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.

 

The Ambassador Beat: Laura Scott

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 Laura Scott, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Grenville County 4-H Association

I was fortunate enough to get to attend the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair for six days in early November. I wasn’t taking in the Royal as an Ambassador, but instead as an exhibitor in the National Limousin Show and as a 4-H member in the National Junior Beef Heifer Show. During my time on the Exhibition Grounds, I came to notice one thing in particular. Teamwork. When you walked around the barns on any of the open show days, you saw multiple people at each chute, working to get one single animal ready. Sometimes, you even went so far as to see five, six or seven people working on the same animal. There would be a couple of people fitting legs, some working on the body hair, another balling a tail and of course, someone to keep the animal happy. At each chute you walked by, there was one thing that I noticed they all had in common; a majority of these people were all involved in the 4-H program at some point in their lives. Whether they were involved as members throughout their teen years or as leaders later on in life, many of these people who were working together shared their 4-H background.

The 4-H show, also known as the National Junior Beef Heifer Show, began at the Royal with move in on Saturday, November 7 and wrapped up on the following Monday night. Over these three days, I witnessed so many people come together. Witnessing the camaraderie between members made me extremely proud to say, I am not only a member in this amazing program, but also an ambassador of this program. Let me share some of the things I saw during the National Junior Beef Heifer Show.

First off, I witnessed the grand champion, reserve champion and honourable mention showmen hug each other in congratulations instead of merely shaking hands at the end of the final drive of senior showmanship. None of these people were next door neighbours, or even from the same counties, but the three competitors were so excited for each other’s success that congratulations came in the form of a hug. I thought that this really showed other 4-H members, younger ones in particular, how to be true competitors while showing great sportsmanship. This act of kindness between youth in the ring shows how 4-H members are encouraged to work together, even with your fellow competitors, not just your teammates.

The next amazing act of teamwork that I had the honour of witnessing was three different counties working together on conformation day to get five different heifers ready. Each of these counties were from a different corner of the province, and, to the best of my knowledge, had never worked together before. The agreement started off as, “Hey, can we bring our chute over, you have more room?” and ended with members of all different ages and all different breeds of animals working together to make the heifers look their absolute best. I thought this was another fantastic example of teamwork from 4-H members. It showed members that it doesn’t matter if the people you work with don’t have the same farm name or county on the back of their jackets, great things can still be accomplished, and lifelong friendships can be established.

The final thing that I noticed was true kindness between members. On the Monday of the conformation show, I was waiting to go into my heat in the marshaling area. Near me, there was another competitor and his dad, waiting to take his animal in for the champion drive for the breed ahead of me. A heifer exiting a previous class was in a rush to get back to the barn and pushed right up against the show side of this heifer, messing up her body hair. What I saw next made me smile. A 4-H member who had come up to the ring only to see what class was in the ring, happened to be walking out and saw this heifer hit the one waiting to back into the ring. The member then walked up to the boy holding the heifer, and asked if he would like the heifer combed out to make her look good again. The showman accepted. The catch? I am quite certain that neither of these two 4-H members knew each other prior to this incident. The 4-H member walking out of marshaling area combed out this boy’s heifer out of kindness. The 4-H shows don’t allow parents or anyone who is not a 4-H leader to handle the animals, which meant that the boy would have had a very difficult time trying to comb his heifer out and hold her at the same time. A few weeks later, this moment is still fresh in my mind as it is probably one of the kindest random gestures I’ve gotten to witness while a 4-H member.

During my time at the 2015 Royal Winter Fair, I saw 4-H members work together in a way that made me proud to be a part of this century-old program. The 4-H program has obviously taught youth to work together as a team, to help each other out, and to be proud of others accomplishments; even if it means that you didn’t have as good of day as another person did. As my year as an ambassador comes to a close, I am so glad that I got to witness how 4-H brings people together in such an amazing way. It was truly the best way to round out a 4-H season.

