35 countries, 5 keynotes, 1 week and countless #applesaucemoments
When one thinks about their 4-H program, rarely do they imagine a program that reaches over 7 million youth across 70 countries. Attending the Global 4-H Network Summit helped me to gain perspective into the vast stretch that 4-H has.
Over a year ago I started as a committee member planning the programming for the GlobalSummit. I never would have imagined that the week I was helping plan would make such an impact on my life and the way I view the program that is so near and dear to my heart.
The Global 4-H Network Summit took place in Ottawa during the second week of July. It was fitting to have delegates from across the globe in our nation’s capital during our 150 the year celebration. During the week delegates got the opportunity to witness our vast culture, while taking part in sessions to advance their 4-H programs.
The summit also gave delegates the opportunity to network with fellow 4-H professionals and create a global sharing network for 4-H resources.
Each day of the Summit featured one of 4-H Canada’s Leadership Development pillars:
Community Engagement and Communication, Science and Technology, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security, and The Environment and Healthy Living. With each day delegates heard from incredibly inspiring keynote speakers. These included powerhouse individuals like Christy Nurse; Olympian and Ann Makosinski; a 19 year old inventor. My favourite keynote speaker however had to have been fellow Albertan Chris Koch, a farmer born with no arms and legs. Chris truly shows that it is possible to do anything no matter who you are and what others say.
Listening to Chris speak made me so proud to be in the agriculture industry producing food for our planet. There was no shortage of sessions to attend during the week. With a selection of over 80 different youth and adult led workshops, everyone was able to attend something that expanded their knowledge.
The session that I gained the most from was Mentorship Circles. This session allowed both youth and adult delegates to create a conversation with mentors. These mentors included keynote speakers, 4-H Canada Council Directors and Foundation Trustee’s, Global 4-H Board members, leaders within their respective industries and 4-H supporters.
Having the opportunity to ask these individuals questions to help improve my business and career was extremely beneficial and has helped me to find individuals that I will continue to have as mentors. Just being able to listen to the advice and wisdom the mentors had to offer created for a unique environment.
In addition to sessions, we had the honour of finishing each day with a signature event. Tuesday night was filled with cultural dance and music at the Canadian Museum of History. This evening was also filled with several Canadian born dishes. On Wednesday evening delegates attended the High Level Dinner. This evening helped celebrate 4-H’s diverse, global reach and we had the privilege to see delegates wear their national dress attire. Thursday evening delegates attended 4- H Night in the Country at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. Guests got to tour the barns, take part in horse-drawn wagon rides, and interact with local 4-H clubs.
On the final evening, 4-H was under the Big Top at Ottawa University. 4-H members showcased their own talents, indulged in numerous food truck options and reflected back on the week. The evening made for a spectacular way to say farewell to Ottawa and the 4-H community we had created.
While my time at the Global Summit was dedicated to the 4-H Program, I also had the chance to check out our great capital. I had the privilege of witnessing the Changing of the Guard on Parliament Hill and was honoured to attend the light show also held on Parliament Hill. The light show was truly inspiring and reminded me of how honoured I am to be a Canadian! I was inspired by our Country’s ability to showcase its history and display true patriotism.
Attending and helping plan the Global 4-H Network Summit was a tremendous honour and privilege. I am looking forward to seeing how plans for the 2020 Global Summit in Tanzania unfold and strongly encourage everyone to take the opportunity to attend if one presents itself.
Thank you to 4-H Canada and the Global 4-H Board for this opportunity.
Provided by Casey Morey