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From Barrington to Winnipeg: Sou'West 4-H Club participating in summer exchange program

Sou'West 4-H group leader Jennifer Spencer (from left) and club members Abigail Koziel, Damian Adams and Charlize Spencer make a presentation to the Barrington and Area Chamber of Commerce on April 9, seeking support for an exchange program they will be participating in this summer with 4-H Clubs in Manitoba. The Club received a $300 donation.
Sou'West 4-H group leader Jennifer Spencer (from left) and club members Abigail Koziel, Damian Adams and Charlize Spencer make a presentation to the Barrington and Area Chamber of Commerce on April 9, seeking support for an exchange program they will be participating in this summer with 4-H Clubs in Manitoba. The Club received a $300 donation. - Kathy Johnson

BARRINGTON, N.S. – 4-Her’s from the Barrington area and the Winnipeg, Manitoba area will be trading places this summer as part of the 4-H Canada Club to Club exchange program.

Eight youth between the ages of 12-17 and two chaperones from the Sou’West 4-H Club will be visiting Winnipeg, Manitoba from July 20 to 29, and from Aug. 6 to 15, the Sou’West Club will be hosting ten 4-Hers and two chaperones from Manitoba.

Participating in the club-to-club exchange program is something club members have been wanting to for some time now, said Jennifer Spencer, Sou’West 4-H group leader.

“The kids have been the driving force,” she said in an interview. “They have been asking ever since we started 4H three years ago and they heard about the exchange program, been asking about this.”

Spencer said she decided to apply for the club to participate in the program after attending a 4-H global summit last summer in Ottawa as a national volunteer.

“Everybody said you have to do an exchange. It will change your club so I came back and said to the kids, if you’re in, I’m in. Let’s do it.”

Taking part in the program is by no means a free ride.

“There is a fair amount of work to it and paperwork,” said Spencer. The participants have to do a research project on where they are going, and during the exchange trips will be participating in three community projects.

“We had to pick three community projects to do while Manitoba was here, likewise they had to pick three to do when we go there,” said Spencer. “4-H Canada provides a youth service leader who will help organize that community service. They’ve also given us $600 as a budget to help better improve our community.”

The community projects selected to do by Sou’West 4-H with Manitoba when they are here are improvements to the Barrington Exhibition Grounds, Bingo at Bayside and a beach clean-up, said Spencer.

The Sou’West 4-H Club has also been fundraising to cover expenses associated with hosting their guests from Manitoba, as well as having commemorative t-shirts made. Spencer said she expects the club will surpass the $5,000 goal, given the strong community support they received so far.

“The kids are all in,” said Spencer, who is a fourth generation 4-Her. “This will change their world. It’s a great opportunity for them and for the club. We are really pleased we were picked to participate in the program.”

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