4-H Seeks Students for Unique Leadership Program

Guelph, January 12, 2009 - 4-H Ontario and Me to We, a division of Free the Children, are seeking rural and urban high school students in grades 10 and 11 for the second annual Greenbelt Youth Forum

The Forum, to be held at the YMCA Camp Cedar Glen near Bolton from April 16-20th, brings together rural and urban students from high schools within the Greenbelt. Through facilitated discussions, group work, workshops, guest speakers and tours, the students work together to explore a variety of issues such as environmental stewardship, resource preservation, land use planning, and local food.  

Applications are available on the 4-H Ontario website at 
http://www.4-hontario.ca/greenbelt.aspx or by calling (519) 824-0101. Applications are due March 1, 2009. A $75 fee applies and covers costs of rooms, food, resources and bus tours. *** EXTENSION*** Applications DUE March 15, 2009

During the Forum, campers are divided into issue groups which examine issues such as water and energy conservation, local food, land preservation and community development. In 2008, the “Conserving Canucks” investigated issues surrounding environmental stewardship and green living while the “Food Fanatics” concentrated on land use and local food. Both groups spent one full day on bus tours where they visited a variety of sites including a composting facility, a gravel pit, a farmers’ market, a food bank, an organic beef farm and a new dairy operation. 

Following the four days, the campers are challenged to tackle a project within their community or school over the summer. The projects can be anything of interest to the youth. The results of these “Bushel Basket of Change” projects will be showcased at the 2009 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair where the youth will get together once again and celebrate their successes. 

In its initial year, reflections from the campers showed that this initial endeavor was a complete success. Comments made by them included:

  • “Thanks for making me think”
  • “There are so many ideas in my head; I don’t know where to start”
  • “This camp has been the most life-changing experience I have ever felt”
  •  “I’ve met some really passionate people who have truly inspired me”
  • “This weekend changed the outlook of my life

The program is a joint effort between 4-H Ontario and Me to We, with funding provided by the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. 

Me to We is the top youth leadership training organization in the world, delivering innovative local and international training experiences to more than 350,000 youth every year. 

The 4-H Ontario program builds leaders.  Through a network of 1600 volunteers, and a dedicated staff and over 6200 youth, ages 10-21 years, are provided with “Learn to Do by Doing” experiential opportunities to develop their competence, confidence, connection, character and caring skills. 

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For a PDF of this press release, please click here.

For more information:

Lyndon Stewart
Executive Director, 4-H Ontario 
1-877-410-6748
lstewart - at - 4-hontario.ca

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