4-H has Stood the Test of Time

For 100 years, 4-H Saskatchewan has been leading youth with their motto of “Learn to Do by Doing.” 4-H gets kids, as young as six and as old as 25, to use their hands to perfect their craft, their hearts to reach out to others, their heads to learn and strategize, and instills the values needed to help them make a difference in the world each day.

Today, nearly 3,000 members in 175 clubs in every corner of the province make the commitment in their lives to ‘Learn to Do by Doing.’ This is possible thanks to the Saskatchewan Lotteries funding provided through Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) and the support of over 800 trained volunteers leading the activities. Cera Youngson, Executive Director of 4-H Saskatchewan, says “Saskatchewan Lotteries funding gives us the resources and training needed for our volunteers, as well as the manuals and activity guides that our grassroots clubs need to run programming.”

The formula works. 4-H began its humble roots in in 1917 with three clubs in the province—Dubuc, Colgate and Tantallon – where about 900 young farmers learned about agricultural techniques and animal husbandry. In the following 100 years, more than more 100,000 members have taken part in the program. Celebrations for the Centennial started in 2016, with four regional rallies held in Swift Current, Weyburn, North Battleford and Prince Albert, which Youngson describes as, “a way to gather current and past members for dancing, food and fireworks.” The flagship event for the 100 year celebration was held in March 2017 in Saskatoon, where Temple Grandin was a keynote speaker at the one-time gala for 4-H. Also at the gala, a ‘Walk through History’, where attendees could walk-through a display of photos and different 4-H memorabilia from the past 100 years. The display will also be set up at the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina on Saturday, November 25th, so that the general public and show attendees can see the historical changes of 4-H.

4-H Saskatchewan has some unique features for its members that other clubs in Canada don’t mandate. Here, all members have to take a public speaking program. “This gives our members confidence and abilities that translate to the rest of your life,” explains Youngson. Members’ involvement in their club also develops many useful skills “Members learn to chair meetings, plan events, get involved in community service, and understand democracy and citizenship as early as six years old.” And that confidence and democratic understanding proves useful as many 4-H alumni turn to business careers, politics, or government sector occupations as adults, taking the 4-H pledge through their lives; pledging their “head to clearer thinking, heart to greater loyalty, hands to larger service, health to better living, for my club, my community, and my country.”

To get involved or to learn more about 4-H Saskatchewan in your community visit their website
www.4-h.sk.ca, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/4HSask/, Twitter https://twitter.com/4HSask or Instagram https://www.instagram.com/haroldthehare/

Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association provides leadership, facilitation, programs and services to enhance the impact of recreation for the quality of life in Saskatchewan, including 4-H Saskatchewan. To find out more about how recreation works for you and your community, visit www.spra.sk.ca.

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