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Local 4-H members compete at districts

BONNYVILLE – The competition was tough this year when local 4-H clubs participated in districts.

Junior, intermediate, and senior level 4-H members were at Ardmore School to see who would be headed to regionals. 

“All the first place winners from each club in the district get to come and compete against each other,” explained Heather Brundige, general leader for the Beaver River Beef 4-H Club and one of the organizers for the Sunday, Feb. 23 event. “It’s a pretty big honour for these kids to be able to come and speak again. It gives them one more chance to practice their public speaking and improve all the more.”

Completing a communications activity, such as a speech or presentation, is required from youth involved with 4-H. It assists them with improving their public speaking abilities, even if they don’t move onto districts or regionals.

“It’s a huge boost for their self-esteem to get up in front of people,” Brundige noted. “There’s so many people that you talk to as adults and their biggest fear would be to speak in front of a crowd. These kids are already able to do that, something that adults find so scary. They’re able to get past that and realize it’s okay. Each time they do it, they get better and better.”

The option to choose what subject they were going to speak on was a highlight for intermediate Bonnyville 4-H Beef Club members Caydence Dechaine and Éliane Ducharme, who chose to dive deep into the story of the Titanic.

“We watched the movie and we were really interested in it because we just really loved it so much,” Dechaine expressed. “We decided we were going to look more into it, and figure out what the true story behind it was.”

They were both surprised to learn how much manpower it took to keep the boat running.

“I found it really cool how the ship was powered by all those workers underneath the ship,” said Ducharme. “No one really looks under the ship, they mostly talk about how cool it was on the outside and where all the passengers were.”

Dechaine agreed, “I was surprised at the amount of crew members there were, as well as the different compartments there were underneath the ship, and just the size of it.”

Braxton Brawn, senior Ardmore Beef Club member, also made his speech about a topic he enjoyed. He shared his experience working at the Bonnyville Sobeys.

“I enjoy it because it’s a fun place to work because of the people that we hang out with there and the things that we do.”

Other members decided to talk about western saddles, why youth should play sports, the nervous system, and studying, among others.

Brundige hopes the event has helped improve the skills of those who took part.

“I just know that public speaking is a huge thing for myself. Even as a child I was in 4-H, it was the most terrifying thing in the world to get up in front of people, but because I was forced to do it every year, I can now get in front of people. I may not enjoy it, but I can do it, and it’s huge. I love seeing that in these kids.”

Braxton wowed the judges with his speech to claim first place, while Lily Brundige from the Beaver River Beef Club came in first in the intermediate category, and Luke Brundige, also from the Beaver River Beef Club, was successful in the junior division.

Their presentation stood out among the rest and won Ducharme and Dechaine first place for the intermediate age group. Ardmore Wolves Autumn Cory and Stella Purdy came out on top in the junior category. Joining them at regionals in St. Paul on March 21 in the senior division are Ardmore Wolves members Lainey Bokota and Ava Metzner.

Robynne Henry, Bonnyville Nouvelle

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