Volunteer with 4-H
Remember all the great times you had in 4-H? We’d like you to come back and help us pass on the 4-H experiences to a whole new generation. Or perhaps you were never in 4-H, but your child has benefited from the program. Or maybe you’ve never had a chance to get involved in 4-H and now you want to find out what you’ve been missing. Whatever the reasons, 4-H thrives on committed volunteers, just like you.
Want to help guide a 4-H club throughout the year? Become a General Leader. Do you really love cooking, photography or some other life skill and want to help teach those abilities to youth? Join as a Project Leader. Want to share your agricultural skills? Help out by offering a showmanship or judging clinic or welcoming members for a farm tour. Looking for some adventure? Chaperone a provincial or national activity.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about volunteer opportunities.
All volunteer leaders and chaperones complete a volunteer screening process.
New volunteers leaders complete an online interactive training program. Volunteer Leader Conferences are offered throughout the year in various provinces. Contact Quebec 4-H for more information.
Volunteer Leader Angela Neal reports on the 2016 Leadership Summit
On February 18th, 2016, a delegation from Quebec headed up to Ottawa for the beginning of a dynamic and fun-filled few days of interactive learning. The theme this year focused on the environment and healthy living. As all 4-H clubs are different, 4-H Canada offers many different sessions during the Leadership Summit.
Leaders from 4-H Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario shared their 4-H Fitness Projects. The great thing about these projects is the versatility of them. They can be used as stand-alone projects, but can also be put to work within other projects. There are games and resources to help kids get moving and keep them active, even during a more sedentary meeting.
After the final banquet, Quebec 4-H had the opportunity to teach everyone a little bit of square dancing, which is a fun, active and social activity that we are lucky enough to have here. A big thank you goes out to everyone who came out to Ottawa to help out with the workshop, we couldn’t have done it without you!
All the leaders in Quebec are encouraged to make the time to go to the Leadership Summit next year. It’s a great opportunity to meet leaders from across the country who have the same passion for the organization as all of you.
Annual General Meeting Volunteer Celebrations
At AGM 2015, 4-H Quebec recognized Pamela McOuat and Andrew McOuat for their years of dedication to the Lachute 4-H Club (15 and 20 years respectively). Doug Lang was honoured for his 20th anniversary as volunteer leader with Howick 4-H Club. 4-H Canada President Donna Bridge assisted with presentations.
2016 Volunteer Leader of the Year Award
Congratulations to Pamela McOuat from the Lachute 4-H club on being 2016’s Volunteer Leader of the Year! To honor this special occasion, I interviewed Pam to find out about her 4-H story.
So Pam, to start off can you tell me what it’s like to be the recipient this year?
“Humbling in one word. It’s been such a pleasure to work with the Lachute 4-H club members and families over the years so I look at this as an award for the club and I share it with them, and with all the other equally deserving leaders across the province. I also have to mention how much I appreciate the incredible support and cooperation of 4-H Quebec and the Canadian 4-H council throughout the years.”
And how did you and your family first get involved with 4-H Quebec?
“I first heard about 4-H when I was a child from my American cousins who were members in the States and they seemed to enjoy it very much. I did not grow up on a farm but I always had a passion for horses in my youth, and I was involved for many years in the organisation of the light horse show at Lachute Fair.
As it turned out, I married a man who had a passion for cattle, and he had been an avid 4-H’er in his youth. My husband, Ken McOuat, like many youth in the area had grown up on a farm and joined the Boys and Girls Calf Club which later evolved to become the Lachute 4-H Club. With the excellent coaching provided by 4-H mentors and judging coaches, he excelled at cattle judging in particular and eventually won the national 4-H judging competition in the 1950’s.
When we had our own children, he encouraged not only our own four kids but also a number of others to join 4-H, and it gave both of us a great deal of pleasure to see our sons and daughters being involved in all activities. It is interesting that our club is sharing an interprovincial exchange this summer with Saskatchewan because in 1992, when our son Joel was club president, we also did an exchange with a Saskatchewan club and I went along as chaperone!
