The Ambassador Beat: Andrea Dohner

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. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador Program is sponsored by FS.

Submitted by Andrea Dohner, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Elgin 4-H Association

A Year In Review

As the new year arrives, it is time to think and reflect on the past year, and look forward to the new year. Looking back on my year as an Ambassador, many amazing thoughts and memories come to mind. Memories like working at College Royal, going on FS Sponsorship tours with my fellow Ambassadors, travelling to Eastern Ontario for the Avonmore Fair, and the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference, to name a few.

Being a part of the Ambassador Program has made me appreciate 4-H more than I could have ever imagined. Being able to attend events all over Ontario gave me the chance to see how different associations run their events and to connect with so many different people to share our love and connection to 4-H. I remember being nervous about travelling to new places with unknown people, but I always kept in mind that I was meeting with 4-H’ers, people that I share a mutual love for the organization with so I didn’t have anything to worry about.

One of my main goals as an Ambassador this year was to introduce people to 4-H. I wanted to meet people who had never heard of 4-H so that I could share my story and encourage them to join, I was able to do just that at my first event. My first event was College Royal at the University of Guelph and it also happened to be one of my favourite events. At College Royal I had the pleasure of connecting to many different people and was able to introduce many of them to 4-H and what it stands for. I was also able to meet many people who shared stories from when they were younger and we got to compare it to today’s 4-H. I found out that a lot has changed, but some of the most important things like the values and mottos of 4-H have still stayed the same even after all these years.

Overall, my year as an Ambassador was rewarding in so many ways. I was able to meet so many people, connect to them and introduce new people to 4-H. If I could encourage every 4-H’er ages 18-21 to participate in the Ambassador program, I would; you never know who you could meet and how many people’s lives you could positively impact simply by sharing your passion and 4-H story.

The Ambassador Beat: Evan Jenkins

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 2018, each of 4-H Ontario’s Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. To book an Ambassador for your local event click here. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador Program is sponsored by FS.

Submitted by Evan Jenkins, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Elgin 4-H Association

Unreal Experience of my Life!

With the year ending, this means that my year as a 4-H Ontario Ambassador is coming to an end. From the start in February, there have been many memorable moments that have made being an ambassador worth every minute. Many of which come from travelling around to different associations, meeting current 4-H members and volunteers from other associations and seeing the impacts of 4-H in communities. Saying this, I have prepared a list that outlines my reasons why the Ambassador Program is a fantastic opportunity to be a part of:

My Top 5 Reasons Why the 4-H Ambassador Program is an Amazing Opportunity:

  1. Great way to see the different associations – There are many different events that come up during the tenure of being a 4-H Ambassador. These events can be as far south as Essex County to as far east as Prescott County and even to Northern Ontario. With this, many associations have many different 4-H events that happen throughout the year.
  2. Get to meet other 4-H members and volunteers – This is a great way to meet fellow 4-H members that may share the same interests as you and can also meet some volunteers that can give you insight from their past experiences being in 4-H or their current experiences leading clubs.
  3. Meet different sponsors of 4-H programs – In many associations, there are many different sponsors that help run local 4-H events. Being a 4-H Ambassador, you get to meet these sponsors and make connections. Often they have been in the 4-H program and are excited to share their own memories.
  4. Good way to network with people – I have learned from being a 4-H Ambassador that going to events has helped with my networking ability. This means that I can make connections with people that could be future mentors and help me find jobs in the future. The one question that I get a lot of the time from 4-H alumni is seeing if 4-H is still going. Questions like this really make me proud to share that 4-H is still alive and talk to them about new clubs that have been introduced.
  5. Amazing way to see what 4-H has to offer – Through this program, I have seen the effects that the 4-H program has had on the various communities like bringing them together, creating opportunities that have positive effects on everyone in the community and even bringing awareness that 4-H is not just a rural or livestock-based club. It has also showed me that no matter how big the association is, 4-H in the county makes it look like a larger county than it really is.

With these tips, I hope this can help fellow 4-H members see the benefits of the marvelous 4-H Ambassador Program. Along with doing the Ambassador Program, there are some fun memories like learning that French is a helpful tool when visiting the Eastern part of the province, there’s always time to laugh at various events and that mini jam out sessions in the vehicle before an event can get that energy flowing to get you through any nerves you had about the event. I hope that with this knowledge of the 4-H Ambassador Program, you will be thrilled to reach out to a 4-H member and urge them to take on this superb experience of a lifetime!

