Manitoba to celebrate 4-H centennial in 2013
- Published on Monday, October 15, 2012
By: Lanny Stewart
Head, heart, hands and health are the four H's that have become the staples of an organization that is set to celebrate its 100th anniversary.
Founded in Roland Man., the 4-H program has approximately 2,400 members throughout the province, ranging in age from eight to 21 years old. There are close to 180 4-H clubs throughout the province that provide young people with the opportunity to learn life skills that can be beneficial as they grow older.
Clayton Robbins is the executive director of the 4-H Manitoba Council and is a former member of the program. He says 4-H is recognized as one of the best youth development models in existence.
"I began 4-H when I was nine and spent 11 years as a member," he said. "My son is fourth generation in our family as my Dad started with the Rivers Beef Club in the early 50s with my Grandpa as his leader. My Dad was my leader and I was my son's leader.
"While in the program, members learn project skills, communication skills, team-building, and entrepreneurship through hands-on, project-based learning with skilled, screened volunteer leaders," he continued. "Leader development opportunities are also part of the model."
Next year will be the centennial of the organization in Canada and Robbins says there will be various events going on, including a national celebration in Winnipeg next May.
The national event, which will be in conjunction with the 4-H Canada Council annual general meeting, will include a social, a gala event and a special ceremony at the 4-H Canada museum in Roland, complete with a re-dedication of the organization's cairn.
Meanwhile, provincially, special activities will take place, however Robbins says it's too early to say what will happen. He says when details become available, look for the info to be posted on the program's website: 4h.mb.ca.
He says to expect many centennial celebrations to involve 4-H alumni because it's not just a celebration of current members and leaders.
"It is much more than that," he explained. "One of our main focuses is to reconnect with alumni in the coming months and figure out a way to keep them informed of any and all celebratory activities occurring around the province so that they may be a part of the celebration."
Shelley Bjarnarson, a 4-H leader in the area and member for several years whose children are part of the program today, says the Neepawa 4-H club has a meeting scheduled in November where it is expected they will discuss what they plan on doing to celebrate the special occasion.
Did you know . . .
Earlier this year, 4-H Canada and Food Banks Canada announced a partnership for a national food drive that will see 4-H clubs across Canada collect food and items for local food banks, throughout 2013.