4-H clubs across Alberta have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was decided that on April 28, and in compliance with Alberta ‘s chief medical of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw’s April 23 announcement, to cancel all events exceeding 15 people in the summer, to suspend all club events until Sept. 30.
“We have to begin by saying that the 4-H community was saddened with the restrictions officially announcement by Alberta Health Services last week,” said a 4-H Alberta spokesperson.
This also means that all in-person summer camps, shows & competitions, and programs have been suspended and will not be delivered in their traditional manner.
4-H Alberta said while there a number of twists in the road that in many ways 4-H continues forward and the leadership, management and creative skills of 4-H members and volunteers are uplifting to all of us.
However, 4-H is not on hold during the world health crisis.
“Our 4-H community is learning new ways to operate to ensure the 4-H experience continues,” 4-H Alberta said.
“For example, a very successful public speaking contest was held virtually in the Peace region, and club meetings throughout the province continue online. As well, the majority of achievement days are carrying forward in a variety of forms, and the creativity and innovation of members and leaders is marvelous. 4-H members and leaders continue to amaze us with their new ideas to inspire each other.”
4-H staff are working diligently delevloping and adapting non-in-person programming that is exciting for 4-H membersc during spring and summer sessions, they added.
“…Staff are looking at Plan B (and C) just in case the restriction situation changes,” said the release.
4-H Member Requirements
This has been an unusual time for 4-H members and volunteers and this 4-H year is very different from what we’ve experienced in the past.
The current club year ends on September 30, 2020 and we are working with Regional Executives, Advisory Committees, and Ambassadors, on programs/activities that comply with the current COVID-19 restrictions to provide another five months of 4-H fun! Our hope is these alternatives will give members and leaders options so that members and leaders stay engaged with 4-H and members can still achieve their 4-H requirements in some way. However, we recognize every member, volunteer and parent is individual in his or her needs and wants at this point, and 4-H members should not be penalized for not meeting their member requirements due to circumstances out of their control.
Please be patient with staff and each other as we work through this topic with our various executives, boards, councils, committees and Ambassadors. We will provide more information when it becomes available.
Provincial Program Refunds
4-H members who have registered in affected provincial camps, shows & competitions, and programs will receive a full refund. We ask that you please remain patient as we work through the refund process. For regional, district and club 4-H events, please contact the program/event organizer.
Club and Inter-Club livestock shows and sales that are affected by the current suspension of activities and events are asked to come up with alternative non-in-person ways to deliver the show and sale. More information on can be found athttp://4h.ab.ca/About/COVID-19.html.
At Home with 4-H
4-H Alberta is continuing to create resources and explore ways for our members, volunteers, stakeholders to feel supported by our organization.
Please check out At Home with 4-H – a webpage full of fun, simple and educational activities for 4-H members to do while social distancing practices are in effect. What a great time to build a bird feeder, make some yummy yogurt pops, or delve into the world of science. We will frequently add new and exciting activities so be sure to return to this page often!
Staff and volunteers are also working very hard on program planning opportunities so when the in-person suspension is lifted 4-H will hit the ground running!
Where can I find more information on specific 4-H questions and scenarios related to COVID-19?
A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document is available on our website with further clarification on specific 4-H questions and scenarios.
The COVID-19 pandemic can have a significant impact on mental health.
1. 4-H Canada has partnered with Kids Help Phone to develop the following list of mental health resources.
Taking Care of Yourself
Building Your Support System
Supporting a Friend in Distress
Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only 24/7, national support service. They offer professional counselling, information and referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support to young people in both English and French. Learn more and access more resources at KidsHelpPhone.ca.
2. The Government of Alberta online resources are available if you need advice on handling stressful situations or ways to talk to children.
Help in Tough Times
Mental health and coping with COVID-19
Talking with children about COVID-19
COVID-19 information for young kids and students (PDF, 122 KB)
If you need to talk, call the 24-hour help lines:
Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642
Addiction Help Line at 1-866-332-2322
Where to find more information on COVID-19?
We encourage everyone to adhere to Alberta Health’s recommendations for measures to prevent the spread of any respiratory virus. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx#p22780s6.4-H Alberta’s Website, or reach us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube @4halberta.
The 4-H Section of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF), Government of Alberta, collects your email address to be used to send to you regional and provincial newsletters, promotional information, event notifications and other information about 4-H Alberta. Please forward this email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Unsubscribe” in the subject line and your name in the body if you do NOT wish to continue to receive this information.