The Ambassador Beat: Sierra Stanley

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2017, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for your event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Sierra Stanley, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Carleton 4-H Association

My name is Sierra Stanley, and I have been a part of the 4-H family for eight years now participating in many clubs ranging from the Beef Club, to Square Dancing, to Cooking. I have had the chance to hold multiple positions, which has led to me being a stronger leader in 4-H and in other parts of my life. This year I chose to give back to the program that I love by participating in the Ambassador Program as Carleton 4-H Association’s first ambassador. Through this program I have the opportunity to speak with so many different individuals who come from all different walks of life.

This past weekend I had an amazing opportunity to represent 4-H Ontario in the North at an event called Food Frenzy, and by speaking to the volunteers of Thunder Bay, Kenora and Rainy River 4-H Associations.

I started off my tour of the North at Food Frenzy, an event put on by the City of Thunder Bay to educate youth about food and different programs in their community. Ontario Nature was there teaching everyone about uses of different wild plants and Roots to Harvest was there with their blender-bike. Food Frenzy was a great educational opportunity for the youth of Thunder Bay and I was so happy to have been included in the event.

The next day I met up with Matt Hill, Volunteer Support Region 1, and Andy McTaggart, Volunteer Support Coordinator, Region 5 & 6, to start our travels through the North. Our first stop was to meet the volunteers of Thunder Bay, which also doubled as their Cookie Club Achievement Day. The youth made all sorts of different goodies and performed a play on how to make the perfect batch of chocolate chip cookies. It was a lot of fun speaking with the youth and volunteers of Thunder Bay.

The next day the three of us headed to Dryden to meet the volunteers from Kenora 4-H Association. After a few hours in the car we checked into our hotel then headed out to meet them. It was a small group but I learned so much about the way different 4-H clubs are working in their Association compared to here in Carleton and about their various farming operations. The next day we traveled up to visit one of the volunteers’ beef farms and were given a tour of their operation.

Our Saturday adventure started with spending a little while at the farm with the entire Debney family, then we headed off towards Emo. After a few hours in the car listening to Matt’s music, and Andy and I trying our hardest to see a moose, we arrived at our hotel to check in. Then we headed off to meet our final group of volunteers. All the volunteers I met over the course of this trip were so amazing in their own way and this group was no exception. I learned so much from them and they were able to keep me on my toes with their questions. After meeting with them, Kim, one of the Rainy River volunteers, took us to see one of the world’s smallest chapels, which is located in Emo!

Thanks to our amazing sponsors, GROWMARK, Inc, and UPI Energy, I had the most amazing experience visiting a part of Ontario that I never thought I would be able to see. I was able to meet up with a Provincial Leadership Camp friend I hadn’t seen since camp, I saw the main campus of my university and I met so many fantastic 4-H volunteers. I had such a great time on my first adventure as a 2017 4-H Ontario Ambassador, I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year will bring for myself and my fellow ambassadors.

The Ambassador Beat: Robert McKinlay

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2017, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for your event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Robert McKinlay, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Grey 4-H Association

My name is Robert McKinlay and I am a 2017 4-H Ontario Ambassador. 4-H has been a huge part of my upbringing with both my parents having completed the program and strongly encouraging me to take advantage of all the opportunities it has to offer. My family calves out 200 cows on our family farm near Ravenna, Ontario, raising purebred Red Angus cattle along purebred Simmental cattle and crossbreds.

4-H Calf Club has been one of the most rewarding clubs I have taken part in because I am able to both share my knowledge of the beef industry but also learn other people’s stories and gain knowledge from them. I have completed 33 4-H projects to date and can’t wait to continue my 4-H journey by taking part in both the Ambassador Program but also in being a Youth Leader with my local 4-H Calf Club.

Other clubs that I have been involved in are 4-H Sheep Club, 4-H Fall Fair Club, 4-H Ploughing Club and 4-H Mechanics Club. I have been able to take part in both livestock and life skills clubs allowing me to take advantage of many 4-H opportunities. My favourite event run by 4-H in my area is the Grey Bruce Judging Competition in Walkerton, Ontario. This event allows for members to practice their judging skills as well as having the opportunity to network with other members of the 4-H community.

Outside of 4-H I am very involved with the farm working alongside my dad and our other employees. I have been accepted to the University of Guelph for Honors in Agriculture and hope to return from school with more skills and ideas to add to the farm to help it evolve with the markets.

