National 4-H Citizenship Congress
Every spring, approximately sixty 4-H members from all over Canada come together for a week in Ottawa. Visits to Parliament, a debate, and a chance to see a swearing in ceremony for new Canadian citizens, help youth to better appreciate their rights and responsibilities as Canadian citizens. Visits to museums and a maple sugar bush, square dancing, and a haunted tour of Ottawa, top off the fun. Affectionately known as Citsem, the National 4-H Citizenship Seminar has been a highlight of many 4-H members’ experiences since 1972.
The 2016 National 4-H Citizenship Congress was held in Ottawa, Ontario from May 3-8. Richmond 4-H members, Devin Keenan and Emilie Rodgers, traveled to the Nation’s Capital to participate in this great event. Devin and Emilie were 2 out of 62 participants.
Over the course of the 5 day event, the Quebec participants got the chance to tour Ottawa, learn how to prepare debates, listen to several speeches, play many games, and most excitingly, visit Parliament. Throughout their 2 day adventure at Parliament, they experienced a debate in the Senate, and were introduced to several members of Parliament, including the Speaker of the House, Hon. Geoff Regan, the Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Lawrence MacAulay, and an added surprise, the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“I was surprised how open and comfortable Mr. Trudeau was as he addressed us, answered our questions, and even went around taking selfies and face swapping with the delegates!” – Devin Keenan
The Citizenship Congress opens up a lot of opportunities for 4-H members including new friendships, new experiences, and new knowledge.
National 4-H Citizenship Seminar Creates Proud Canadians
CITSEM 2014 By: Laura Bryson
This past month I have had the privilege of attending the national 4-H Citizenship seminar, and it was an amazing journey! Quebec this year sent Rebeca Gabriel of Huntingdon 4-H, Andrew Boreson of Richmond 4-H, myself Laura Bryson of Ormstown 4-H as well as our chaperone Charles Gascon. This year the theme was “How far we’ve come” and this event was held in Prince Edward Island! There were kids from all over Canada who decides to participate.
The goal of this event is to unite delegates from all across Canada. It’s also here to explore issues related to civic engagement, governance, parliamentary procedures, citizenship and politics. During my week I also was able to develop new leadership and public speaking skills as well as new knowledge and pride for Canada.
Everything wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for Sue Wood, Erin Smith, Val Stone, Arin Douglas and Cindy Jaton. After months of planning and hard work they made a week full of memories and friends that will last a life time!
From April 11th to the 17th we had our week filled!
The first day were were there we meet everyone and had supper played some ‘get to know you games’. During the first night we also had our first committee meetings, I was put into the ‘Speakers and Sponsors’ committee. Basically we had to thank all of the guest speakers and write thank you letters throughout the week.
The second day we were there we had a GPS walking tour of PEI, where we had to follow the clues, answer questions and then fill out a paper. Later at night we had an Island style comedy show staring PEI’s very own Patrick Ledwell, and for me to really start the week off I volunteered to thank him.
Sunday the 13th we explored PEI’s roots, after a rocky start of our bus breaking down we were on our way to the Mi’kmaq cultural presentation of Drumming and making our very own medicine bag. Then we made our way to Miscouche and had a tour of the Acadian museum, then we continued our day with the woodsman portion of Evangaline 4-H. And delegates from across Canada competed to cut a log the fastest, needless to say the Evangaline 4-H members were pretty good!
Monday the 4th day was the most stressful, but it was also the funnest! We started the day by going to the University of Prince Edward Island and having a scavenger hunt. For lunch we went to Cows Creamery as well as Boom Burger. PEI’s Cows Creamery was the biggest there is in Canada having the company start there, we saw ice cream being made and and saw their comically funny t-shirts being made. Boom Burger I ate one of the best hamburgers I have ever had! After lunch we then went to PEI’s Province house and had a debate. “Be it resolved that an equal representation of both men and women should exist among Government leaders.” As a part of the government we were for this motion. We had to convince the opposition as well as the Third Party that it was a good idea. After 20 minutes of a debate, we won!
The 15th we had a guided bus tour to Anne’s Island! We then proceeded to Cavendish Beach, where we were still able to see ice-bergs on the water, as well we were surrounded by the beaches beautiful sand dunes. At night we changed into into business clothes and had a photo session, and at dinner we finally learned the table etiquette that we all needed!
Wednesday the 16th we had an open space technology where we had one big idea, that we had to separate into 6 smaller ideas. 3 ideas were discussed over 20 minutes at different locations. Later in the day we had a presentation from “Apathy is Boring.” It was then proceeded with the making of our personal pledges. At the end of this day we had our final Banquet and our final dance.
Thursday we departed having met so many great people and making so making so many truly Amazing memories!
Thank you everyone who was a part of making this week possible! And if you missed out this time then you should try and go next year, OR to a different national event.
You won’t regret it!
Coming up next…
National 4-H Citizenship Congress
May 2-7, 2017, Ottawa, Ontario
Registration deadline: JAN 23, 2017
Registration fee: $300
7 delegate positions available for members 16 -21 years old
Visits to Parliament, a debate, and a chance to see a swearing in ceremony for new Canadian citizens, help youth to better appreciate their rights and responsibilities as Canadian citizens. Visits to museums and a maple sugar bush, square dancing, and a haunted tour of Ottawa, top off the fun.