, while the older members benefit from the fun and creativity of the younger members.

“I learned a tonne and I feel like I understand programming more,” says Michaela, one of the club’s senior members.

Meetings followed the 4-H motto of “learn to do by doing.” The fourth, fifth, and sixth meetings gave members a chance to apply what they learned on a project, which they then presented at their achievement meeting at the end of the session.

“It was fun to learn more informally — lots of opportunities to ask questions and try things out and see what works and what doesn’t,” says Rebecca.

Some members preferred learning general programming logic over a specific language and opted to do their projects in Scratch, an online tool developed by MIT.

“I learned a lot in Scratch so now I can teach my brothers and sisters,” says Jaxion, another member of the club.

The club was such a hit, members want more technology-based clubs in Waterloo Region.

The parents agreed that the club was a success and one parent specifically described the benefit of the office: “It’s great to use a technology office because it has plugs, a screen, and wi-fi.”

The great thing about leading STEM 4-H clubs in Waterloo Region is that I am able to bring the things I’ve learned throughout my career to help 4-H members learn new and exciting skills.

Zeitspace is passionate about sharing their knowledge, and educating all ages, so introducing them to the 4-H program has been a great match. This will likely not be the last 4-H club that the Zeitspace office will see.

This post originally appeared on the Zeitspace Blog:

16-year-old shares enthusiasm for hobby through 4-H


Reprinted with permission from Toy Farmer magazine.

By Luaan Dart

Members of the Chatham-Kent 4-H Association Farm Toy Club in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, are “learning by doing,” by creating farm toy dioramas that realistically depict everything from a family farm to a tree farm.

“In 4-H, our motto is ‘Learn to do by doing,’ and I think our club, being such a hands-on club, is a very good example of that,” says 16-year-old Matthew Sterling, the youth leader for the Chatham-Kent 4-H Farm Toy Club. “Our immediate goal in the club is to create the dioramas, but our long-term goal is to share knowledge and enthusiasm for the farm toy hobby.”

The 4-H club was launched in 2005 by Matthew’s parents, Carl and Julie Sterling of Pain Court, Ontario, Canada, and Matthew’s two older brothers, Robert and Brian, who were teenagers at the time.

“In the beginning, it was focused on restoring and customizing 1/16 scale farm toys,” Matthew describes. Three years ago, the club members switched their focus to creating scale dioramas with 1/64 scale farm toys.

Matthew Sterling with the 1/16 scale models in his farm toy collection.

Carl and Julie, along with Rob and his wife, Katrina, serve as adult leaders, with Matthew serving as the youth leader. They are all longtime farm toy collectors, as Carl and Julie started to collect farm toys shortly after they were married in 1984, with a special interest in replicas of tractors used on their farm, according to a Toy Farmer feature story in October 2007. Today, they continue to share their knowledge and interest in the hobby with area youth.

“There’s just a passion for it,” Matthew shares.

Each year, the members of the 4-H club, who, this year, range in age from 10 to 16 years old, create a diorama on a 3- by 3-foot board.

“Most of the work gets done during club meetings, but they do have to do some of the work as well on their own,” Matthew says. “Basically, we’re trying to share the knowledge that we have with others. That way, they can learn at the club and if they want to go home and apply it and make even larger, scale dioramas, they can do that.”

Once the dioramas are completed, club members display their work as part of the achievement program at the Chatham-Kent Toy Show and Sale, held in January. This year, eight members were involved in creating and exhibiting dioramas.

“This past year, we displayed over 50 feet of displays, enjoyed by those attending the toy show,” Matthew says. Each 3×3 diorama includes a similar roadway in the same location, so when each individual board is connected, the road lines up across all the dioramas. The individual sections then become one continuous display, he explains.

The dioramas display a wide range of scenes, based on each of the youth’s perspective. Some of the displays have included replicas of family farms, a tree farm, a gravel yard, tiling in fields and farm equipment dealerships.

“A lot of people like to focus on the family farm where they have lived or do live, and they build a scale replica of that. I have done that in the past,” Matthew says. “It’s whatever the kids want to create. This gives them a chance to do it and learn how to do it.”

Matthew Sterling, 16, recreated a John Deere dealership as a display for the Chatham-Kent Toy Show and Sale.