As an Ambassador I have been able to take part in two events; College Royal at the University of Guelph and the Durham Farm Connections Open House. At both events I have had a great time meeting with the members of the community and engaging them in conversations about what 4-H has been in the past and what 4-H will be in the future. While at these events I have also had a great opportunity to get to know some of my fellow Ambassadors. They are all truly outstanding individuals both in their 4-H careers and in their lives outside of the program. I am honoured that I get to be a part of such an amazing team of individuals and I cannot wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for us.

The Ambassador Beat: Sadie-Jane Hickson

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2016, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Sadie-Jane Hickson, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Kawartha Lakes-Halliburton 4-H Association

Who knew February was so short!

Anyways…

February is the month of love, and what better way to celebrate than by reflecting on my love for 4-H?

At the end of this month, we, the six 2016 4-H Ontario Ambassadors, completed our year-long term as Ambassadors and welcomed in the new 2017 4-H Ontario Ambassadors. This experience has been amazing; I have met and been inspired by so many youth and volunteers and had opportunities to further develop my skills as a leader and a team player.

With each event I attended, I grew as a 4-H’er. I had the privilege to connect with people from across Ontario. I have been introduced to new opportunities through 4-H, and I have learned so much about myself and communities that 4-H has touched! 4-H truly is a youth empowerment program. Every time I am around 4-H’ers, I am reminded of how much I have learned and how much I will continue to learn. Each day is an opportunity to give back to your community and is a chance to help develop leadership skills in those that are younger than you.

All of the wonderful-ness of the 4-H program and all of the fantastic people you meet makes it hard to leave an event. After the Ambassador reception, I can say I was very sad to leave such a positive and friendly environment. Each event I attend seems to be harder to leave; saying goodbye to people you love to be around is hard!

But that’s part of the beauty of the 4-H program; it is never really goodbye to your friends, leaders and mentors. There is always another chance to see them again. With the technology today, it is easy to stay connected. We can stay involved in each others lives and organize a time to meet up. Know from experience that there are many 4-H group chats from camps, conferences and the Ambassador program each year! There are so many opportunities for 4-H’ers to attend and to see their friends, such as Judge-It days, Go For The Gold, The Royal and leadership camps such as Future Leaders In Action (FLIA), Provincial Leadership Camp and Career Mania.

For those that love the 4-H program so much that they have attended all of the leadership camps offered in Ontario, there are still ways to stay involved and meet people. I promise that national events are just as amazing as the provincial ones. In addition, volunteer at Discovery and Judge-It Days! One opportunity I have had the privilege of attending as a 4-H ambassador was Youth Adventure Camp as a youth facilitator. I had a fantastic time; I was able to attend the camp and meet amazing leaders, but I also had the opportunity to experience facilitation! I know that I have so many great memories from silly facilitators that helped me to grow as a leader, and hope that I will be a part of other 4-H’ers memories!

So to wrap this up a bit, once a 4-H’er, always a 4-H’er. Saying goodbye after a camp or a conference is hard, but it is not hard to use the tools made available to us so that we may stay connected. The camp goodbyes are not permanent, so cheer up. Meet as many people as you can, and prepare to see them at the next 4-H event. This is something that one of the greatest 4-H mentors, facilitators and friends said to me after FLIA last March Break, and I like to remember that at every 4-H event.

Being a 4-H Ontario Ambassador has been an unreal experience. I am so thankful that I had this opportunity. I have learned so much about myself, my peers, and 4-H in Ontario. Moving forward, I will take advantage of all the new opportunities I have learned about, and continue to be a proud 4-H’er. Another 4-H friend of mine told me, “just because the Ambassador term is over, it doesn’t mean you are done being an Ambassador”. I will always represent the 4-H program to the best of my ability. Thank you 4-H Ontario, UPI Energy and GROWMARK, Inc. None of these opportunities or connections would be possible without your investments in the futures of today’s youth.

 

The Ambassador Beat: Julie French

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2016, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Julie French, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Peel 4-H Association

Once-in-a-Lifetime Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

As 4-H members we all work towards different goals with our 4-H projects. For some, they strive to improve their skills within their respective club. For others, they work towards that red ribbon at the local fairs. But for many, the goal is to exhibit their projects at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. This year’s Royal was unlike any other that I have ever attended for many reasons! It demonstrated to me the importance of teamwork, patience and hard work!

