Submitted by Katriana Van Woudenberg, 4-H BC Ambassador
Have you ever seen the word ‘4-H’ around and wondered what it meant? Or asked yourself “what are the four H’s, and what do they stand for”?
For over 100 years, 4-H Canada has been one of the most highly respected youth organizations in Canada. It was started in 1914, as the Boys and Girls Clubs Canada, and is now an organization of more than 25,000 members (aged 9-19) and 7,700 volunteers across the country.
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.
Through the 4-H program, youth learn to become leaders as they 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 an animal, or non-livestock project.
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, while also using their membership as a gateway to incredible 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.
4-H is a youth development program that fosters the growth of knowledge, leadership and citizenship for young people ages 9-21. An exploratory program without animal projects called the Cloverbuds is offered for those who are 6-8 years of age. Through project and program work, members gain valuable personal and productive skills to become assured and positive leaders for the next generation. Visit the Canadian 4-H Council site to learn more about the program.
Langley 4-H District Clubs include: Glen Valley 4-H Club, Langley Beef & Swine Club, Langley Lamb & Woolcraft Club, Otter Flying Feathers, Otter Lamb & Swine 4-H Club, Otter Llama and Woodlands Hare & Hound Club.
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/