Today I had the privilege of watching several members of the “Farm Fresh 4-H Club” participating in their annual public speaking competition. Approximately 60 kids stood up in front of a large audience of fellow 4-H members, family supporters, friends, 4-H leaders and (ominous drum roll here) – the judges – to talk about or demonstrate something that they knew or felt strongly about. From the tiniest Cloverbuds to the Senior members, each presentation was well prepared, informative and delivered articulately. They spoke about careers, how to do things, cooking – you name it. Not for a moment was I bored despite my rapidly numbing derriere on the hard bench.
All of these young people are well on their way to successful futures. They spoke well and exuded confidence in both voice and demeanour. Years ago I enjoyed being a 4-H leader working with an enthusiastic group of excited young photographers so attending this event was a flashback in time for me. The adult leaders of the group deserve their own round of applause. No one who isn’t involved can even imagine the hours of personal time devoted to ensuring that their young charges get to truly “learn by doing” as the motto says.
In this club the 4 Hs stand for: Hands on opportunities; Healthy lessons for life; Head to a bright future; and Heart warming relationships. It’s an amazing experience for all involved.
Friends of mine have 3 of their 4 children (the fourth is still a toddler but will no doubt be involved in the future) in the Club. Despite having busy schedules, they all attended and participated while I got to watch as the adoring “surrogate Grandma”. After her presentation Isaline had to leave for a figure skating competition in Moncton. Owen had a social commitment to attend a birthday party. That left Ellie on hand to accept the awards for herself and her sister and brother, each of whom placed well in their respective divisions.
If you have the chance to get your own kids involved in 4-H, I’d highly recommend it. Participation lays the foundation for a very successful future, and these kids are well on their way! I’m thankful that I was invited!