 

 

Go For The Gold
Teamwork

This year the Peel 4-H Association put together a Go For The Gold team for the first time in a few years. The team from Peel consisted of Allison French, Nicole French, Jamie Laidlaw, Robert Matson and myself. We met the deadline for entry on the last possible day, studied intensely for two weeks and then attended the Region 4 competition in Georgetown. To all of our surprise, we fared the competition and qualified for the provincial competition at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair! After many hours of group studying (sometimes questionable whether we were actually studying or just hanging out together as a team), we took to Toronto for the provincial competition. The competition was fierce! In the end, all of the hard work our team put in paid off and we ended up winning the prestigious title. A special thanks to our leaders Tom and Heather French.

Artistic Display
Patience

Another first for the Peel 4-H Association this year was running a seed mosaic club (led by leaders Lindsay Bebbington, Brenda Bebbington and Darlene Downey). This club was one to remember, testing patience and creative ability. Each of the six members created a seed mosaic that we were determined to finish for the local fairs with the end goal of entering them in the competition at the Royal. After hours of work, some minor hiccups and individual sorting and placing seeds with tweezers, four boards made it to the Royal. Peel did amazingly well for the first time participating in this competition- finishing with a 1st (myself), 4th (Allison French), 5th (Nicole French) and 8th (Robert Matson) place. All exhibitors in this competition spent a HUGE amount of time on the creations, creating a beautiful display of a unique club in the 4-H program! A special thank you to SeCan for their support for this competition!

TD Canadian 4-H Dairy Classic
Hard Work

I have been showing in the dairy club for eight years, experiencing all the highs and lows that exhibiting livestock comes with. You invest so much time and energy into training your heifer and getting her ready for the shows in pursuit of success. A huge milestone of the year being qualifying to represent your association at the TD Canadian 4-H Dairy Classic in Toronto. This year’s Classic was very special for Peel as we changed our display thanks to a younger member’s initiative (a special thank you to Allison French) and placed 8th - a huge accomplishment for our association! Several of our members also ended up qualifying from their heat to the finals of their classes! I had the incredible experience of exhibiting the Grand Champion Calf- Quality Solomon Lust. An unbelievable experience that even writing about now seems surreal. I want to thank Quality Holsteins for letting me borrow their heifer as my 4-H project for the year. A special thank you to the amazing 4-H volunteers of Peel, the TD 4-H Canadian Dairy Classic Committee and the Sponsors, and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair for their support of the Classic. Without the volunteers and sponsors, this once-in-a lifetime Royal experience wouldn’t have been possible.

I am so thankful to the members, volunteers and sponsors of the 4-H program. This year’s Royal was such a humbling experience beyond anything I could have ever imagined. It makes me truly realize the value of the 4-H program and all it has to offer! These were only three events at the Royal this year, with so many other opportunities for 4-H members to exhibit their projects. Hard work, patience and teamwork are all valuable lessons that 4-H teaches members.

 

The Ambassador Beat: Julie French

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2016, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Julie French, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Peel 4-H Association

4-H In A Country Song

Beat this summer

As fall fast approaches, I take some time to reflect on the days of summer. The country music, the warm weather, the time spent with family and friends, and the memories made. But the summer would not have been complete without the numerous 4-H clubs I partook in and the 4-H opportunities I had the chance to attend. Through the variety of engaging activities 4-H offers, I had one of the best summers to date gaining valuable life skills in unique ways. Ain’t no way I’m gonna beat this summer!

Humble and Kind

From driving to flying, I got the chance to have a small glimpse at our province’s diversified landscape. With 4-H being offered even in the most northern regions, it was incredible to see the commitment and enthusiasm to the 4-H program that members and volunteers displayed. While attending the Region 1 Discovery Day in Emo in May, I was astounded at the turnout of young members, all eager to become more engaged in the 4-H program! This was such a humbling experience for me as I observed young Cloverbuds break free from their initial nervousness and become leaders to look out for in their future years of the program. You’ve got new mountains to climb but always stay humble and kind.

People know you by your first name

Raised on 4-H, country music star Dean Brody has made his name as an artist in both Canada and the U.S. He has proven the value of hard work and the value of the 4-H program. He has also proven that no dream is too big. His journey inspires members of the 4-H program to “Learn To Do By Doing” and to not be afraid to step out of their comfort zone. I will admit that I have been challenged to step outside my comfort zone as a 4-H Ontario Ambassador for the year. I’ve gained so many valuable life skills and been so fortunate to be able to network with sponsors of the 4-H program, 4-H staff,   4-H volunteers, 4-H members and 4-H alumni.

