Volunteer has served in two counties
Maxville area resident Betty Morrow is a longtime 4-H club volunteer, having devoted many years to the organization, both in Glengarry and Stormont.
She has been leading clubs for 20 years and has been a volunteer for the past 10 years.
Ms. Morrow said volunteers go through a fairly rigorous screening process to qualify for the position. Screening includes an interview and a criminal record check.
When she was a 4-H member for eight years in her youth, she completed homemaking clubs in Glengarry and agricultural clubs in Stormont.
Because she grew up a mile east of Maxville, she was actually living in Stormont, just on the fringe of the two counties so she was able to be involved in clubs in both counties.
Since she started with the 4-H club when she was young, she appreciates what the programs offer children and teens.
To parents thinking of getting their children involved in 4-H, Ms. Morrow wants to stress 4-H is not just about livestock.
There is a huge variety of potential clubs youth can take part in, if there is enough interest.
“That is one of the misleading impressions of 4H,” she said. “People only think about calf clubs. There are something like 40 different projects that could be held in the county if there are leaders willing to lead. There is never too much of a problem finding calf club leaders.”
Some of the various clubs that could be available include: crafts, marketing, outdoors, environment, personal development, plants, safety, sports, drama, horses and dance. Projects could also be made available in French.
Ms. Morrow emphasized that members don’t need to be living on farms to get involved. She is aware of more people living in towns and cities who take part in 4-H clubs now.
Ms. Morrow echoes the widely held sentiment that people involved in the 4-H organization gain so much from the program.
“They learn how to make a motion and second a motion, and pass a motion, which eventually indirectly is training for many of your future township councillors,” Ms. Morrow said.
These are also helpful skills for people who intend to serve as members of community boards of directors.
She added for the project-based club activities, youth may also get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into a new profession they were considering for their future careers.
For example, members taking part in a veterinary club may be further encouraged to enter that field.
On the other hand, they may find out they are too squeamish around sick or injured animals. 4H offers youth many opportunities to learn more about themselves, and about what they enjoy and what interests them.
Ms. Morrow also pointed out there is a partnership between Glengarry and Stormont.
“The two counties have always had a strong working relationship together since there has been an annual judging competition held every year since the early 1960s,” she said.
This year’s event will be held July 18 at the Williamstown fairgrounds.