The Root of it all
The heart of 4-H is in its Clubs. 4-H Clubs are comprised of a 4-H Members and trained and screened Volunteers who act as Club Leaders. The Club decides on a topic of interest and through instruction by Leaders, and hands-on learning, Members learn about the topic during 4-H meetings. In addition to gaining a hands-on education, Members develop leadership skills, they gain an understanding of how an individual can affect their community and country, and they make lasting friendships.
To supplement learning that occurs at the Club level, 4-H provides provincial and national opportunities to enable Members to further expand their knowledge and horizons. Various camps, conferences and exchanges are available for 4-H Members and young 4-H Alumni to participate in.
The first step to start your year in 4-H is to choose a project. Learning new skills, making things and visiting places with friends are all a part of a 4-H project. Members can take one project or many projects. For first-year members one project is probably enough. Give some thought to the projects you have listed. Do they match your abilities? Do you have the time, money and equipment to complete the project? Talk to your parents and 4-H leaders; they can help you choose a project that matches your needs, ability and resources.
4-H clubs hold GENERAL MEETINGS each month. All members should attend general meetings. This is where we get together as a club, share information about things that will happen, review projects, have a challenge etc. PARENTS are encouraged to also attend the general meetings. This is especially important if you are new to 4-H.
Members choose between a variety of LIFE SKILLS projects like sewing, crafts, photography, heritage, scrapbooking and LIVESTOCK projects such as dairy, beef, light horse, sheep, dog, poultry and goat. The complete list is available on the website. Choose something that interests you, or that you would like to learn. It is recommended that first year members choose 1 or 2 projects only. PROJECT MEETINGS are usually held once a month (sometimes more when needed to complete project requirements).
Project meetings can be 1 -2 hours long, may be a field trip, etc, but are always hands on. PROJECT MEETINGS are scheduled by the PROJECT LEADER and you will be notified by email. If you are ever in doubt – call your project leader. Each PROJECT has its own requirements – every member will receive a PROJECT NEWSLETTER and your leader will ensure you cover what is necessary. Life Skills projects usually begin in November, while Livestock projects typically start later in the 4-H year, as they are busier in the spring/summer months.
WHAT ELSE WILL YOU DO AS A NEW 4-H MEMBER?
For each project, you will need to keep a notebook to record meeting dates, a brief summary of what you did and learned, as well as a record of any costs. At the completion of each project usually June – you will complete a record form. At each general meeting, some one from your project will give a report to the club as to what was covered.
Public Speaking is one of the requirements for all 4-H members to complete their projects. Each member is required to do a speech or a demonstration at CLUB RALLY DAY (March). Club Rally can be a fun day, even for those members who are shy. The speeches are given before a friendly panel of judges, your peers and parents. Speeches are usually about 2 minutes long for junior members and they can be on any subject (HINT: Pick a topic that you know about or interests you – if you have a favorite pet, you could do your speech on your pet). It is always interesting to listen to the topics the members come up with.
Younger members learn from watching older members and you can really see a progression from year to year. At the February meeting we normally present a program on what goes into doing a speech or demonstration.
To complete your project you will be required to attend County Judging Day. Your project leaders will work with you to get ready for judging day. Judging day is usually held in MAY.
Our achievement day is held in June or July. Achievement day is when our members get to show case all the work they have done with their projects throughout the year. Members are evaluated non-competitively on what they have learned over the 4-H year. All projects and record sheets are displayed and livestock are shown. If for some reason you can not attend our achievement day, arrangements can be made for you to take your project to another clubs achievement day for completion.
In AUGUST, all the clubs in your county compete at your local Exhibition. All members are encouraged to participate, competitions in crafts, cake decorating, outdoorsmen, foods, photography and a fashion show for sewing members. There is also livestock showmanship and confirmation classes and the popular tug-of-war matches. The day ends with a parade of clubs and awards. Those projects and members who earn a Grand or Reserve Champion go onto the PROVINCIAL 4-H SHOW (PRO SHOW),
PROVINCIAL 4-H SHOW
Pro-show is held the last weekend in September and is hosted by a different county each year. In 2014 PRO SHOW will be held in Truro, hosted by the Eastern Region (Sept 26-28). All the top projects from each county’s exhibition compete at Pro Show. Of course you don’t have to have a project entered to go, there is no cost and it is open to all 4-H members to attend.
Besides project work, achievement day, exhibitions (which can keep members very busy!), we try to have some fun activities throughout the year when all members can get together. There are various county events to participate in, such as, skating and pizza party, sleigh ride and more. We are always looking for suggestions as to what members might like to do, so if you have something fun in mind, let us know!
TUG – of – WAR
We have had a tug-of-war team for a number of years now and this is a fun activity if you don’t mind getting dirty now and then and have lots of endurance. Tug of War practices begin in the spring and go through the summer leading up to the Tug of War Competition at Exhibition. Remember pain is temporary.
Each year we raise funds to help with activities like club rally and other costs. In the past we have sold chocolate bars. We are always looking for suggestions as to what members might like to do, so if you have something fun in mind, let us know!
OTHER 4-H THINGS YOU CAN DO
Besides our club activities you can get involved in other 4-H activities, like 4-H weekend, Jr. and Sr. Tours, Conferences, Public speaking Rallies, 4-H exchanges for Sr. members, etc.
One week 4-H Camps held each year in St. Peters. From all accounts this is a great week of fun and friendship. A bus stops along the route to take campers to and from camp. Watch for details later on in the year.