The River

This summer has been so fast-paced, from Discovery Days in Regions 1, 2, and 4 to the Golf West Tournament, to the Sponsor Tour and UPI Charity Golf Tournament! These experiences have provided so much personal development. Trying to learn from what’s behind you and never knowing what’s in store. I am thrilled to have learned as much as I have thus far and excited to see what the next few months have to offer!

Play it again

It seems like such a short time ago, the six 4-H Ontario Ambassadors were announced for the year and now here we are, seven months into the program! More than halfway through the year, I’m so grateful for the opportunities I have been given! It’s gone by in the blink of an eye, I almost wish I could play it again!

The Ambassador Beat: Sadie-Jane Hickson

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2016, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Sadie-Jane Hickson, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Kawartha Lakes-Halliburton 4-H Association

For me, one of the most rewarding things about the 4-H program has been the opportunities to attend camps and conferences. I have learned so much during the education sessions, and can say I have met some of the most amazing and inspirational 4-H’ers ever. The 4-H program gives youth the opportunity to attend regional, provincial, national, and even international camps, conferences, exchanges and trips. These activities give youth the chance to meet and to connect with motivated and enthusiastic 4-H’ers.

Having returned from Youth Adventure Camp (YAC), midway through August, I have learned a bit more about how to prepare for a 4-H camp and feel these are some things to remember to bring:

Rain gear- Mother Nature always has a way of surprising you. It’s important to be prepared for anything, specifically rain in the summer months. While an umbrella or rain coat are handy to have, I recommend rubber boots or “crocs” for your feet and a rain poncho; embrace the bright yellow poncho and have fun with it!

A water bottle- Staying hydrated is always important, so you can participate in every activity!

Camp songs- When you’re at a campfire or in the dining hall, camp songs are always great to have. I know it’s always appreciated when a camper wants to lead a song WITH ACTIONS in front of the group and you always need songs for someone to sing when they have their elbows on the table.

Your NAME TAG- Nobody ever wants to embarrass anyone at camp, BUT it is always important to wear your name tag, so that everything runs smoothly. Name tags are important for sorting campers into groups and staying organized.

Plaid- This is a mistake I have made a couple times at camp. It is always a good idea to bring a plaid shirt to 4-H camp, no matter what type of camp it is. At some point during the camp you will want to be wearing plaid. Two-stepping anybody?

Anything funky! - I know this is also something I have just learned! Bringing something unique to wear is always fun. During one of the sessions, or at a meal, it’s nice to make the people around you smile with your amazingly bright knee-high socks.

A watch- It is so important to always be on time when you are at camp! Always try your best to not be the last person to the meeting place, or you may end up singing “Brown Squirrel”!

A spoon- There will be a time during camp that a game of spoons will break out. It cannot be stopped. Do your best to be armed with a spoon at all times, but if you aren’t, I know there is a big box full of them travelling in the 4-H Ontario games box.

Your favourite pillow- It’s the pillow you can’t sleep without, and always get the best night’s sleep with… Bring this so that you can fall asleep quickly when the facilitators say “Lights Out!” so you don’t get caught chatting. Plus, you will definitely need your sleep for the next day.

Smiles! – This may be the most important thing to remember to always have with you at camp, (besides your name tag). A smile makes you easier to talk to from a facilitator point of view, and makes you more approachable to campers! Always try your best to meet new people at camp; you won’t regret it, and you’ll make friends for life!

 

The Ambassador Beat: Vicki Brisson

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2016, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for your event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Vicki Brisson, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Russell 4-H Association

MUCH MORE THAN JUST A PLEDGE

During my first few months as an Ontario 4-H Ambassador, I have had the opportunity to attend different events, including volunteer symposiums, Discovery Days and golf tournaments, and meet many passionate and proud 4-H’ers and 4-H supporters. Through all these events, I have noticed how everyone who has been involved with 4-H at some point in their life is familiar with the 4-H pledge. At the beginning of any meeting or event, the pledge is recited, but how is it applicable to what we do in 4-H? 

