By Jasmine Franklin
November is the month when the leadership and hard work of 4-H clubs across Canada is recognized.
“Kids learn to do things by actually doing them through the clubs,” said Joyce Winter, leader of Central Ponoka’s Beef Club. “The kids are given some great opportunities, they mature and every year we see them grow into young adults.”
The 4-H clubs are meant to teach kids leadership and organizational skills by helping to host and put together events. In the Ponoka region there are eight clubs: Central, East and West Beef Club’s, Ponoka Renegade Riders, Silver Valley Riders, Wolf Creek Outdoor Pursuits, Rosebrier Beef club and Crestomere Multi-Club.
Key member Katelynn Neddo, 17, from Ponoka, got involved with the 4-H clubs eight years ago and as key member, helps all of the 4-H clubs in any way they need.
“I go to all the clubs and help to get everyone together,” Neddo said. “I have a lot of ideas I’m excited to get out there and I can’t wait to teach all the kids.”
As a key member, Neddo will help with public speaking, attend meetings and help to teach children among any other duties.
According to the 4-H club website, the clubs offer innovative support and initiative to inspire youths to become contributing leaders in their community. Since its establishment in 1933, the clubs often meet once a month to take up different leadership roles and plan events.
For example, Winter said some roles for the Central Ponoka Beef Club include raising charity steer to auction off and all the funds go to Ponoka charities. Last year, the club raised $7,000 to be split between Ponoka’s Big Brothers Big Sisters and the food bank. The club also volunteers with the Children’s Christmas Shopping Party put on by the Chamber of Commerce where the volunteers help children pick out gifts for family members and friends.
The three beef clubs in the Ponoka area alone have around 52 members.
Nov. 4 was national Show Your 4-H Colours Day, when Canadians were encouraged to wear green to show support for 4-H clubs.
The federal Canadian government recently gave the Canadian 4-H club council a $3 million investment to help with funding.
A scholarship from TD Canada was also handed out to a Lacombe 4-H club member. Haley Scott was one of 10 Canadian to be given the scholarship. Troy Packit, TD manager of agricultural services said the award is given to a high school student planning on attending post-secondary schooling in agricultural studies. The student is awarded $2,500 and must have good marks.
For more information on 4-H clubs visit www.4-h-canada.ca.