Recently I had the pleasure of attending a meeting of the Rocklyn 4 H Club.
It was a cold, snowy January night, where my first inclination would be to snuggle up next to the fireplace, with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book.
However, I persevered and went to see what our local youth had to offer.
Some 30 years ago I had been active in the OFA and we supported 4H as a character builder for our rural youth. I found that 4H was not only still alive, but was thriving under the leadership of a group of dedicated local volunteers. The occasion was the presentation and judging of Gingerbread Houses created by the members of this club.
To start the meeting, everyone, leaders and 4H-ers recited the 4H Pledge from memory:
I pledge my Head to clearer thinking,
My Heart to greater loyalty,
My Hands to larger service,
My Health to better living
for my club, my community and my country.
I was asked to judge these 'Gingerbread Houses'. It was an impossible request.
Each and every gingerbread house was different in design, construction and presented the idea each of the teams of two club members had of what a 'Gingerbread House' looked like. These youths were just great, and EACH entry deserved to win First Prize.
Coming from a farming community, every one of the creations had some active farming content, cattle, barns, tractor, dogs , the sky was the limit. However what impressed me most was that the participants were almost evenly split between boys and girls. They themselves baked the gingerbread from a supplied recipe, but everything else was their own idea. Fantastic!!
It is this kind of Community involvement, stressing basic human values that makes CANADA a great country.
My hat is off for everyone taking part in this exercise of building a caring community, the youth, parents, grandparents, and last but not least the VOLUNTEERS making it possible with their endless dedication.
Karl Braeker, Meaford
P.S. IF we could get our politicians at every level to ADOPT and abide by the 4H Pledge in their deliberations, we would have a truly GREAT CANADA.