4H not just for farm kids in Grand Forks

Erin Perkins
By Erin Perkins
February 4th, 2012

A new 4H club with nine exciting projects has started up in Grand Forks this year.

The former Boundary Bit N’ Bridle 4H Club, which had only horse projects, has morphed into a larger multi project club called the Boundary Multi 4H Club.

“Not everyone has access to horses and livestock so now they too can be involved in 4H,” said Christie Wheaton, club leader. “(Members) get to learn lifelong skills and if the can’t afford an animal they can still be a member. We didn’t want (the inability to have an animal) to be a barrier.”

Last year was the Bit N’ Bridle Club’s last run. With dwindling memberships the multi club seemed to be a great way to expand. The new club has nine projects, which include dog, horse, photography, clothing, foods, poultry, cavy (guinea pig), Adopt-a-Grandparent and the Cloverbuds.

“I think children should join 4H because it teaches them lots of important life skills,” said Wheaton, who was in 4H for 11 years as a youth. “They learn leadership, friendship and team work.”

Her own daughter is in the club with her horse project and a junior leader project running the Cloverbuds.

“I wanted my daughter to experience all that fun stuff I experienced, so here I am,” said Wheaton of why she became a leader.

Adopt-a-Grandparent is one of the more unusual projects, which is a 60 day project where the member spends time and does activities with an elder in their community.

For highschool students, becoming a member may mean credits for highschool when they do a junior leader project.

The club already has three Cloverbuds, who are aged six to eight years old, and 14 active Junior and Senior members. They meet the second and fourth Monday of the month at the Child Care Resource and Referral Centre (CCRR), located in the Boundary Park Mall, Grand Forks, at 6 p.m.

Monday Feb. 6 is the next club meeting. Meetings have a club business portion, which operates on Robert’s Rules of Order, followed by an educational component.

For those who haven’t heard of 4H, it is a youth organization aimed at teaching valuable life skills like public speaking, leadership and service to community through club, district, provincial and national activities. There are travel opportunities, scholarships and lifelong friendships to made through the organization. There are 2,350 B.C. youth involved in 4H. The organization has been in this province for 95 years. The four “h’s” stand for head, heart, hands and health.

When 4H began 99 years ago in Canada, it was an agriculturally based organization with horse, cattle, sheep, goats and poultry being the most common projects. Today members are both urban and rural with projects only limited to your imagination.

A project involves keeping a record book, developing new skills and exhibiting your efforts at an annual club achievment day. Projects can be short, some running only 60 or 90 days, to 120 days for lifestock projects. Cloverbuds are for children ages six to eight, Junior members are nine to 12 and Senior members are 13 to 19 years old.

March 1 is this year’s deadline to sign up. There is an annual fee of $100 per member. For more information about the Boundary Multi 4H Club contact Christie Wheaton at 250-442-8406 or by email at wcwheaton@rogers.com.

Upcoming activities include club-level speeches on Monday, March 12 and district speeches in Rock Creek on Saturday, March 31.

For more information about 4H in B.C. go to www.bc4h.bc.ca.