About 40 members and leaders gathered together at the Ramada Hotel in Regina for the 4-H
Conference on December 7-8. The conference was a two-day version of the one-day Leaderama events, which have been held in alternating regions the past two years.
The weekend started off with a welcome by Cera Youngson, who also talked about some of the amazing 4-H opportunities for members and leaders both in the province and nationally, and a quick icebreaker where members and leaders presented their favorite leadership quotes.
After lunch, the attendees enjoyed a plenary by John Bailey, CEO of the Regina Food Bank, who talked about food insecurity within Regina and Saskatchewan. Everyone had the chance to learn about how often the food banks are used, and how important these organizations are to the well being of our communities.
The members and leaders then went to their first set of work shops. The leaders enjoyed “4-H is for Everyone” by SaskAbilities. This session talked about how to be inclusive and make it possible for people with disabilities to be involved in 4-H.
The leaders then enjoyed 4-H 101, with Shelby Longworth and Melodi Hawkesford-Lee, which discussed everything you need to know about 4-H and gave leaders the opportunity to check out the new Club Resource Guide. The leaders then had the choice between “Recruitment & Retention” with Longworth, which introduced new ways to recruit new members or volunteers, as well as best practices for club engagement, or “Managing Your Multi Club” with Hawkesford-Lee, which discussed balancing the needs of several project groups, including best practices from real clubs.
At the same time as these sessions, the members had their own exciting sessions to attend. Their first was “Personalities, Leadership & Teamwork” with Rob Chubb.
He used the ColourSpectrums™ to look at personality styles and human dynamics. They also discussed the best ways to work with others in teams and leadership positions.
After learning how to work together, the members then enjoyed “Self-Awareness & Reflection” with Tami Dovell. This was a session to discuss the importance of mental health and self-awareness, giving the members some tools to take back into every day life to help them deal with stress and negative emotions. The attendees then checked into heir hotel rooms, before loading up on a bus and heading to the Golden Mile Bowling Alley for supper and bowling. There were plenty of fun bowling games, food, and great conversations.
The next morning, Youngson gave a quick morning greeting and then everyone headed to their respective workshop session. The leaders chose between “Conflict Management” with Hawkesford-Lee or “Risk Management” with Youngson and Longworth. The members attended a session called “Your Personal Brand” with Leighton Smith from RBC. They learned about how to build their brand and use it effectively throughout their career.
Everyone then came back together for “Table Talks: Growing Our Leadership” where they had the opportunity to have short minute-roundtable mentoring sessions with some special guests, including: Kathleen Rae from International Rural Exchange; Ryder Lee, CEO of Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association; Shelley Jones, Manager of the Ag Knowledge Centre; the Honourable David Marit, Minister of Agriculture; Ray Orb, president of SARM; Jessica Gerrits, RBC Vice President of Commercial Financial Services; Leighton Smith, RBC Lumsden Branch Manager; Colleen Hawkesford, Regina Public Library; and Longworth, the North East Regional 4-H Specialist.
After lunch, participants enjoyed a key note address from Cherilyn Jolly-Nagel about Positively Representing Agriculture. Following Jolly-Nagel was Share Fair, where members and leaders had the opportunity to discuss topics important to them. Some of the topics this year were: Provincial Programming, Multi-Club advice, How to Implement the Two Leader Rule in your 4-H Club, Recruitment and Engaging Volunteers, the NEW 4-H Record Books, Strategic Planning, and more.
The weekend wrapped up with some closing remarks from the 4-H staff before everyone headed home. Thank you to our title sponsor Bayer CropScience for making this event a huge success! Also, thank you to RBC and the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation: G. Murray and Edna Forbes Foundation Fund, who also supported this event.