Carl Sterling started the Chatham-Kent Toy Show and Sale in 2002, the same year Matthew was born. The toy show is a family affair, with Carl, Julie and Rob organizing the show, with assistance from Katrina, Brian, his wife, Annemarie, and Matthew. This is the third year the 4-H club members have displayed dioramas at the show.

“It’s going to get bigger every year. The kids will bring back the boards they have done in the past and show them again,” Matthew says.

“The toy show has also gotten bigger every year, and it sparks more interest as we go,” he adds. The next show will be held Jan. 19, 2020, in Chatham, Ontario, Canada.

Some vendors have been at the Chatham-Kent Toy Show and Sale every year since 2002, and it is one of the largest farm toy shows in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. This year, the show included 180 tables of toys for sale and display, with 50 vendors and 30 other different displays, as well as the 4-H club’s displays.

“The toy show keeps getting bigger every year. That’s exciting for me. I just hope the enthusiasm keeps growing across the community for the hobby,” Matthew says.

The 4-H club’s 50-foot diorama is an important piece of the show’s popularity, too.

“It is kind of funny when some people come up and see it. It’s almost like their eyes pop out. They’re just amazed with what even some of the younger kids can come up with in the club to make it look so real. I personally enjoy the interaction with some of the elders in the community, to see that interest in what we do,” Matthew says.

The 4-H club has another role in the toy show, by assisting with the show and helping to raise money for the nonprofit event.

“All members also help with the toy show, which raises money for the club, the local Junior Farmers Club, whose members also help with the show, and mainly our local food bank, Outreach for Hunger,” Matthew says. Proceeds from the show are donated to the food bank and to the Chatham-Kent 4-H Association Farm Toy Club to help purchase supplies to create more dioramas and to continue to “Learn to do by doing.”

One of the leaders of the Chatham-Kent 4-H Farm Toy Club, Rob Sterling, replicated a natural gas station located at the construction site of a greenhouse.

One of the world’s largest youth organizations, 4-H can be found in more than 70 countries across the globe. The 4-H organization in Canada has more than 24,000 members and 7,600 volunteers. The four H’s represent the organization’s core values:

• Head: managing, thinking

• Heart: relating, caring

• Hands: giving, working

• Health: being, living

 A family of collectors

As part of a family with a passion for farm toys, Matthew’s interest in the hobby began when he was young, as he basically started attending the Chatham-Kent Toy Show and Sale as a baby.

“It all started when I was really little. I was always playing with the farm toys. It kind of grew as an interest for me. Every time we were at a dealership, I was saying, ‘Hey, can I get a toy?’” he says. “I’ve grown up around it. I’ve kind of expanded a little bit more and I have my own collection now.”

Matthew’s collection of 1/64 and 1/16 farm toys has grown over the years to the point where he is unsure of how many models he now owns.

“I’m a John Deere fan, but I do have some of the other colours, too,” he says. He also has model train dioramas and collects miniature steam engines.

“I have a lot of different toys that I enjoy, but my biggest collection is in the farm toys for sure,” he says. “I have a very large collection.”

The family’s combined collections fill the farm home, Matthew says. “I think it’s sunk a few feet into the ground,” he says with a laugh about the family home brimming with farm toys.

As his older brothers completed dioramas for the farm toy show, Matthew’s own interest in creating displays began.

“At one of the toy shows when I was old enough, I said I want to try setting up on one of those boards,” he says, so he completed a simple display with his own toys when he was about 9 years old.

“Eventually, I set up all their boards and I wanted to expand a little more. That was more of a driver for that to happen,” he says.

Matthew has a particular fascination with creating as many realistic details in a display as possible.

“I enjoy seeing the final product. You put a lot of work into something like that, but it’s fun when you actually see it all put together. I made a diorama that replicates the family farm and I had parked vehicles that looked similar to ours around the buildings. When I took some pictures of it, it just looked so real,” he says.

This past year, Matthew replicated a farm equipment dealership, also with realistic details.

“That’s part of where the club comes into play. We’re trying to teach the kids how to make trees, buildings, hydro poles, grass, fields, all the parts of it the way we have tried to do it in the past. Then the kids expand on it and say, Why don’t we try this?’ and then it looks really good in the end,” he shares.

The club members often brainstorm ideas for better ways of creating a scene, he says, often using trial-and-error.

“The hardest one was probably trying to figure out snow, realistic snow,” he says. “You have to make a little board separately and try all your different techniques on it and see which one you like the best.”