I pledge,

1.     My HEAD to clearer thinking

4-H challenges members to broaden their horizons and develop their critical thinking. Most projects have a portion dedicated to judging. For the avid young judges, judging clubs and competitions are an amazing way to further judging skills. No matter what, we are always encouraged to learn new things, try new projects, and develop new talents.

2.     My HEART to greater loyalty

4-H creates lifelong friendships, whether it is friends from our association we meet in clubs, or from across the province we meet at opportunities such as leadership camps or conferences.

We also learn to work efficiently as a team, sharing and accepting other people’s ideas, and we become good team players. 

3.     My HANDS to larger service

4-H members become involved members of their community. We can do so by completing projects that are focused on helping the community, by thanking community members that support our club/association, or even by organizing and taking part in fundraisers.

4.      My HEALTH to better living

4-H promotes a healthy lifestyle, for instance, with cooking clubs we learn how to cook for yourself and eat better. We also learn to manage our time, develop organizational skills, and maintain a healthy balance between every aspect of our lives.

For my club, my community, and my country.

 

BEAUCOUP PLUS QUE JUSTE UNE PROMESSE

Durant mes premiers mois en tant qu’ambassadrice 4-H, j’ai eu la chance de prendre part à une multitude d’évènements, tant avec des volontaires, qu’avec des nouveaux membres et des commanditaires ; tous aussi fiers et passionnés du programme 4-H. Durant ma participation à ces évènements, j’ai pu remarquer à quel point la prière 4-H était connue de tous. Non seulement est-elle récitée au début de la majorité des évènements, elle représente tout à fait ce qu’est le 4-H.

Je permets d’employer,

1.     Ma TÊTE pour des idées hardies

4-H nous met au défi d’élargir nos horizons et de développer notre esprit critique. La plupart des projets ont une section dédiée au jugement, que ce soit le jugement d’animaux, de pâtisseries ou encore de décorations. Pour les passionnés du jugement, il est même possible de participer à un club de jugement et de participer à des compétitions. Nous sommes toujours encouragés à apprendre de nouvelles choses, essayer de nouveaux projets et développer de nouveaux talents.

2.     Mon COEUR pour être plus humain

4-H crée des amitiés pour la vie. Ces amis peuvent être des amis de notre comté que nous rencontrons en participant à un nouveau club ou encore des amis qui habitent à l’autre bout de la province que nous rencontrons en prenant part à des camps de leadership. Nous apprenons également à travailler efficacement en équipe, à partager nos idées et écouter celles des autres afin de devenir un leader exemplaire.

3.     Mes MAINS pour être plus habile

Les membres 4-H deviennent des individus impliqués dans leur communauté. Nous complétons des clubs qui ont pour objectif d’aider la communauté. Nous prenons le temps de remercier les membres de notre communauté qui nous supportent et qui permettent la réalisation de nos projets.

4.     Ma SANTÉ pour vivre en harmonie

4-H promouvoit de saines habitudes de vie. Par exemple, grâce aux clubs de cuisine, nous apprenons à cuisine pour nous-même et l’importance de bien manger. De plus, nous apprenons à gérer notre temps, développons des aptitudes d’organisation et d’autorégulation et réussissons à maintenir un bon équilibre entre tous les aspects de notre vie. 

Pour mon cercle, ma communauté, mon pays.

 

 

 

The Ambassador Beat: Laura DeKlein

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2016, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Laura DeKlein, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Middlesex 4-H Association

A Friendly 2016 Ambassador Hello

4-H is not only for me, but also for everyone! I am very excited to be chosen to participate in the Ambassador Program along side five other enthusiastic members. This program will give me the opportunity to connect with 4-H members, volunteers and communities. The four H’s – Head, Heart, Hands and Health are in fact some of the tools and attributes I will use on this journey. Within the next year, here are five top opportunities and things I look forward to attending, and recommend YOU to attend as well:

 

  1. Discovery Days- This may be a bit of a ‘throwback’, but back in the old days this was the day I looked forward to most in the summer! It is a great way to connect with youth within the community, learn new games/skills and mostly let loose and have fun! Every year a new theme is chosen, so it is never same old, same old. Be sure to check out your region’s date and register, you don’t want to miss out!
  2. YAC (Youth Adventure Camp) – A fun and collaborative opportunity, and a step up from Discovery Days! This is an overnight camp that involves lots of games, goal setting and leadership skills.
  3. PLC (Provincial Leadership Camp) – Hands down my favourite camp ever. This was the most life changing experience of my life in which I credit my leadership and communication skills to. I look forward to the delegates chosen to attend and I hope they take the risks I did and step out of their comfort zone!
  4. Sponsor Tours and Events – This Ambassador Program would not be possible without our generous sponsors; Growmark Inc., and UPI Energy LP. I look forward to attending the tours of their facilities and meeting those involved with the companies. This is a very exciting opportunity and all six of us are very thankful for their encouragement.
  5. 4-H Ontario Booths at Agricultural Events – The Outdoor Farm Show and Royal Agricultural Winter Fair are only two of many opportunities I look forward to helping and speak at on behalf of 4-H Ontario. I am vary involved within the agricultural sector, and hope to network, communicate and advocate the program to youth and volunteers within this ‘field’.

These are only five of many events and opportunities 4-H Ontario has to offer! Please take advantage of these opportunities that help you in various ways for lifelong lessons such as future employment skills, school presentation delivery and more.

I look forward to this upcoming year with everyone and stay tuned for more exciting blogs each month!

The Ambassador Beat: Logan Emiry

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2016, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Logan Emiry, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Sudbury 4-H Association

Everything I Need to Know in Life I Learned at 4-H

4-H is full of life lessons. Lessons can be found everywhere in the 4-H program, not only from 4-H clubs like life skills clubs, sewing and cooking clubs. Some lessons come from 4-H camps or trips. Others come from leaders and fellow members. But most importantly every lesson is valuable and can be applied to life! Here are my favourites that I use every single day:

Enjoy everything and dance in the rain

4-H trips, exchanges and events can come with lots of ups and downs. 4-H has taught me that no matter what comes my way I can overcome it with a positive attitude! On my second 4-H exchange to Alberta learning to deal with tough situations and bad weather was key. Learning to dance in the rain made me lifelong friends and some great memories too!

Stepping out of your comfort zone leads to personal growth

4-H camp is one of the best places to try something new. My experience at Future Leaders in Action this year was proof of that. I spent my week stepping out of my comfort zone while encouraging others to do the same. With such a supportive group behind me it was easy to grow as a leader. I strive to step out of my comfort zone every single day and help others to do the same!

Act enthusiastic and you’ll be enthusiastic!

One of my favourite 4-H lessons ever comes from Provincial Leadership Camp. 4-H camp was so much fun and the friends I made at camp was an awesome experience. PLC inspired me to be a happy and energetic person every single day! I attempt to make every 4-H club, event and activity day as fun as PLC with my enthusiasm! Just remember to act enthusiastic and you’ll be enthusiastic!

Try new things and meet new people

4-H has given me so many opportunities to try new things, travel new places and meet great people all along the way! Through these experiences I have learned the more you try the more you learn and the more fun you have! Meeting great people has given me connections across my province, country and across the world. Meeting people is my favourite part of 4-H and you get to hear all of their great experiences through 4-H. This year I am excited to continue my travels through 4-H travelling overseas to Ghana!

Always be prepared when going on bus trips

Going on 4-H exchanges or travelling to 4-H events means lots of bus trips. In my experience that has also meant lots of bus breakdowns unfortunately. On the bright side, I have learned from this poor luck and now am always prepared for bus trips. The best way to learn is by doing and I learnt quickly that having everything you need if your bus breaks down, blows a tire or can’t stop without restarting is very important!

Greet the world with a smile and it will smile back

Having a positive outlook on everything I do is part of who I am. That is largely thanks to 4-H which helps me

4-H friends are the best type of friends

4-H’ers are truly one of a kind people, and they are definitely my type of people. Just like me other 4-H members understand how to have fun and be enthusiastic. Plus there are 4-H members all around our world who share common interests, perspectives and experiences as you! I have made so many friends from the 4-H camps, exchanges and events I have been to and couldn’t ask for better friends! You don’t have to look far to find welcoming 4-H’ers who are awesome people!

LEARN TO DO BY DOING!

The great motto of the greatest organization in the world is definitely a good one to live life by! There is no better way to learn how!

The Ambassador Beat: Gina Posthumus

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2015, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Gina Posthumus, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Hastings 4-H Association

10 Things to Love About 4-H

During my past eight years as a 4-H member, especially during my Ambassador term, I have really come to appreciate the things this amazing program does for youth, leaders, volunteers and those alike. Although the list is endless, I decided to compile a list of the top 10 things to love about 4-H.

