For the Browns, PLC is more than just a camp but the beginning of a lifetime of happiness

By Laura Squires

Provincial 4-H Leadership Camp (PLC) is a family tradition in many households and holds fond memories for all. For Brianne and Chris Brown, it is a moment that is held dearly in their hearts and marks the beginning of a lifetime of love.   

Brianne grew up in Dufferin County and was a very active 4-H member. “There’s not much that 4-H offers that I haven’t done” says Brianne. In her first year of 4-H she won the most outstanding first year member award after completing eight projects. Needless to say, she was hooked. Brianne participated in various clubs from Dairy, Sheep, Fitness and many others until the time she was 21. Chris lived in Bruce County and was also heavily involved in 4-H. He took part in several clubs including Dairy, Beef and various home making clubs with his sisters, up until the time he was also 21.

In the winter of 1998, Brianne was in her final year of high school and had planned to go to Florida with one of her friends for March Break. She had never travelled outside of the country before and she was really looking forward to spending a week relaxing on the beach. However fate had other ideas; her Mom had received a phone call from a 4-H Volunteer asking if Brianne would be interested in attending PLC that March Break and without consulting Brianne her Mom immediately signed her up.

On the first day of PLC, Brianne and Chris met and on that same day, both received acceptance letters to the University of Guelph for the same program and found out they would be spending the next four years of their lives together. Over the course of the camp, Brianne and Chris had the opportunity to spend some time together but it wasn’t until the final evening that they really had the chance to connect and the rest is history.

Since then, Brianne and Chris have shared many small and big moments alongside one another. They began dating shortly after PLC, went to Prom with one another, began their post-secondary careers together and five years later were engaged. They wed one month after their university graduation and soon started a family. Brianne and Chris have five children: Carter, 14, Payten, 13, Cohen, 11, Griffin, 9 and Chase, 7.

Today, Brianne and Chris own a dairy farm in Yarker, ON and are a part of the Frontenac 4-H Association where they are volunteers and almost all their children are members. They are actively involved in the Dairy club and have seven 4-H calves on their farm this year.

On July 19, 2019, Brianne and Chris are celebrating their 16th wedding anniversary. Please join us in congratulating this wonderful couple and celebrating their love of each other and connection to 4-H!

 

What 4-H means to me

By: Morgan Desserre

Better, the one word that goes with everything when I think about 4-H. Better person, better friend, better leader, better choices, better prepared. Without 4-H I would not be the person I am today. It has given me the opportunities to build and grow more than anything and given me the most fun way to do it. Some of the best times in my life were at a 4-H opportunity and being able to have that fun while becoming a better person makes everything else feel a little easier.

At the district level being able to help the people of your community makes you feel like a better person by making a difference in these people’s lives in ways you don’t even realize. The look on the faces of some of the younger members makes you feel better because you just made a difference in someone’s life and maybe gave them the boost of confidence that they needed to do something they were scared to do before.

At the regional and provincial level you get some of the best experiences anybody could ever ask for. I have attended 4 different 4-H Ontario camps and each time I went they were better than the last, starting with NOOLA (Northern Ontario Outdoor Leadership Adventure). People from our region came together to camp and learn to be leaders through having fun in different activities. Then for me came YAC (Youth Adventure Camp). I attended YAC when I was 13 and met people from across the province. Many of the people I met I am still in contact with today. When I was 16 and 17 my March Break wasn’t spent like most kids out skiing or fishing with their families. Instead, I was across the province at PLC (Provincial Leadership Camp) and at FLIA (Future Leaders in Action). Both of these camps were focused on developing the leadership skills of the kids there. I left those camps with a lot more than just leadership skills though. I rekindled some friendships from YAC and made even more new friends that I know just as well as my friends at home. It was quite easy to see that all the members and facilitators at the camps were having a great time there. It would be very hard to find someone who could tell you without lying that they weren’t enjoying themselves or expanding their comfort zone. The scene when leaving those camps was one of the happiest and saddest places at the same time. The entire camp was truly something that cannot be properly described without experiencing it yourself.

Given the chance to do anything differently in my life I would never change anything I’ve done in 4-H. There is no way to replace the feeling I’ve gotten from all of the opportunities I’ve been given. I’ve become a better version of myself through 4-H from the simple things at home to a bunch of once strangers now friends seeing the potential in me and growing alongside them to all become better people.