Matthew enjoys the interaction with the club members, and sharing his own knowledge.

“I’ve always been one to try and help people. That’s just something I enjoy, so it gives me a chance to help someone with the knowledge that I have and try to give them some of the tools that I have under my belt,” he says.

Matthew also caught inspiration to customize farm toy models from his family and interaction with members of the 4-H club.

Matthew Sterling’s customized John Deere 4430, which includes: realistic lights all the way around, wheel weights, steps, hydraulic outlets, painted engine parts, fuel cap, anti-freeze cap, center chrome arrow, and steel painted intake and exhaust pipes. The tractor was painted with genuine John Deere tractor paint.

His favourite customization project was putting more realistic details on a John Deere 4430 tractor, adding more realistic lights and other details, and repainting it.

“It has a lot of things on it that it did not have on it when it came from the toy factory to make it look a lot more realistic,” he says. “To really make it stand out in a group of toys to make it a unique item, we actually used the actual tractor paint. All of the paints that they would use on real tractors, we put on the toys to make them look more realistic.”

The 4-H Farm Toy Club has definitely led Matthew to “Learn to do by doing.”

“With parents being leaders, I was always at the meetings. You know how things kind of grow on you and all of sudden, you’re really excited to do that,” he says. “And it very much grew on me.”

“It’s more of an addiction now more than a hobby,” he says with a laugh.

The 4-H Farm Toy Club attends the 2019 Chatham-Kent Toy Show and Sale. Members are, from left to right in the back row, Everett Pickering, Rebekah Ball, Adam Smith, Kyle Ross, Matthew Sterling, Cole Peckford, from left to right sitting in the front row, Wyatt Ball, Carson Sayers and Ian Masterson-Foster.

The Ambassador Beat: Allison French

Five Reasons Why YOU Should Attend Provincial Opportunities

            Are you on the edge about whether to attend provincial opportunities that are offered through 4-H? Nervous? Scared? Or do not know what to expect? These are all perfectly normal feelings and by the end of this article I hope those nervous vibes have changed into the feelings of excitement for the next provincial opportunity you can attend.

Reason #1 Meeting people from across the province. Once you arrive at either a camp, conference or provincial competition, everyone is in the same boat. It’s like the first day of school again; new faces and new people to get to know. People come from across the province to attend these opportunities giving you the chance to have friends from Windsor to Ottawa and even all the way up to Rainy River. Over the next few days these new people will become part of your 4-H family and more importantly, your friends. Bringing us to reason number two.

Reason # 2 FriendshipsAt these opportunities, you will make new friends and in turn, find friendly faces at other events and programs. The more people you meet at provincial opportunities, the more connections you will make for the future whether it be post-secondary or other provincial events.

Reason #3 Making lifelong memories. With your new 4-H family, you will share experiences that only you can relate to and look back and laugh at. These memories are what make camps, conferences and competitions so special.

Reason #4 Building everyday skills while having fun! At these provincial events you will have the opportunity to build upon your basic skills like teamwork, communication, leadership and goal setting through fun, hands-on activities. By working as a team, you will grow stronger friendships while building your own skills. As well as everyday skills, you will be given the chance to improve your public speaking. Leading us into the number five reason to attend provincial opportunities.

Reason #5 Gain confidence when speaking. Without even realizing it, you will be speaking in front of a small group of people at these opportunities that will give you practice in a positive and encouraging environment.

For all these reasons and more, you should attend all provincial opportunities that are available to you!

Did I mention that there is always great food there?


Sarah Danen the 2019 Recipient of the Maryn Pardy Scholarship

Submitted by Laura Green

At the Southern Area Women’s Institute 105th Convention held in Keystone Complex, Shedden on Oct. 5th, the Maryn Pardy Scholarship for an active 4-H member in Southern Area Women’s Institute area was awarded to Sarah Danen. Sarah is enrolled in the first year of the Agricultural Business programme, University of Guelph. She is a very active 4-H member with Oxford 4-H clubs and has completed over 30 agriculture and life skills projects, attended Provincial camps and participated in one 4-H Canada exchange. She is a graduate from Waterloo Oxford Secondary School. Sarah was the 2018/19 Tavistock Fair Ambassador, is an active member of the Oxford County Junior Farmers, Step dances and works with her family on their dairy farm in the Tavistock area. Making the presentation to Sarah is Southern Area Scholarship chairperson Rie Van Steeg.