To me, 4-H is a lot about family and I love to see the continuity throughout the years. My husband served as club president, as did our two sons, one grandson, and another grandson is currently treasurer. Once the kids were members, it became natural for the whole family to jump in and become involved. I became a 4-H mom, driving to meetings, filling out registration and entry forms, and helping out wherever I could, and I would like to emphasise that this club has wonderful participation from the parents, all of whom contribute and participate in club activities.
I was nominated to be one of the adult directors about 16 years ago and have been so since then, along with our son Andrew who is a club leader. We have also had many 4-H members showing our calves over the years, and some of them now have kids of their own in 4-H. This is so rewarding. My husband really enjoyed showing cattle and encouraged our children and grandchildren as well as all the 4-H members as they participated in the shows, (and the granddaughters even slipped into a few horse shows as well!).”
Wow, that is quite the story of a 4-H legacy! Can you elaborate some more on your role serving as a volunteer leader?
“It’s been a bit of everything! For our family, the focus is showing cattle and getting ready for shows. As for myself, as I mentioned before, I was always a horse lover and have been really pleased to encourage more young members showing horses at Achievement Day. I enjoy helping the kids with their tie stall displays for the TD classic and Rally. There are always numerous things to do, like applying for grants, confirming sponsors for trophies for Achievement Day awards, helping prepare for the annual awards banquet, etc.”
And what have you been up to recently?
“As the deadline was June 1, we have been collecting registrations for Rally and pre-registrations for the TD Classic, and finalising the classes for Achievement Day which is held in late August. We hope to have a meeting at our farm soon, which has been put off because of the weather. Typically, this meeting deals with showmanship, fitting, and judging, which Andrew and Joel organise.”
How neat! So you’ve told me so much about what you’ve given to 4-H Quebec over the years. Has there been anything 4-H has been able to provide for you in return? How has 4-H changed you or your family’s lives?
“I really feel that my children and grandchildren have gained so much from having had the 4-H experience. Some of them had the opportunity to participate in the camps and interprovincial exchanges, and there is such a diversity of projects to interest them from gardening to handicrafts to square dancing to livestock shows, and so on. I have had the opportunity to learn along with them and it has enriched all of our lives. It is quite wonderful for me that even though I am the grandmother of teenagers, to all of the club members past and present I’m just Pam.”
In one sentence, can you sum up your 4-H volunteering experience?
“Volunteering for 4-H has been one of the most rewarding and gratifying experiences of my life.”
In closing, is there anything you would like to see happen in the future for the Lachute club or 4-H Quebec in general?
“4-H offers are so many opportunities and we would all encourage members to not miss out on these. I would find it interesting to have a meeting with the leaders of other clubs in the province, to see how they function and maybe brainstorm a bit. I know 4-H Quebec is looking at the individual constitutions also. Our club executive changes annually so coaching the kids who would like to serve on the executive team, such as defining the responsibilities they would take on would be greatly appreciated, and then they could perhaps be mentored by the outgoing member to encourage individual leadership. This is their club, the leaders and adults are there to help when needed.
I also want to emphasize to the kids that they don’t necessarily have to come from a farm to participate in 4-H. Whether they are from an urban community or a non-farm home, I want them to know that our clubs welcome whatever interest or passion they may have and strive to help them develop their skills, confidence and leadership and to be the best they can be. Each perspective a member brings is unique and only serves to enrich our 4-H fabric.”
On behalf of 4-H Quebec we express our immense gratitude and appreciation for everything that you do for this organization. Thank you!
2016 Pamela McOuat, Lachute 4-H
2015 Erin Scoble, Richmond 4-H
2014 Marlene Burns, Sawyerville 4-H
2013 Maria Enright, Richmond 4-H – national winner
2011 Laura Johnston, Ormstown 4-H
2009 Pierre Marcoux, CJR de L’Erable – national winner
2008 Gail Bowen, Hatley 4-H
2007 Kirk Jackson, Huntingdon 4-H
2006 Ken Drummond, Shawville 4-H
2005 Janice Barr, Ormstown 4-H
2004 Laura Johnston, Ormstown 4-H – national winner
2003 David Grey, Hatley 4-H