The Ambassador Beat: Nic Willemsma

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 Nic Willemsma, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Chatham-Kent 4-H Association

What does September mean to you?

To most people September means that summer has come to an end and students have gone back to school,  But to a 4-H’er it means fall fairs are in full swing and it is a chance to show off what they have learned.

Fun Fact: In Ontario there are over 200 fairs with over 100 in September and 20 in October.

If you have ever been to a fair you have most likely seen 4-H in action, whether it is a livestock show, educational display board, an achievement day for a life skills club or maybe even a 4-H food booth.

This year I have been able to attend five fairs and will be attending the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in November. As a 4-H Ambassador I have been able to promote 4-H at the fairs I have attended. I also helped with a dairy show, rabbit show and even got to judge a pet show. I enjoyed the experience of attending fairs while helping to promote 4-H.

In my years as a 4-H member I have had the opportunity to show a dairy heifer, sheep, and goats at a local fair. I was also able to show a horse for the first time at a local horse and pony show. Some other clubs I have completed include rabbit, farm safety, baking and many others. These required me to put together a poster/display to show what I learned in that club.

Fairs are a fun activity for the whole family and a great place to learn more about agriculture and 4-H  When you visit a fall fair keep your eyes open for 4-H at the fair!

The Ambassador Beat: Laura Scott

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 Laura Scott, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Grenville County 4-H Association

Explaining 4-H and the Smiles that Come With It

“What is 4-H?” This is a question that, many, if not all reading this, have either asked somebody, been asked or tried to answer that infamous question known to all 4-Her’s; past and present alike. As the summer comes to an end and the miles that I’ve put on this year as an Ambassador increase, there’s one question that I always stumble over the answer for, “What is 4-H?”.

During our Ambassador training, we were given the answer to that. 4-H is a grassroots organization that works to build leaders in youth, among other things. However, that’s not something that you can say to a five year old who can’t wait for his sixth birthday so he can join the 4-H Cloverbud Program. So you have to pull out the most captivating aspects of the 4-H program, and convince them to give it a shot! It’s easy to talk to the kids who love tractors and animals, or who love to do crafts, but the kids who really aren’t sure, they’re the ones that you have to pull out those really unique clubs, like paintball, pizza or pottery.

I’ve also come to realize that other events and activities 4-H has to offer are great attention grabbers too! Some things that I’ve noticed that really interest potential new members include camps, conferences, provincial opportunities, scholarships, and bursaries.

One of my favourite parts of being an Ambassador has become clear this summer as I spend more and more time promoting 4-H and meeting new people; kids cannot wait to join 4-H. The best part of my day, nine times out of 10, is watching the face of a little girl or boy girl light up when they tell you that they get to join 4-H next year because their birthday was last month or is next week. These kids are so excited to join the program that their enthusiasm is nothing short of contagious. 4-H needs these members and they need them desperately. Members like these are the members that are going to be “lifers” and are going to be the next generation of leaders. They will be the ones who always have an answer to the question “What is 4-H?” because they have lived the experiences and can share them with others. There is nothing I love more about being an Ambassador than meeting these kids.

The Ambassador Beat: Cailen Bromley

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 Cailen Bromley, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Renfrew 4-H Association

Hi again it’s Cailen Bromley, one of the 2015 ambassadors and I am so happy to be writing again! So much has happened in the past couple months it’s crazy. I had the pleasure of attending Ignite and had the experience of a lifetime, learning to work with a group to create change. This was an awesome camp and I learned so much in the days I was there! I got to meet new people and connect with friend I had already met from previous camps. I have also had the pleasure of getting to be part of several 100th Anniversary celebrations where it has been great to see everybody getting involved and excited and there are still more great things to come. I was able to speak at some local fairs about the 100th Anniversary and the great things that have happened in the past that we celebrate. I also had a great time traveling down to Guelph to take part in the Growmark Sponsor Tour, where we got to see the faculties and how the operations work so successfully. We also got to see the UPI Energy distribution system. I am so happy to have them as a sponsor of our Ambassador program and allowing us to have all these great opportunities. There are lots of things I am looking forward to as the summer comes to an end, such as the IPM in Finch in September where we will have the 4-H Gala, which is going to be grand! The Farm Show and the Royal will also be later in the year which I’m excited to attend.

