For over 100 years, 4-H Canada has been one of the most highly respected youth organizations in Canada. It is an organization of more than 25,000 members, aged 6-25, and 7,700 volunteers across the country.
November is National 4-H Month, a month of the year where 4-Hers around the country celebrate what 4-H means to them, and promote 4-H in Canada.
Through the 4-H program, members are offered the opportunity to become leaders, and to develop and thrive in a safe and fun learning environment. They are taught how to make a difference—one positive change at a time. In the 4-H program, youth learn to do by doing – this includes public speaking, presenting, interacting with peers and adults, and learning how to complete a project.
The name ‘4-H’ is derived from the first letter of the four words Head, Heart, Hands and Health; the significance of which is expressed in the 4-H pledge:
My head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
and my health to better living,
For my club, my community, and my country.
So how does 4-H work? It starts with local clubs. Each club is led by a handful of adult volunteer leaders, who manage and organize club events. Many clubs have a specific focus such as photography, horticulture, or woodworking, or raising an animal. With support from Provincial organizations, clubs conduct meetings and organize local activities.
By joining a 4-H club, youth have the opportunity to participate in local club-based activities, but they can also use their membership as a gateway to incredible Regional, Provincial, and National 4-H opportunities and events.
The common perception many people have of 4-H is that you must live on a farm and own livestock animals to join 4-H, but this really isn’t the case. There are a variety of non-livestock projects to be done in 4-H, including woolcraft, gardening, photography and many others.
The 4-H program has two branches, the project branch and the program branch. The program component focuses on developing a member’s leadership skills, as well as building confidence in public speaking and presenting.
The project branch focuses on the member’s chosen project, which can be anything from raising a beef cow, to assembling a photo album, to riding a horse well. 4-H is a program that has recently celebrated one hundred years in Canada, and yet continues to help youth develop many of the practical and personal skills they need for life today.
If you are interested in joining 4-H, or would like to learn more about how 4-H works, more information can be found at these websites:
4-H BC Website: https://www.bc4h.bc.ca/home
Langley 4-H Website: http://langley4h.ca/