The Ambassador Beat: Nicole 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 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 Nicole French, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Peel 4-H Association

Over the past 8 years, 4-H has been a major part of my life. It has shaped me into the person I am today. Giving me skills I will be able to use for the rest of my life. It has also given me the opportunity to meet some amazing people from across the province and make many life long connections.

Through my years with 4-H, it has given me many opportunities to expand my skill set and learn new things. The opportunity to be a 4-H Ontario Ambassador will allow me to further expand my skills and share what the program has done for me and why I love it so much!

Something that is unique about the 4-H program is its motto “Learn To Do By Doing”. 4-H encourages members to learn new things by trying them. It pushes members out of their comfort zone and into a world of new possibilities.

I can honestly say without 4-H I would never have learned how to: sew, latch hook, embroider, make balloon animals, lead a cow, grow a giant vegetable, pull a tractor, make a barn quilt, build a seed mosaic, make maple syrup, public speak, bake a pie, judge hay and the list goes on.

4-H gives members a safe place to try new things and learn from their mistakes. The mistakes that I have made when trying to learn something new, have allowed me to develop skills in patience and problem solving. Something I have learned from my 4-H experience is that you don’t always succeed on your 1st attempt, and in the case of growing a giant vegetable the 5th attempted didn’t work either. But that’s the best part about 4-H, even though I haven’t been successful in growing anything larger than a golf ball, I still join that club every year in the hopes that I will learn something new and “maybe” this will be the year to grow a giant pumpkin.

4-H has also taught me that hard work does pay off. That if you try hard enough you will succeed. This lesson can be applied to almost every aspect of your life and that is the best thing about 4-H. The life lessons you learn when at 4-H you can apply to other aspects of your life and you can use them for the rest of your life.

As a 4-H Ontario ambassador this is what I hope to achieve:

  • To inspire new member/leaders to join this amazing program.
  • To thank the volunteers and leader for all their hard work and time they have put into the program, because without them there would be no program.
  • To thank our generous sponsors for all their support and to hopefully inspire new sponsors to support 4-H.
  • To remind current 4-H members of why 4-H is an important part of their lives and that if they continue with the program it will give them a number of benefits and opportunities.
  • Lastly to inspire members to live the 4-H pledge, by continuing to learn new things, making friendships and staying loyal to them, giving back to the community whenever possible, leading a healthy life and doing this not only to better themselves but also other 4-H members, their community and hopefully the country.

Meet 4-H’r Nicole French

4-H offers a variety of Clubs to ensure every Member can get the most from their 4-H experience. From chocolate to chickens to gardening, there’s absolutely a 4-H Club for every Member to enjoy participating in.

In addition to learning the tangible Club skills, Members also learn a variety of transferable skills that will benefit them now and in the future. To provide a better idea of what a Member can learn in a 4-H Club, we had 4-H Member, Nicole French, share her 4-H story. After all, what better way to understand what 4-H means to its Members than hearing it from the Members themselves.

My 4-H Story
By Nicole French

Nicole FrenchOver my two years in 4-H I have learned many new things, made new friends and faced new challenges.  I have participated in over 10 Clubs.  Some of my favorite Clubs are the Garden Tractor Pulling Club, Maple Syrup, Sew Easy and the Dairy Club.

In the Fall, I was in the Grow A Large Vegetable Club. I was trying to grow a really big pumpkin.  We were given a seed from an 800 lb pumpkin.  We learned how to file down the seed and then plant it in some soil.  We then got to bring home our seed to look after and grow. This is where the fun begins.  I had to water it and keep it in a window with sunlight. When it got big enough, I had to transplant it into my garden.  Then came the next challenge…….bunny rabbits!  So I can control watering and weeding my pumpkin…..but how was I going to keep Mr. Bunny Rabbit out of my garden.  Well, my Oma brought me some chicken wire over to put around my pumpkin.  I also put out some stakes with pie plates on them.  I think the noise they make when the wind blows them, scares the bunny rabbit away.

I really like watching my pumpkin grow.  It gets bigger every day.  This is a good example of our Club motto, Learn To Do By Doing.  This is a really hands on Club, that requires me to stay focused and learn new things by trying different strategies.

I have also had some great help from my Leaders.  They have really made the Clubs fun and interesting.  They help answer many questions I have.  The Club Leaders have been a big part of my 4-H experience.

One thing I really like about 4-H is reciting the 4-H pledge at every meeting.

I pledge my Head to clearer thinking, my Heart to greater loyalty, my Hands to larger service and my Health to better living for my Club, my community and my country.

This pledge helps me keep focused on what 4-H really means.  It reminds me to live a good life by staying focused on what I want to do.  The best part is I get to learn all of this by doing things.  That is the 4-H motto to Learn To Do By Doing.

When we have to say our pledge at the start of every meeting, some people may think, “Oh we have to say that silly pledge again?”  But for me it reminds me to think positive, help others, stay healthy and overall, be nice to everyone I meet.  I will take my 4-H experience with me wherever I go and remind people that no matter what you think you know, you can always learn more.  That is what 4-H has shown me.

I encourage everyone to give 4-H a chance to try new things and make new friends. When you say 4-H the first thing that pops into my mind is an awesome, fun and active experience.  I’ve invited my friends to come and experience 4-H. I love 4-H and everything that I am learning.  It is helping me to become a better person with a wide range of skills.

Nicole French is a 4-H Member from Region 4. She has been in 4-H for two years and has already completed an amazing 13 projects! Nicole has also taken on many executive positions in her Clubs including Club President, News Reporter and Treasurer.