Lakewell 4-H Multi Club has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in the same way as most social and educational programs. Alberta 4-H has suspended all official meetings and events until September 30, 2020 which means that Club meetings, Project meetings, Achievement Days, Fund Raising amoung other things will not run this spring. Of course we are saddened by this announcement but with 4-H Alberta encouraging members to continue using virtual methods whenever possible, we are learning to hold our General Meetings via Zoom. Projects are more difficult but somehow we will figure out how to continue to learn by doing. However, we did get some good news prior to the suspension of activities. Lakewell was awarded a $300 grant from UFA to help cover the cost of our Achievement Day celebrations which will have to take a different form this year as well. One possibility we are looking at would be to postpone it until early fall and use it as an opportunity to showcase our members to those who may be thinking of joining us for the 20/21 year.
As part of our District responsibilities, Lakewell along with 4W4H in Whitecourt were tasked this year with holding the District Multijudging. Since we couldn’t organize an in-person event as in other years, we decided to go with a smaller event on-line. Instead setting up displays of consumer products and hauling livestock to Mayerthorpe Ag Grounds as in previous years, registrants were presented with pictures of the items that needed to be judged. The response was amazing – there were a total of 52 participants including 2 Cleavers with prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in Junior, Intermediate and Senior age categories. We are proud to report that our own Rebecca Vandersteen placed first overall.
Since Fundraising events are also on hold, we will not be able to participate in the Highway Clean-up this year, or collect tires for recycling but at this point, or run the concession at the Fallis Spring Market but, at this point, we are going ahead with the Value Village clothing drive using social distancing, of course. Personally, I have spent a lot of time this past month cleaning out closets and have several bags of used clothing and household linens to deliver when the restrictions are lifted and we get back to some sense of normal. If you have anything to donate, please contact Kristina at 780 265 5545 or Jean at 780 242 2486 and we will let you know when and where you can drop them off. Stay safe!
Lakewell 4-H Multi Club - Virtual Update
In October 2020, Lakewell 4-H Multi club was looking forward to the year with Horse and Exploring 4-H the only projects we were offering. Horse was riding in the Darwell arena on Monday evenings and Exploring 4-H was looking forward to the seven mini-projects the members had decided on. During the November general meeting, the club decided that we would meet in December at the horse leaders’ home for a Christmas Party / Awards Day that would take the form of a toboggan party and wiener roast. However, circumstances changed, and COVID restrictions began to impact plans for all of us. Eventually, we had to put that social event on hold. Other activities have also been affected by the restrictions. Awards Day is a day that we celebrate our members and cleavers who have completed their 4-H year. Of course, this could not be held in person this year, so our General Leader delivered completion gifts to all the 2019/2020 members and posted pictures of them receiving them on the Facebook page.
Early on, because of our small numbers, the Lakewell 4-H members in the Exploring 4-H project were able to meet at the Lake Isle Hall for a short project meeting but then we went home to attend a virtual Vet Sciences radiology presentation hosted by Dr. Tammy Ney. However, more severe restrictions were put in place and so our Christmas social event was put on hold. The club stood down for a short time, waiting to see what the future would bring but then, since it seemed it might be some time before any kind of a return to normality would take place, we made the decision to do as much as we could virtually.
So - in January Exploring 4-H members managed a virtual Exploring 4-H craft project event. The members and cleavers all built one or more sock puppets and pictures of the finished projects were posted on our private Facebook page. The next project we explored was Foods and we combined that with a virtual Communications Day.
In normal times, Communications Day is a time when members can deliver either an original speech or presentation to family and friends in real time and be judged on their efforts. This year, instead of meeting in the hall, members delivered their Communications activity to a camera and the video was submitted for judging. Our Communications Day, which was held on February 12, allowed everyone to share their foods project – making fruit kabobs - while watching videos of the members delivering their speech or presentation. These videos, along with pictures of the kabobs, have now been posted on the club’s Facebook page.
Horse also had to switch from in-person lessons to a virtual format. The horse project leader began by assigning tasks to the members and asking them to video the completed task and submit it to her. In the past few weeks, with the extremely cold weather, there has been another switch away from riding to theory, which is also an important part of the Horse Project. Hopefully, we will be able to return to in-person activities in the near future.
Of course, fundraising is difficult in this environment as well but since we still need to raise some money, we are holding a virtual Bottle Drive with the support of the Wabamun Bottle Depot. If you would like to contribute, you can either take your recycling into Wabamun and let the folks at the depot know that the money earned is to go to the Lakewell 4-H or you can contact Amanda Flynn at 780 264 2953 or Jean at 780 242 2486 and we will arrange for pickup.
In these trying times, the 4-H motto of ‘Learn to do by doing’ could not be more appropriate. We have all learned a lot in the past couple of months and will continue to do so in the coming months. Watch for the next installment in this saga and please, stay safe!
Files coming soon.