This summer, 10 members from the Hanna District 4-H clubs partook in an exchange with 10 members from Wellington County, Ontario.
In July, eight families between Hanna and Oyen hosted the 10 4-Her’s and their two chaperones for eight days.
On the first day we went to Heritage Park as an introduction to Alberta to show our past.
The second day was very eventful, starting with a buffalo tour at Morrin corner followed by a visit to the Royal Tyrrell Museum.
After the museum, we headed for the Atlas Coal Mine where we put on mining helmets and went into the tunnels.
To cap off the day we went to the suspension bridge over the Red Deer River and had a pizza party.
The next day was a low key day for most people doing normal things on their ranches and at their houses such as gopher hunting or riding horses and roping, while others went and did escape rooms in Oyen and Drumheller.
In the evening we gathered at Haley and Calvin Powell’s for a Gymkanna where other 4-Her’s from the district came and took part in rodeo activities.
Our next day was interesting.
We all woke up ready to go to the beach and go boating but it had to be called off due to weather so we went to Corey and Taralynn MacMillan’s for a District barbecue and pool party.
A requirement of the exchange is to have the 4-H members do community service work.
We helped out Special Areas at Blood Indian Park by planting trees, painting the camp kitchen and installing a new dock.
It was a good day of hard work and as a reward, we had hot dogs and roasted marshmallows and had a lot of fun swimming and kayaking.
If you go to visit you can see the firepit by the camp kitchen we had made to leave our mark at the park. Special Areas and Sean Olmstead at Metal Works helped us with this project.
Our excitement continued the next day by participating in a branding where all the kids and adults on the exchange from both Hanna District and Wellington County had jobs from roping and wrestling to medicating and branding. We all went back to our homes for a little relaxation after.
On our final full day, some of us were up and gone early as we had to be at the ropes and zip line course at Canmore early.
It was enjoyable for most participants even though it pushed some out of their comfort levels as some were scared of heights.
We headed off to Banff to check in to our hostel.
After we dropped off our bags we headed out to the gondola and trekked up the mountain followed by some shopping.
The next morning we woke up early to go for a bit of a hike down by the Bow River and then we had to pack up our things to head for the airport.
We said our goodbyes “for now” as we will see them in Ontario in a short 10 days to see what they had to show us.
Part 2 of the 4-H exchange will be available in next week’s edition of the East Central Alberta Review where Hanna District members and chaperones visit Ontario for over a week.
by Chance Scott,
Rangeland Club 4-H Member