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Glen Ewen 4-H members enjoy learning about agriculture

Club has a rich history, and is meeting again for the first time in several years.
From left, Paden Hitchens, Eli Bartlett, McKenzie Lovell, Kessler White and Abby Bartlett attended an Estevan Bruins’ game Saturday, one of the social activities enjoyed by club members.

GLEN EWEN - The Glen Ewen Mixed 4-H Club is excited to once again be creating opportunities for young people.

In an email to the Mercury, Myrna Babbings wrote that the club was formed in 1989-90 with six boys who took on a woodworking project. Donna Merkley was the general leader who started the club, and Sharon East was the project leader. Members that started the club included Michael Burns, Marc Revet, Curtis East, Terry Magnien, Darryl Scott and Kris Babbings. That year they built a village community bulletin board that has been renovated but still stands in the same place. It is used regularly.

In 1990-91, the club expanded to have four projects and that was the beginning of the club's name of Glen Ewen Mixed. Woodworking, knitting, babysitting and small pets were projects. It was also their first year with peewees (ages six to eight).

By 1993, the club had grown to 30 members and one peewee and had members for many projects.

The Communiplex gave the club a bulletin board to decorate. Parents stepped in and decorated the board with pictures, projects and 4-H events to allow people to see what the club is doing. The Glen Ewen Trailblazers have their bulletin board as well.

In 1998, the light horse club was established instead of being part of the Glen Ewen Mixed Club. It became the Glen Ewen Trailblazers 4-H Club and it continues to meet.

“Over the years our club has held the district fall rally, district curling, district public speaking, district meetings twice yearly and district bowling,” Myrna Babbings wrote.

They have attended Estevan Bruins hockey games, gone skiing and held family Halloween dances. They also served school lunches, performed a skit in Christmas concerts, and held and attended Achievement Days – both locally and regionally. They even hosted a virtual achievement day during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With Glen Ewen Mixed, when it comes to learning a project, the sky is the limit,” said Babbings.  “As long as I could find a qualified leader, we could teach that project. Finding leaders at times was challenging, but I only remember twice not being able to have a project that a member wanted because we didn’t have a leader to instruct.”

Projects over the years have included woodworking, knitting, babysitting, small pets, dancing, foods, crafts, sewing, cake decorating, light horse, small engine repair, exploring 4-H, sheep, do it yourself work, drawing, music, outdoor living, enjoying nature’s bounty, junior leadership, veterinary, welding, folk art painting, scrapbooking, baking, international cuisine, fiber, photography, the performing arts, wildlife, looking good and feeling great, sewing parts 1 and 2, and textiles and mosaic.

4-H also allowed members to have a self-determined 4-U project in which the member could determine what their 4-H project would be. Babbings cited the example of a student taking piano lessons. As long as their piano teacher was willing to step into a project leader position and complete the requirements, they then had a 4U project in music.

Members have received recognitions through 4-H, including ambassador awards, university scholarships, and district and regional record book awards.

“Over the years, I can’t begin to name the dedicated project leaders that taught, as well as the members who not only signed up for a project but stepped up into an executive position. Many of these members are now married and have children of their own,” said Babbings.

“Glen Ewen Mixed volunteers are described as volunteers who did not always have the time but had the heart to see 4-H succeed.”

In 2019-20, the club took a hiatus. For 4-H to provide a safe environment for the members, the rules for volunteer leaders were changed.

In 2022, Babbings and Pamela Bartlett, the sheep project leader, talked about starting up the mixed club again and will see if they expand the projects next year. At present they have four members and Babbings is excited about this year.

One of the past 4-H members, McKenzie Lovell, has graduated and is now coming back to the club as a volunteer leader.

Babbings has been a leader for 28 years, and she said she still loves it.

“I love seeing the members become caring and contributing individuals and the fact that they do affect positive change. I believe 4-H teaches them to become confident, determined, responsible and compassionate, seeing this world outside that will give them skills to succeed in college and their career.

“As I look back, I wouldn’t change things because looking forward is so much better and looking forward I can dream about what comes next, as I watch the next group of 4-H members.”

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