I am so happy there is so much going on in 4-H and that there’s opportunities to meet so many people in the 4-H community and see all of the great things we have accomplished.

A Lifelong Ambassador

How 4-H Membership Turned Into A Career In Agriculture

By Ryan Métivier

Three years ago Samantha Klaver joined the 4-H Ontario Ambassador program and became one of the faces of the program throughout 2012. Already a 4-H member at the time since she was 11, she says the program definitely helped to shape who she is today.

From improving her public speaking, as well as confidence, and interview, presentation and etiquette skills, to enabling her to gain a new career, participate in competitions and meeting people of similar interests, Samantha took advantage of everything 4-H had to offer.

“I really enjoyed learning about such a broad spectrum of topics,” she says. “It allowed me to learn a little bit about so many different topics that interested my peers. Without 4-H, I would not have been able to visit some of the places I have, nor meet so many people whom I am still in contact with today.”

Samantha Klaver (far left) with her fellow 2012 4-H Ontario Ambassadors.

Samantha’s first 4-H club was Wearable Art, after hearing about it through her church bulletin and joining on her mother’s suggestion, as she had been a 4-H member herself as a child. That first club lead to many more and eventually her position as an Ambassador.

Looking back at her scrapbook, Samantha remembers the sponsor tour day, learning about other agribusinesses; the GROWMARK Annual General Meeting where she met Future Farmers of America members and farmers; visiting the Chicago Board of Trade; and, the UPI Rendezvous, where she had the opportunity to enjoy a surprise concert by Emerson Drive.

Today, Samantha has parlayed her experiences in 4-H into a career in the agriculture industry. As a Field Marketer for Hensall District Co-operative in Seaforth, Samantha works with farmers in Huron and Perth Counties, assisting them with growing successful crops, such as food grade soybeans and edible beans.

The role gives Samantha lots of variety, as she will spend some days attending meetings and training, and others on the road meeting with farmers to determine crop plans for the upcoming growing season.

The required public speaking skills were something she worked to develop during the Ambassador program.

“I have a lot more confidence in myself when speaking in front of crowds, which made my last year in 4-H the most memorable,” she says.

While competing in the Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture Competition last November at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, she noted in her speech that without 4-H, she would not have been there speaking.

“I used to be really shy and quiet, but 4-H changed that about me and applying to be a 4-H Ambassador only seemed like the right thing to do.”

The Ambassador program also gave Samantha a great foundation to become a 4-H Leader. She took up volunteering this year, and says she looks forward to sharing 4-H with everyone she meets. This summer she had the opportunity to chaperone a group of 4-H members to the Peace River area in British Columbia.

“An organization that has literally taught me to ‘Learn To Do By Doing,’ also taught me that anything is possible as it has lead me to keep working and learning in agriculture; the industry I grew up in. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

The  4-H Ontario Ambassador Program celebrates ten years of senior youth leadership in 2015. The Ambassador program is generously sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc and UPI Energy LP.

The Ambassador Beat: Nic Willemsma

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 Nic Willemsma, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Chatham-Kent 4-H Association

Hello! my name is Nic Willemsma, and I have the honour of representing 4-H Ontario as a 2015 Ambassador. I live in Kingsville, one of the most southern towns in Canada, where I work on a neighbour’s dairy farm. I am currently taking the Social Media Program online through Algonquin College, and I plan on using what I learn from this program to promote agriculture and 4-H.

