Getting Ready for 2012
A Message from Wraychel
Dear 4-H Household,
I trust everyone is having a wonderful summer! I’ve enjoyed getting to know many of you in my role as 4-H Ontario’s Executive Director and look forward to meeting more 4-H’rs in the coming months and years. I am excited to share important updates that will get everyone ready for the 2012 4-H year.
First of all, it is important for you to know that we’ve been listening: myself, the Staff team, and Council Directors. We recognize a refocus on the grassroots strengths of 4-H is needed. To myself and the 4-H Ontario Staff, the grassroots of 4-H is the powerful community building that occurs in local 4-H Clubs which are run by committed Volunteers, often at their own kitchen tables. It is this commitment that has made 4-H Ontario strong since 1915.
Knowing our refocus, the Council has worked diligently on a three year strategy for the organization’s financial health. Membership fees are a component of 4-H’s financial plan, and some changes need to be addressed. We are sharing now that the provincial membership fee for 2012 will increase by $5 resulting in a yearly membership fee of $65. Looking forward to 2013 and 2014, there will be additional $5 increases each year, making the yearly membership fees $70 and $75, respectively. * Please note: Some Associations do require an additional/supplemental fee in addition to the provincial membership fee. You will need to contact your local Association to determine this fee.
The 4-H Ontario Staff, Council and Foundation are committed to ensuring the financial sustainability of 4-H Ontario. The 2011 operating budget of approximately $1.4 million supports an anticipated 5900 Members and 1900 Volunteers. The actual cost for each Member to be involved in the program is $237 annually. The Foundation, Staff and Council work very hard to offset the true cost of the program to Members, covering 73% of costs through funding and sponsorships, leaving only 27% for Members to cover.
The most obvious question is, “How will this $5 increase improve my 4-H experience”? The remainder of this communication highlights many of the improvements, for both Volunteer and Member experiences, that 4-H Ontario Staff are working toward. Many of these initiatives have already started. After reading the rest of this update, I hope you are as excited for the upcoming 2012 4-H year as I am.
That being said, many of you are still busy with your 2011 4-H activities! I hope the rest of this 4-H year continues to be one of learning and fun! Enjoy the sunshine!
On Behalf of the 4-H Ontario Staff Team,
INFO FOR THE MEMBER
Travel Reimbursement Back on the Table
The burden of travel costs to attend provincial camps, conferences and competitions is a pressing issue on many 4-H’rs minds. For 2012, a Travel Reimbursement Policy will be available to all current 4-H Members.
Download 4.2.1 New Policy O-M-17 - Travel Reimbursement Policy
Refocus on Club Resources
The heart of 4-H is in the 4-H Club. Although there are more than 80 club projects available, 4-H Ontario has not released a new project resource in two years. A refocus on the development and delivery of resources will impact every single Member and Volunteer. Going forward, the 4-H Ontario Staff is committed to a refocus on project resource development and release.
Great Experiences Require Registration
Feedback on 4-H provincial camps, conferences and competitions has been heard; at times, these programs seem disorganized. Everyone involved in these events wants them to be the best they possibly can, and to accomplish this, 4-H Staff need to be able to plan ahead. Questions including the number of Volunteers needed and what supplies are required (including food) need to be answered prior to the event. The best way to prepare is to know who is coming. In 2012, a new policy will require all participants to preregister for provincial camps, conferences and competitions.
Download 4.2.1 New Policy O-M-16 - 4-H Ontario Camp, Conference and Competition Registration Policies
Future Leaders In Action Makes a Return
One of the most important aspects of provincial 4-H programs is the chance to meet friends and stay connected with them through 4-H. Two core programs for Senior 4-H Members are Provincial Leadership Camp (PLC) and Future Leaders In Action (FLIA). These camps will once again rotate years, allowing Senior Members to meet at one, and reconnect at the other. FLIA will be offered on even number years (2012), while PLC will run on odd number years (2013).
INFO FOR THE VOLUNTEER
Screening Changes & Advocacy Focus
4-H Ontario has heard from many Volunteers and Associations that two things need to happen: changes to policies on screening, and advocacy to address the RCMP’s processes of securing Vulnerable Sector Screening for all Volunteers. In 2012, the revised policy will ensure Volunteers in-good-standing will only need to complete a Vulnerable Sector Check for 4-H Ontario once. It is then sufficient to have a Police Record Check (the simpler quicker check) done every two years. This process, along with having two screened Volunteers at all Club activities, continues to be the best practise for protecting our youth.
Mitch Corriveau, Manager, Volunteer Support and Development is committed to working with 4-H Canada, and other national volunteer organizations, to bring screening delays and procedure inconsistencies to the RCMP’s attention.
Download 4.2.4 Updated Policy - O-V-03 Police Records Check and Vulnerable Sector Check
Conference & Annual Meeting Change
In July, the Ontario 4-H Council passed a new motion to hold the Conference and Annual Meeting (CAM) on the weekend of March 23-25, 2012. This date change from the “traditional timing” will ensure more Volunteers are able to attend, it will provide the proper amount of time required for the Council to review audited financial statements, and all Associations will have time to hold their own Annual Meeting prior to CAM.
With this date change comes a change in approach as well; CAM will shift its focus to information sharing between Volunteers. Volunteers will have the opportunity to drive workshop topics. In the coming months, 4-H Ontario Staff will ask for suggestions for workshop presenters so get your thinking caps on! With a refocus on interactive fun shared learning, CAM 2012 will be a wonderful opportunity to renew your 4-H energy in the spirit of “Learn To Do By Doing”.
4-H Ontario Staff recognize the importance of thanking Volunteers. In 2012, one day Volunteer Symposiums will be an opportunity to celebrate Volunteer achievements and share learning. Volunteer recognition will be the focus of these events.
Knowing the past successes of 4-H Club Leader Regional Conferences run by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, 4-H Ontario will move back to a similar format by including project specific learning and sharing sessions. Volunteer input will be instrumental in tailoring the content. 4-H Ontario Staff will host these exciting days to ensure a focus on Volunteers.
download a PDF copy of this communication