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 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!