To help promote 4-H and celebrate 4-H Alberta’s centennial, County Best Blog is doing a ‘4-H Friday’ blog post on the last Friday of each month for all of 2017. Showcasing stories and life lessons from its former and current 4-H Alberta members.
A 4-H Memory
I have so many great memories that came from my involvement with 4-H. Things like writing my speech for public speaking competitions, making friends at 4-H dances and regional camps, field trips with our group to interesting agricultural sites, and tons of awesome hands-on clinics we attended. Probably my favorite 4-H memories are from our “friendly competitions”. I was in Light Horse 4-H, so once a year our group, the “Manyberries Chinook Riders,” would meet to compete in gymkhana events – speed pattern racing and timed games for riders. It included events like the key hole race, barrel racing, pole bending, the flag race, ride and run, $1 race, team roping, and calf tying, as well as a showmanship class and a conformation class. For many years, I rode a nice red roan gelding named “Buddy”. He was a really well put together horse, and I was always proud of how we did in our showmanship and conformation classes. I don’t remember how we placed every year, but it was always fun. One year I placed in the top for “all-around rider” (had a high average from all of the events) and won a new feed bucket and saddle blanket as my prize. I was extremely proud of that bucket and blanket for years after. In fact, I still have the blanket (I rarely used it when I was young because I wanted it to stay nice), and now my kids will use it. It may seem like a small thing, but every time I go to pull out that old saddle blanket I think back fondly on my youth as a 4-H member.
Personal Appreciation of the 4-H Program
4-H, in my opinion, is one of the best programs available for young people. It provides activities for kids outside of their school, so if a young person doesn’t quite mesh with the sports programs available there, they can find fulfillment and wholement recreation in 4-H. It introduces them to people from different towns too. The group I grew up in covered at least three, and some of the kids I met through 4-H even became life-long friends. It teaches youth responsibility and proper handling skills for the animal of their program. It develops young people into serving, environmentally aware, and socially mature individuals. It prepares them for life as an upstanding, hard working, and active adult. I was involved in 4-H from about age 8 to 14, and it helped mold me (with the help of outstanding leaders) into the person I am today. My husband and I have three little children, and we have already planned their (hopeful) future involvement in a 4-H group of their choice. I look forward to helping my kids have similarly superb experiences and watching their skills and abilities grow.
Be sure to check out the official website for 4-H Alberta’s centennial celebrations. Also, please consider donating to the 4-H program through their site. It’s a wonderful organization that’s so deserving of our support!
*Do you want to be featured in a 4-H blog post?! If you are a member or former member of 4-H in Alberta we’d love to hear from you! Contact us(CLICK) if you are interested and we’ll send over the details!