The Ambassador Beat: Devin Catt

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 2018, each of 4-H Ontario’s Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. To book an Ambassador for your local event click here. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador Program is sponsored by FS.

Submitted by Devin Catt, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Elgin 4-H Association

The Opportunity of a Lifetime 

The path that a 4-H Ontario Ambassador walks is an interesting one. We have been given the chance to travel across the province and impact lives and at the same time we are young adults finding our way in the world and figuring out what is important to us.

Becoming a 4-H Ambassador for 2018 wasn’t something I had planned for myself. 4-H had stopped playing an important part in my life. In previous years I had been attempting to take all the clubs available to me in my county. I had attended many of the provincial opportunities that 4-H offers such as Provincial Leadership Camp, Go For The Gold and the TD Canadian Dairy Classic Show. I thought that 4-H had done what it could for me. I was happy to move on and start getting more involved in university life.

However, as I got more involved with clubs through the university, I found myself stepping back and becoming a member and less of a leader. I was struggling to find my place among my peers and how to use my leadership skills to help the groups I was now a part of. It was suggested to me that I should apply to become a 4-H Ambassador by one of my leaders. I found myself remembering the skills and the experiences that I had gained from 4-H. As I put those to use within my university clubs, I then rediscovered how important 4-H is to me.

It is because of 4-H that I have the ability to step forward and take chances that others might not be willing to. It is because of this, that I have had many amazing opportunities, and becoming a 4-H Ontario Ambassador has been one. But what makes being a 4-H Ambassador special, is that I am able to share how important 4-H is with the younger members. By explaining that even though we grow up and 4-H may lose its appeal, 4-H is a program built to help everyone from the young members learning new skills from the clubs to the senior members learning how to lead and share experiences, to the leaders learning about their members and helping to shape them into productive young members of society.

As one of the four ambassadors from Region 6 this year, I wanted to take this opportunity to see as much of Ontario as I could. I took the opportunity to travel to Region 1 and help facilitate the regional Discovery Day, as well as attend Leader Training days. While I was in Region 1, I met many new people, shared some amazing experiences with them and learned that we all face many of the same problems. We all struggle trying to explain that 4-H isn’t just about farming, all while trying to coordinate with members across the association. I was impressed by the solutions many counties came up with and was happy to share how my home association of Elgin tries to accomplish the same goals.

All in all, the trip I have already experienced and the trips that I am looking forward to will all come together to be an opportunity I will never forget.

The Ambassador Beat: Evan Jenkins

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 2018, each of 4-H Ontario’s Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. To book an Ambassador for your local event click here. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador Program is sponsored by FS.

Submitted by Evan Jenkins, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Elgin 4-H Association

Halfway Done but More to Do!

As August comes around, it marks the halfway point of the 4-H Ontario Ambassador term. In my mind, this is a perfect time for reflection. Through this first half of the term, I have met and spoke with many people, gone to numerous events and seen various parts of Ontario. With these thoughts in mind I figure I will share some of the highlights so far.

Being a 4-H Ambassador you must have good communication skills that can help in your travels and share your experience in 4-H. Some people I talk to are current 4-H members and volunteers that share their experiences with me as well. These experiences can range from talking about the different clubs they offer to talking about how excited they are for achievement day. The other people I talk to are members of the public who have questions about 4-H in their area or are 4-H alumni that share experiences from their days in 4-H. I have also had many people react surprisingly when they hear 4-H is still going!

Since many of the events aren’t local, driving is a key part of the position. Many events can be as far south as Essex County to as far east as Prescott County. Driving can be the worst part of going to an event, but you can use the time you have driving to think of an impromptu speech or to get mentally prepped to speak in front of an audience. The best part of driving is getting to an event and being mentally and physically prepared.

Now, I had thought I had seen all of Ontario, but I have proven myself wrong through this first half of my term. I had only seen what had interested me like the big cities, landmarks and notable towns. I have now broadened my view to see the different cultures like eastern Ontario where French is the primary language – which was a difficult time for me since I gave up learning French in Grade 9. It has also made me recognize that every small town feels like home! Staying with fellow Ambassador Mélissa Brisson’s family in Embrun while attending Golf-East had me feeling like I never left Belmont!

After reading through this I see that there have been many memories made, many miles driven and many small towns I want to go see again. Most people say that you make lots of friends in 4-H, but I tend to say that I don’t make friends in 4-H, I make new family members for my 4-H family!