The four Hs of the 4-H club stand for head, heart, hands and health.
Members pledge their heads to clear thinking, hearts to loyalty, hands to service and health to good living for club, community and country.
At the Lone Butte 4-H achievement day, the four Hs stood for heat, humidity, hot and hotter.
Despite sweltering skies and temperatures upwards of 33C on Sunday, July 29, no complaint was uttered from the well-mannered young ladies and gentlemen donning black jeans and neatly tucked-in dark green long-sleeved shirts.
The poised and polite club members presented projects from poultry, pig, sheep, horses and dogs to public speaking, food and photography.
The event, which culminated months of work, began roughly around 10 a.m. at the Lone Butte Community Hall and wrapped up shortly after 4:30 p.m.
Heidi Meier, the club’s A-leader, said the kids exceeded expectations and “every one of them deserves the congratulations they got.”
For Meier, it’s rewarding to witness the transformation from beginning to end and celebrate the completed accomplishments.
“I love seeing the kids at the end, getting their ribbons,” she said.
Meier originally got involved in the organization for her children. Her oldest daughter was 6 when they started and now she has three sheep she purchased herself. Her youngest will also be selling her first pig this year.
“I don’t believe kids should be sitting around doing nothing,” she said, adding that this keeps them connected and teaches them responsibility.
“Every day I see changes in them. It just makes me proud of them. They’re doing what they should be doing for their community.”
Natalie Sass, the club’s B-leader, mirrored Meier’s comments, adding that 4-H kids have more confidence because they learn by doing.
“You can see the growth in them, leaps and bounds,” she said.
A bonus to being involved in the club, she said, is that seniors get to write off club time for high school volunteer hours. Some projects even award them class credits.
She said her two sons thought she was nuts when she first told them they’d have to speak in front of an audience. Now, they confidently conduct themselves in public and have gained resume worthy experience and skills.
“It makes you a more well-rounded person,” she said.
Laura Funke, whose daughter, Ashley, presented in the dog and sheep categories, marvelled at how much she has grown.
“She used to be very quiet,” she said. “She has very much opened up.”
Funke said the program helps build character and teaches respect and it “felt awesome” to see her daughter’s hard work pay off.
The 10-year-old won three first-prize ribbons for her dog and three for her lamb.
Courtney White, whose eight-year-old son, Gauge Bishop, is completing his final year as a Cloverbud, said her two younger children will also be joining 4-H when they turn six, the minimum age requirement.
“They have to learn how to care for something, they have to learn how to help each other, help their community,” she said. “It really sets them on a good path.”
The cloverbud program eases kids into the 4-H program, she said, by introducing them to each project. After three years of testing the waters, they get to choose which projects they like and stick with them.
In addition to his Cloverbud completion ribbons, her son won two ribbons for photography – first place for his project and second place for showmanship.
The Lone Butte 4-H club has a final district show in Williams Lake starting Aug. 9.
The public is encouraged to come out to cheer on the kids or purchase market animals at auction on Aug. 13.