Canadian 4-H Council

October 12, 2005 09:00 ET

Capture the 4-H Spirit during National 4-H Month

One of Canada's longest-running youth programs launches annual month-long celebration Attention: Agriculture Editor, News Editor OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 12, 2005) - Capture the 4-H Spirit as more than 32,000 4-H Members and 9,300 volunteer Leaders celebrate National 4-H Month in Canada this November. The month-long celebration provides an opportunity for members, volunteers, and supporters to celebrate and showcase the many benefits of the 4-H program, which has nurtured the development of Canadian youth since 1913.
The 4-H program had its beginnings in Roland, Manitoba, and now operates in every province with 2,200 4-H Clubs completing more than 48,000 hands-on projects each year. The 4-H program originated for the purposes of improving agriculture and enriching rural life. It now reaches young people in rural areas, small towns and suburbs alike, offering them the chance to make life-long friends, participate in a wide variety of exciting projects, travel nationally and internationally, and develop leadership skills that will serve them for a lifetime.
The theme for the month-long celebration is 'Capture the 4-H Spirit'. Steve Holtz, a 4-H Ontario Member, 'captured the 4-H spirit' almost by accident. After agreeing to drive a friend to a local 4-H Club meeting, he decided to venture inside and 'see what all the fuss was about'. Several years later Holtz is an ambassador for his provincial program, and has participated in many provincial and national 4-H programs. He says he could never fully repay the 4-H program for the personal development and growth he has achieved.
"There is something that makes 4-H truly special," explains Holtz, "and I would have to say it's the spirit that runs through the program. Defining that spirit is different for everyone. For some it means the spirit of volunteering, of making a genuine difference in their community. For others it means developing self-confidence and pride in achievement. For me the spirit of 4-H is about the strong sense of community that I found. When I became a 4-H Member, I felt like I truly belonged ... "
Sarah van Heeswijk of British Columbia says 'capturing the 4-H spirit' saved her teenage years. At the age of 13 her family moved from a large city to a small town. She suffered from an acute case of boredom.
"I ended up joining 4-H," she says. "To say it changed my life is an understatement."
van Heeswijk loved 4-H so much she became an ambassador for her provincial program, travelled the country on 4-H opportunities - and upon graduating from university she took a job working with the program through the B.C. provincial government.
During National 4-H Month, watch for local 4-H displays, awareness booths and other special
community events. A central element of celebrations at the national level is the annual Friends of 4-H Banquet, National 4-H Conference and National 4-H Volunteer Leaders' Conference held in Toronto Nov. 2 - 6. 4-H Members and Leaders from across Canada, the U.S. and U.K. will come together to participate in the organization's longest-running national conference - where the 'spirit of 4-H' will be in great supply! /For further information: IN: AGRICULTURE, OTHER

Contact Information

  • Chris Forrest, Communications Manager, Canadian 4-H Council
    Primary Phone: 613-234-4448 ext. 27