I have been a 4-H member for 10 years and  have been able to attend many 4-H camps and opportunities that 4-H has to offer including Career Mania, Provincial Exchange Trip, National 4-H Members’ Conference, PLC (Provincial Leadership Camp), and FLIA (Future Leaders In Action).  Without the help of volunteer facilitators 4-H would not be able to run these great opportunities. Earlier this month (June) I attended my first event as as a 4-H Ambassador and was able to help facilitate Discovery Days in Region 6 and see the other side of a 4-H camp.

Back in 2013 one of my 4-H leaders recommended that I go to this 4-H camp that took place over March break called PLC. I had never been to a 4-H camp before and little did I know that it was going to be one of the best weeks I have ever had. After returning home from PLC I started looking up what other 4-H opportunities I could go to. Later that year I attended Career Mania and last year I attended FLIA and the National 4-H Members’ Conference.

Through these opportunities I have been able to meet and network with 4-H leaders and 4-H’ers from across Ontario and Canada. I am looking forward to meeting more people and sharing with them the great opportunities 4-H has to offer for members and even non-members

 

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

March Madness

Hello, my name is Gina Posthumus and I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to be a 4-H Ontario Ambassador in 2015. I proudly come from the Hastings County 4-H Association in which I have been a member for seven years. I live outside a little village called Stirling-Rawdon with my parents and older sister. I am currently in Grade 12 at Bayside Secondary in Belleville, Ontario and will be attending the University of Guelph in the fall for Criminal Justice and Public Policy. I am truly looking forward to this year as a 4-H Ontario Ambassador!

March was a crazy busy month filled with lots of exciting new experiences! To start the month off, all of the incoming 2015 Ambassadors took part in a training weekend held at the 4-H Ontario office in Rockwood. We kicked off the weekend by having a team bonding night on the Friday night at our hotel so we could all get to know each other a little better. On Saturday, we got down to business. We headed over to the 4-H Ontario office bright and early to begin training. We spent all day together in the board room engaged in activities that helped us exercise our communication, team building and other leadership skills that would help us be the best Ambassadors we can be. Saturday evening, a banquet was held at the Holiday Inn to celebrate 10 years of the Ambassador program and congratulate the 2014 Ambassadors on a great year while welcoming the 2015 Ambassadors to the program. It was a very successful evening filled with fellow 4-H friends, family, and great food. The Ambassador team wrapped up the weekend Sunday afternoon after another fun-filled day of training. Overall, it was a fantastic weekend made possible with help from the wonderful sponsors of the ambassador program, UPI Energy LP and Growmark, Inc.

Next on my very full calendar in March was to attend Provincial Leadership Camp (PLC). This camp took place during March break in Port Sydney, up north in the beautiful Muskoka’s at Ontario Pioneer Camp. 69 delegates and eleven facilitators took part in this five-day getaway which focused on building upon leadership skills and developing strong friendships. Starting off the week, I was unsure what to expect. I had been to a provincial 4-H camp before (Future Leaders in Action), however I had been told that PLC was unlike anything I had ever experienced; and that statement turned out to be 100% true. I am sure all of the other participants would agree with me when I say it is very difficult to explain to someone what PLC is like. To sum it up in a phrase, PLC is life-changing. This camp allows people to make friends with people from all across the province and strengthen several leadership skills all while having the time of their life. This experience was unforgettable and I encourage any 4-H members ages 15-21 to take the opportunity and attend this amazing camp sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Ontario.

Hastings County 4-H Association’s Annual General Meeting was held during the month of March as well. Myself and two other PLC delegates from Hastings County were asked to speak about our time at PLC. We heard stories from other members of the Hasting’s County 4-H Association who were past delegates of PLC. It was very interesting to hear how things have changed over the years!

March was jam-packed with many new and enjoyable experiences. I had the opportunity to make new friends from all over the province. I am so honoured to have the opportunity to spend the rest of the year travelling the province and talking about how proud I am to be a part of this great youth leadership organization. I am so excited to see what the rest of the year has in store for me as I continue to ‘Learn to Do by Doing’.