Atlantic 4-H members gather in Debert for fun and learning

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Young people at a weekend 4-H conference were able to take part in some fun activities and make new friends while learning to work together and improve their communities.

Trevor Whalen checks out “Becky the Vessel”, a vessel he and his teammates created at the 4-H conference in Debert. About 85 4-H members attended the weekend event.

The Atlantic Intermediate 4-H Members’ Conference was held at the Debert Hospitality Centre, with about 85 4-H members from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland participating.

One of the activities on Saturday was a team challenge. Young people were put together in small groups and challenged to create a vessel they could later use in a race. Their main construction material was cardboard.

“Each team was given the same materials,” explained Ruby MacKenzie, a chaperone who is also a 4-H leader and parent. “They have to work together and use their imagination. The team has to be able to fit inside the vessel and it has to be sturdy enough to race later.”

Very few of the young people would have met before the weekend and their team mates were chosen for them so they were learning to work with people they knew very little about.

Only a few participants were chosen from each area, and all were members who had expressed an interest in taking part.

“This is the first time I’ve been at one of these and it’s fun,” said 13-year-old Trevor Whalen, from the Millview-Vernon River 4-H club in Prince Edward Island. “I’ve been to Truro before but not Debert so I’m seeing a new area too.”

Whalen shows sheep in 4-H but lives on a horse farm with standardbreds and quarter horses.

He said he chose the name “Becky the Vessel” for his team’s creation because “Becky just sounded like a boat name.”

Those attending the conference were able to listen to motivational speakers, try square dancing, take part in a fitness workout, and learn about local homelessness and hunger. Brenda Leenders, regional coordinator for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, talked about global hunger; Erin Balodis, a naturopathic doctor, spoke on optimizing health; MP Scott Armstrong talked about what it means to be a Canadian and Logan MacGillivary spoke of his experience as a young person working to help the children of Sierra Leone. 

Organizations: Canadian Foodgrains Bank

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick Newfoundland Millview-Vernon River Truro Sierra Leone

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  • Molly O'Brien
    March 23, 2014 - 17:12

    this was a great experience to go to. I was one of the lucky few that got to go and so many like I can say they have know met people from all over and hopefully most will keep in touch after this experience