Kaitlyn Wood earns CIBC gold watch as outstanding member
Outstanding 4-H members from a total of 20 clubs were honoured during the local association’s annual awards night on Saturday.
Prince Edward County 4-H association president Gaye Insley said the night is all about giving kids and families
a night of fun and recognizing the hard work they all put in throughout the year.
The local 4-H clubs offer more than just fun, however.
“Life skills are the main thing,” Insley said.
He said the clubs offer a chance for youth to develop crucial social skills. They learn life skills like organization, handling money, and responsibility as well, he said. The 4-H milkshake booth is one way local 4-H member earn some of those stripes.
“It’s a good learning experience for them, really,” Insley said.
Clubs like the woodworking one give participants skills that they can take with them throughout their lives — both in school and eventually at jobs and at home, said Insley.
“A lot of the kids have gone on to high school and have taken woodworking and the teacher will ask, ‘where did you learn to do this?’” he said. “Some of these kids start at nine years old and they do woodworking until they get to high school, they know how to use the tools.”
The 4-H association increased its membership from 81 to 111 members this year. Those members took part in an array of clubs focusing on everything from beef, cross stitching, farm machinery, and the outdoors.
The outstanding members in each club are nominated by their peers. Insley said that person may be a leader, or may be willing and able to assist other club members. He said that connection between younger and older members is great experience and the awards shine a light on those who show that kind of dedication.
“Some are probably up to 70 or 80 clubs,” he said. “They just enjoy being around the rest of the kids.”
It’s easy to see the impact the 4-H clubs have in the number of members who grow up within the organization only to return as adults in leadership roles, Insley said.
“They move on and they may move to someplace else, but they still will be involved in 4-H because eventually they’re going to have a family and have their kids in 4-H,” he said. “It shows you how much they’re getting out of it, they enjoy it and so they come back into it.”
Among those recognized was CIBC gold w
atch-winner Katlyn Wood. The award is presented to the most outstanding 4-H member in Prince Edward County having demonstrated dedication to 4-H and participated in activities within the club, the county, and beyond. Wood was involved with 4-H projects such as goat, horse, beef, giant vegetable, steer, quilt, and cross stitch. She has completed 43 clubs in 11 years within 4-H.
“She is a busy girl,” Insley said.
He said Wood was a great candidate for the award, often mentoring younger members in clubs.
Among those recognized were: Michaela Zantingh, 2017 Gay Lea Award of Achievement; Kaitlyn Bell, Shannon Desjardins, Katlyn Wood, graduate awards; Shae-Lynn Bell, F.J. Webster Memorial Award; Katlyn Wood, Ontario Ploughman’s Association’s Outstanding 4-H Agricultural Member Award; Shae-Lynn Bell, Ron Everall Bursary; Shannon Zantingh, Keitha Gilbert Award, Shae-Lynn Bell, Monica Alyea Communications Award; Maria Prinzen, Bay of Quinte Mutual Insurance Co. Award; and Katlyn Wood, C.I.B.C. Gold Watch.
There was more cause for celebration than just the awards. Sandy Latchford, representing the Prince Edward Stewardship Council, presented 4-H with a cheque for $15,000 to support the association’s efforts.