1. Friends

To me, 4-H has been one of the easiest places to make friends. Within each club, it is very easy to find someone with the same interests as you. Heck, you’re in the same 4-H club so there is a commonality right off the bat! Thanks to the 4-H program, most of my best and greatest friends I’ve met are through some sort of 4-H event. Whether it be on a club, county, regional, provincial or even national level, 4-H members are interacting with one another and establishing amazing lifelong friendships. Ask any 4-H member what their favourite thing about 4-H is, and I guarantee in the long list of things they begin to tell you, you will hear the word “friends”.

2. Supportive Mentors

The 4-H program would not exist if it weren’t for the amazing and dedicated leaders and volunteers we have. These people show members what it really means to have passion for something. They are constantly promoting and demonstrating the “learning to do by doing” philosophy. These people are the most supportive, caring, hardworking, encouraging individuals who strive to be positive role models for members. On behalf of all 4-H members, thank you to the volunteers, leaders, parents and fellow members for being such great mentors for not only those involved in the 4-H program, but for everyone you meet.

3. Inclusive

Over the past 100 years, the 4-H program has expanded greatly from its agricultural roots. Although we still celebrate our agricultural roots, the 4-H program is much more than that. The 4-H program has something to offer everyone, no matter where they come from or what their interests are. There are a plethora of possible projects for members ranging from life skills to livestock to paintball to small engines, and everything in between. The options are endless, which makes this program very inclusive to all demographics, urban or rural.

4. Sense of Community

One of the best things about the 4-H program is how it creates a sense of community. Everyone involved in the program shares a sense of camaraderie. The 4-H program has the ability to form a sense of community from border to border across the province. The love and passion the program instills in each person involved makes it feel like we are all one big, happy family. As I always say, once a part of the 4-H family, always part of the 4-H family.

5. Opportunities

The opportunities the 4-H program creates for youth are endless. We are very lucky as 4-H members that we are provided many opportunities other than just completing projects on a local level. Of course we all have the opportunity to make friends, build upon skills and so on, but there is more to it than that. There are regional, provincial and even international opportunities. Some of these opportunities include camps, exchanges, competitions, scholarships, youth positions and much more.

6. Experiences

The experiences 4-H members have through the program are unlike any other. No matter how one is involved in the program, the program allows us to experience some unforgettable things. For me specifically this year as a 4-H Ambassador, I have experienced some once in a lifetime opportunities that I never thought I would have been able to do. I have seen amazing things, done amazing things and met amazing people thanks to the 4-H program. For example, at the 4-H Ontario 100th Anniversary Celebration at Canada’s Wonderland this past July, I was able to meet country singer Leah Daniels. I have also met NHL alumni Bobby Baun at the Warkworth Fall Fair, and most recently, I met the Countess of Wessex at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. I have been able to travel the province, seeing all the amazing things 4-H Ontario has to offer.

7. Memories

The 4-H program has the ability to create wonderful memories. This past April, I attended a 100th Anniversary celebration in Prince Edward County. For a portion of the evening, they invited 4-H alumni from 1950 onwards to present day to share some stories with the crowd. It was amazing to see that even though some of these people have been out of the program for decades, they still have very fond memories of 4-H. The opportunities and experiences 4-H provides for youth make some great stories that we will all want to tell our grandkids someday.

8. Connections

Since the 4-H program makes it so easy to meet people, making connections with people is very easy also. The connections members make through 4-H have the ability to benefit us greatly in the future. Networking with people and establishing connections through 4-H is a great way to put your name out there and show people how awesome you are. This could lead to internships, jobs, you name it.

9. Educational

The phrase “you learn something new every day” is especially true with the 4-H program. The program is very educational and allows members to expand their knowledge on a wide variety of topics. For example, did you know that you can grow a garden inside using a fish tank full of fish? Me neither, until my last Animal Friends meeting.

10. Learning to Do by Doing

Being in 4-H benefits us in ways that we don’t often realize. Sometimes we do not fully understand how much the 4-H program has influenced us until we take a moment to look back on how much we’ve learned through our experiences in 4-H. Members, leaders, volunteers and everyone involved with the program are constantly learning to do by doing. We are learning to think critically by giving reasons while judging. We are learning how to be a good team player by completing group activities. We are learning to communicate by leading a meeting. We are learning how to persevere when our project animal is being uncooperative. We are learning how to be great leaders by being involved in the 4-H program.