As they look back on the past season in the barns, fields and pens of Metchosin, the area’s 4-H Club members can say they accomplished a lot.
The nearly 30 members, including a dozen Cloverbuds between six and eight, have experienced many different aspects of animal care, farm activities and more. Not only that, many have been recognized for their efforts with top placement ribbons and honours at fairs around the Lower Island.
Marie Bell, one of the Metchosin 4-H Club’s ‘A’ leaders along with Cindy Huckin, said the children and youth who make up the group are a hard-working lot who are very keen to learn.
“They’ve done amazing this year. I couldn’t be more proud of them,” she said. “They work really hard and when we go to fairs they have a lot of fun. They love talking to the public and showing
The various hands-on study areas of 4-H in Metchosin range from poultry, lamb and cavy (guinea pigs) to rabbits, honeybees and junior horsemanship. The club has six project leaders teaching those topics assisted by two Cloverbuds leaders. Next year, Bell said, the plan is to add units dealing with small engines and photography.
The list of learning opportunities engaged in by the Cloverbuds this year is long and diverse. It included such things as building bird feeders, watching lambs birthed at Parry Bay sheep farm, dissecting chicken eggs, visiting a working produce farm and stopping by a local honey bee apiary.
The older members, ranging from nine up to 15, participated in similar study areas to their younger clubmates, but were charged with completing projects in those areas and others, as a way to gain more hands-on experience. They completed a record book for each project they took on to demonstrate management skills relating to feed, care, health and equipment. Many members took on more than one project, Bell said.
By entering such renowned agricultural fairs as the Saanich Fair and Coombs and playing a major role in the Metchosin Day festivities, these senior members enhanced their showmanship and public speaking abilities.
Don’t let the name of the club throw you off. Its members come from around the West Shore, Bell said. “Most of the children in our surrounding communities have never had the opportunity to be involved with an organized 4-H club offering numerous different project options,” she noted. “We engage children in rural community activities and welcome surrounding community members to participate in our 4-H club. Quite a few of our members are from Langford and Colwood.”
The Metchosin club held its annual awards event earlier this fall, but three members were recognized at the South Malahat District awards banquet on Saturday.
Annalise Steadman received a third-place award for the District junior public speaking competition, while Kattia Bingham and Madison Bell earned fourth and seventh-place honours, respectively, in the District junior judging competition.
Metchosin 4-H is already getting ready for the next season. It is hosting an information session Nov. 26 at Metchosin Community House on Happy Valley Road. Sessions begin at 1 p.m. for the Cloverbuds group (age six to eight) and run from 2 to 4 p.m. for those aged nine to 21. If you’ve got questions ahead of that meeting, send an email to metchosin4H@gmail.com.