The Ambassador Beat: Shannon Desjardins

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 Shannon Desjardins, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Prince Edward 4-H Association

I think this is the perfect opportunity to introduce myself, as I don’t think many of you know who I am. My name is Shannon Desjardins, and I am currently in my 12th year, last year, in the 4-H program. I have completed just over 112 clubs, and am currently completing two clubs as we speak.

I have completed almost all of my clubs in my home association, Prince Edward, with boarder hopping next door to Hastings for two club projects. I have explored multiple clubs in my home association including, milk makes it better, beef, woodworking, goat, scrapbooking, sheep, maple syrup, baking, pet, curling and more. I have had the opportunity to sit on my home association directors’ board as a Youth Director and I have been a youth leader in various clubs I have participated in as well.

The 4-H program has given so much to me that I felt this year, 2017, I wanted to give back to 4-H. Being given the opportunity to represent 4-H Ontario as one of the six 4-H Ontario Ambassadors for 2017 has been a life changing experience. I have had the chance to attend several events already, traveling throughout Ontario. I have met so many wonderful new people; 4-H leaders, 4-H members, 4-H staff, volunteers, 4-H alumni and community members who want to learn more about the 4-H program. This has given me the opportunity to share what 4-H has done for me, my 4-H story, with so many groups and individuals.

I would not be here talking to you as a 2017 4-H Ontario Ambassador if it wasn’t for our two amazing sponsors, GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy FS. Thank you for allowing me to represent 4-H Ontario this year. It is a real honor.

“Learn to do by doing” never goes a miss in your daily activities if you are a current or past 4-H member. I entered the 4-H program as a very shy individual who didn’t want to take risks or try something new. 4-H was what I needed to come out of my shell and start trying new things. 4-H taught me to be a strong leader and gave me communication skills. 4-H taught me to learn from my mistakes and to keep moving forward. Without all the fantastic 4-H leaders, volunteers and senior members who took me under their wing, I would not be the person who I have become today.

4-H as a member has allowed me to try new things and not be ashamed if something goes wrong. Instead, I learned that out of any bad situation, there is always a bright side and sometimes you can just change what you were doing at the start to make it work. 4-H has also helped me follow my dream and attend post-secondary education through scholarships and grants. Without 4-H, I would not be in the position I am today as an Agronomist.

The 4-H program has given me so many opportunities to meet lifetime friends who have similar interests to myself, try new club projects, learn valuable life skills that I will use in my everyday adult life and to always “Learn to do by Doing.”

 

The Ambassador Beat: Lyndsay Dickson

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 Lyndsay Dickson, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Leeds 4-H Association

As I am sure many of you don’t know who I am, I think this is the perfect opportunity to introduce myself. Lyndsay Dickson is my name, and I have recently begun my sixth year in the 4-H program. I have completed 29 projects in the past 5 years, plus I am currently completing two projects as we speak.

I have completed over 20 projects in my home association of Leeds, but I have also had the opportunity to boarder hop to Grenville and Lanark associations to complete the remainder of my projects. I have done a wide variety of projects: including, but not limited to, photography, dairy, baking, cooking, maple syrup, veterinary, and curling. I have been given the opportunity to youth lead a number of the clubs I have participated in as well.

This year I chose to give back to the program that has given me so much. Being given the opportunity to be a 2017 4-H Ontario Ambassador has been a life changing experience for myself. I have had several opportunities to travel to new places that I have never been. I have met so many amazing new people: 4-H staff, 4-H volunteers, 4-H members, 4-H alumni, and general public that want to know more about the 4-H program. I am getting to share my story of why 4-H means so much to me.

A special thank you goes to the 4-H Ontario Ambassador program sponsors, GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy FS. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without you!

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

4-H is a program that builds self-confidence, leadership and communication skills, essential life-skills, strong values, and life-long friendships.

As a 4-H’er will always tell you, “learn to do by doing.” Before entering the 4-H Program, I was a caterpillar in a cocoon. I was waiting for the chance to burst out of my shell and blossom into a butterfly. 4-H was that chance for me. 4-H taught me that being a leader begins with confidence. Without mentors and youth leaders, my life would be very different.

I credit my success as a young adult to the 4-H program. Throughout my years attending school; I was always very shy, unmotivated, and could not speak in front of my classmates. Once I began 4-H, I became a whole new person. I was confident. I could speak in front of large crowds of strangers. I became a more motivated individual.

The 4-H program has given me the opportunity to complete projects that I am passionate about, meet people who share common interests, learn valuable life skills, but most importantly, HAVE FUN!

The Ambassador Beat: Sarah Mutton

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 Sarah Mutton, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from East Parry Sound 4-H Association

My name is Sarah Mutton and I am a 4-H Ontario Ambassador for 2017. I have been a 4-H member for eight years now and have participated in a wide range of clubs, my favourites being Dairy Club, Karaoke Club, and Lego Robotics Club. Throughout 4-H I have had many opportunities to learn and strengthen my leadership skills, including many camps and junior leading our Lego Robotics club. This year I wanted to give back to the program that has taught me so much by becoming the East Parry Sound 4-H Association’s first 4-H Ontario Ambassador.

As an Ambassador, I have been able to take part in two events so far; College Royal at the University of Guelph, and Youth Forum Beef Show. I had an amazing time at both of these events and it has been a pleasure to see more of what 4-H offers youth across the province. I would like to thank our generous sponsors UPI Energy and GROWMARK, Inc. I am very excited to continue my journey as a 4-H Ontario Ambassador and see what the rest of this amazing opportunity has in store for our Ambassador team.

Another 4-H opportunity I had the pleasure of attending in May was the Dairy Sen$e® conference, which is co-managed by 4-H Ontario and Ontario Holsteins. This conference provided 45 attendees with the opportunity to come together and learn from many very knowledgeable experts in the dairy industry.

As soon as we arrived we were given jackets, binders and bags containing a wealth of information and some gifts from the generous sponsors of the event. These included the Managing Partners 4-H Ontario and Ontario Holsteins, Presenting sponsor Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO), as well as EastGen, John Deere Canada ULC, Holstein Canada, Animal Pro Products, Select Sires GenerVations, CIBC, DeLaval Inc. – Canada, Ontario Dairy Youth Trust Fund and Collins Barrow. The Project is also funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Throughout the conference we were given the opportunity to hear from many speakers on a variety of different topics such as social media in agriculture, purchasing an ongoing operation, financial statements, succession planning, current developments from DFO and much more.

On the second day of the conference we had the opportunity to spend most of our day touring two farms, where we were able to ask the farmers questions as well as hear presentations from other guests who met with us at the farms. First we visited Bridon Farms Inc., where we had a tour and then information sessions about feeding a robotic herd, calf nutrition development and reproduction. Then we visited Larenwood Farms Ltd. where we were given another tour and had information sessions on the cost of expansion, buying or leasing equipment and proAction animal care cattle assessments.

One of the highlights of the conference was the preparation and presentation of case studies. Each day groups were given time to study and assess their assigned farm, perform a SWOT analysis and prepare a recommendation for their farm which would be presented on the final morning of the conference. This was definitely challenging, but it was also an incredible way to immediately put our new knowledge to work along with what we already knew. After the presentations, one group was awarded first place for having the best recommendation for their given farm and were invited on a trip to the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dairy Sen$e was a great opportunity and I strongly recommend you attend if you are interested in the agriculture industry and aged 18-25.

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.