Senior Members Enjoy Their Roles as Ambassadors By: Ryan Métivier Another year of the 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is well under way, and these energetic young individuals have been busy promoting the 4-H program and values across the province. In 2015, the program will reach the milestone of turning 10 years old.The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. They attend 4-H Ontario events across the province, as well as representing the organization at community events to promote the program. “I have embarked on this journey with five others as we travel across Ontario to network with sponsors, volunteers, and youth,” Tamara Hamilton of Russell County 4-H Association says. “Doing this has opened us up to see how much 4-H has impacted others and how much it has brought communities together to share the common values that 4-H promotes with our head, heart, health and hands.” This journey has allowed the Ambassadors to meet other like-minded 4-H’rs in the program. “I believe the Ambassador Program has enabled me to expand my leadership and communication skills and create lifelong friendships,” says Sarina Goodfellow of Lennox & Addington. “I became an Ambassador because I am very passionate about the 4-H program because it has molded me into the person I am today,” says Paul Knoops of Oxford County. “I am enjoying meeting the volunteers and members across Ontario and hearing their story. I love to hear what clubs people have done, looking for ideas for my local clubs.” To date, the Ambassadors have been traveling across the province helping at events such as regional 4-H Ontario Discovery Days, Ontario 4-H Foundation Golf Tournaments, the UPI Energy Golf Tournament, Career Mania, Colborne Lions Family Day, the LINC Family Festival in Stratford and the Oxford 4-H Tractor Club Meeting. At many events, Ambassadors lend a helping hand while also acting as a friendly face of 4-H. In June the Ambassadors came together at the annual Ambassador Program Sponsor Tour at UPI Energy LP and GROWMARK Inc facilities, for a chance to hear from the program’s sponsors and tour various facilities. Kate Higgins of Huron 4-H says the opportunity has allowed her to see how 4-H is run across the province, something she’s been able to do by attending both the Region 4 and 5 Discovery Days. “I became an Ambassador to have the opportunity to become more involved with 4-H not just locally, but also provincially,” says Higgins. “I am always curious to see how other communities run things and I have experienced many new methods. So far I have learned how to better think on my toes and to be as creative as possible when working with kids.” Each year, senior members are invited to apply to become Ambassadors for the following year. To be chosen for the 12-month term prospective Ambassadors must submit a formal application, take part in a panel interview and commit to a training weekend. Further training sessions may be offered to ensure Ambassadors are equipped for their roles and gain the most knowledge and experience from their terms. Becoming more involved with the organization and expanding her 4-H knowledge is what York County’s Ambassador Brooke Thompson says made her apply for the program. “I have really enjoyed going to my various events meeting new people and learning new things. Each event has been unique and I have been encouraged to try new things and follow the 4-H motto ‘Learn To Do By Doing’. Be sure to keep an eye out for these friendly faces at events and in your community over the coming year. To book a 4-H Ontario Ambassador for your event complete our request form online at www.4-hontario.ca/ambassadors The 4-H Ontario Ambassador Program is sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP.