4-H Ontario


Top Minutes for 2017 by Nicole Emmerton
2017 Peel 4-H Adventurous Journey Meeting #1

Date: August 6th – August 7th 2017 
Time: 8:00am – 2:00pm
Place: Guelph Lake

Members Present

Nicole Emmerton, Kayla Emmerton, Nicole French, Allison French, Julie French, Colin French, Robert Matson (youth leader)

Leaders Present

Mary Matson. Karen Matson, and Brian Emmerton

Special Guest: Ethan Mumford

Meeting Summary

The first meeting of the peel 4-H Adventurous Journey was held at Guelph Lake on Sunday August 6th to Monday August 7th from 8:00am-2:00pm the following day. There were 6 members, 3 leaders and 1 youth leader present. This was the pre-trip for the silver level Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. We met at the Emmerton’s house Saturday morning before driving to Guelph Lake. When we arrived at the lake we unloaded the canoes and got right into the water. We decided which packs should go in which boats in order to have our weight evenly distributed. We then got in the water and paddled around the lake, while taking in the nature and wildlife around us. We paddled for a while and showed Ethan, a scouter joining us on our journey, our cheer that Jenifer taught us in the canoe club. After breaking for lunch, we set a goal for ourselves to go against the rough winds and reach the dam. We overcame the waves which were almost white capping, and really pushed ourselves to reach our goal. We then went for a swim to cool off after working hard. While swimming, we conducted the formal portion of the meeting. We decided on our club name: Kayla and her Canoeing Buddies. We also had elections in the water. The results were as follows:

President: Kayla Emmerton

Vice President: Nicole French

Secretary: Nicole Emmerton

Press Reporter: Allison French  

We then went over our tasks for the rest of the day. We went to our site and unpacked our packs. We then set up our tents and tarps. We then went looking for water and learned how to use the water purifier. We also went for a little walk to explore the wildlife around the camp. We also had to go over several things with Robert and Karen in regards to the actual trip. We decided the menu for our trip as well as reviewed things to put in our first aid kit. Robert then went over the equipment list that we were permitted to bring with us. We then made our dinner. We had decided to make hamburgers and vegetables for dinner. We also made s’mores and had hot chocolate for mug up. We also said the 4-H pledge led by Kayla. After spending some time around the fire, it was time to go to sleep. The next morning, we woke up and had something warm to drink, we then got changed into our clothes for canoeing and made our breakfast. We had decided to have pancakes and bacon. After cleaning up our dishes, we got our packs packed up and tents taken down before going on to the water. Once we were packed up and ready to go, we got back in the boats. This time we switched up the partners to the pairs we were going to be using for the trip. Throughout the day, we continued to push ourselves physically. We practised turning and avoiding objects. Overall, we became much more confident canoers and really worked together as a team. When we had finished with the canoeing for the day, we went back to our site to set up the bear bag and have a late lunch. We learned how to put the bear bag up as well as learned the best way to keep it stable. After having a Mediterranean lunch of meats and cheeses, it was time to go home. We arrived back at Karen’s and unpacked.

Next Meeting
August 11th 2017 
Time: 8:30am-10:00am
Place: Zehrs and Garden Foods Bolton

2017 Peel 4-H Adventurous Journey Meeting #2

Date: Friday August 11th 2017
Time: 8:30am – 10:00pm
Place: Zehrs and Garden Foods

Members Present

Nicole Emmerton, Kayla Emmerton, Nicole French, Allison French, Julie French, Robert Matson (youth leader)

Leaders Present

Mary Matson and Karen Matson

Meeting Summary

The second meeting of the peel 4-H Adventurous Journey club was held at Zehrs and Garden Foods on Friday August 11th from 8:30am-10:00am. There were 5 members, 2 leaders and 1 youth leader present. The purpose of this meeting was to shop for our upcoming Duke of Edinburgh Adventurous Journey. The trip is 2 nights and 3 days so we had to shop for all the necessary ingredients we needed to make our meals. When arriving at Zhers, we met in the parking lot to discus how we were going to shop in the most effective manner possible. Before the meeting, we had already separated our list into the different categories, and decided how much of each item we would need. We then went through the store collecting all of the ingredients. After collecting everything we needed from Zehrs, we moved onto garden foods in order to pick up some produce. Throughout the meeting we made sure to make cost effective decisions, and used our reasoning skills to ensure we would be able to carry what we were bringing. The meeting was adjourned at Garden Foods at 10:00am.

Next Meeting

Date: Friday August 11th 2017
Time: 6:00-10:00pm
Place: Chesslawn Farms

2017 Peel 4-H Adventurous Journey Meeting #3

Date: August 11th 2017
Time: 6:00am – 10:00pm
Place: Chesslawn Farms

Members Present

Kayla Emmerton, Nicole French, Allison French, Julie French, Colin French, Robert Matson (youth leader)

Leaders Present

Mary Matson, Brian Emmerton and Karen Matson

Special Guest: Steve Vickers and Ethan Mumford

Meeting Summary
The third meeting of the peel 4-H Adventurous Journey club was held at Chesslawn Farms on Friday August 11th from 6:00am-10:00pm. There were 5 members, 3 leaders and 1 youth leader present. The purpose of this meeting was to prep and pack for our upcoming Duke of Edinburgh Adventurous Journey. As we would be cooking several meals throughout the journey with no stove, we had to pre-cook some of our meats and veggies. Everyone brought personal items to the Matson’s house for the meeting. The meeting was opened with the 4-H pledge led by Kayla. The members then brought out their pillow cases that had been filled with their personal belongings. Robert, Steve, and Karen then checked our bags to make sure we had everything we needed, and didn’t bring any additional items that would not be needed. The members then pre-cooked the meats and veggies, and measured and prepared the eggs and condiments. Everything was labeled and packaged so we wouldn’t have to worry during the trip. All the equipment was then put into barrels and packs and loaded into the trucks so we were ready to go in the morning. The meeting was adjourned at 10:01pm with the 4-H motto. 

Next Meeting
Saturday August 12th – Monday August 13th 2017
Time: 6:00am Saturday Morning – 5:00pm Monday Afternoon

Meeting at: The Emmerton House
Trip: Algonquin Park (interior)  

2017 Peel 4-H Adventurous Journey Meeting #4

Date: Saturday August 12th – Monday August 13th 2017
Time: 6:00am (Saturday) – 5:00pm (Monday)
Place: The Emmerton’s Home, Algonquin Park, Huntsville

Members Present

Nicole Emmerton, Kayla Emmerton, Nicole French, Allison French, Julie French, Colin French, Robert Matson (youth leader)

Chaperones Present

Thomas Hautot, Mary Matson and Karen Matson

Special Guests: Steve Vickers and Ethan Mumford

Meeting Summary


The fourth and final meeting of the peel 4-H Adventurous Journey club was held at Algonquin Park on Saturday August 12th at 6:00am, to Monday August 13th at 5:00pm. There were 6 members, 2 leaders and 1 youth leader present. We also had Thomas Hautot as our male chaperone. The final meeting of the club was our Adventurous Journey trip. We began our 3-day journey bright and early at the Emmerton’s house. We then drove to Barrie where we picked up Thomas, and continued to Algonquin. Once arriving at our launch area, we unloaded the boats and got all our gear ready to go. It was then time to get into the water. We were lucky to have little wind for the first part of our journey. As we crossed the initial section of the lake, our spirits were high and arms stable and strong. We then began to river run, and utilized the skills we learned when getting our Orcka levels earlier on in the summer. We had been paired up in the canoes based on who works best together. Our groups were: Robert and Julie, Allison and Thomas (the party canoe), The Nicole’s (Nicole Squared), Mary and Colin, Kayla and Ethan, and Karen and Steve.
Each pair worked efficiently to reach the end of the river without hitting any logs or beaver dams. As we continued on, Kayla led her canoeing buddies into some country songs to pass the time. Before we knew it, we had reached our first portage. As we had such amazing leaders to show us the ropes before our trip, we looked like pros. After successfully reaching the end of the portage with all of our gear in tact, we continued with our journey. Karen, Steve, and Julie made sure to point out interesting wildlife throughout the way. In addition, members of the birdwatching club enjoyed spotting the different species they had been studying in the club. We soon approached our second portage. This one was a bit longer then the last one, and kept the group working hard. We then stopped for lunch. For the first day, we had all packed lunches from home. We ate lunch on the rocks in the water which was very peaceful after a couple hours of paddling. After lunch we continued on with our journey. We were able to work on all the techniques that we learned this summer, and were proud of how much we had improved. As we got close to the place we were going to be camping for the night, Karen, Steve, and Robert gave us some tips as to what to look for in a good campsite. Unfortunately, during the final stretch before finding our campsite, it began to rain. We had been given a bit of practice with winds at Guelph Lake but it was also raining so the winds were stronger. Nevertheless, we managed to safely reach our site. Thankfully, the rain eventually stopped before the site got too wet. Once arriving at our chosen site, we proceeded to unpack the boats and organise all of our belongings. The first thing we did was find the best places to put down a tent. Once everyone had a place, we proceeded to set up our tents, and the tarp as we knew there was a chance of rain for that night. We then went to collect firewood and retrieve water from the lake to purify. One of the most important things we learned before going on this trip was that you have to stay busy for two reasons. The first reason is that everyone has to work together and share the load, and the second is so that you don’t fall asleep. Karen made sure no one napped that day because we weren’t going to be able to get up early the next day if we went to bed too late. After collecting the wood, we were shown where the thunder box was and were instructed on some rules for keeping our site clean and ready for the next person to use it. Part of this club involved the members learning etiquette when camping and making sure the next person didn’t even know we were there. Some members then began to work on putting up the ropes for our bear bag. Although we had practised this during the pre-trip, the trees we were working with this time were much higher and had very little branches. It took some time but the ropes eventually made it to where they were supposed to be. Eventually, it was time to begin making our dinner. We were having fajitas that night so we reheated the precooked chicken and veggies. We then had some time to socialise and relax before bed. Some members decided to go for a night paddle to watch the sunset, and others decided to go for a refreshing swim in the lake. The leaders chose to observe from the comfort of the campsite. After our evening activities, we decided to play cards for a little bit. Unfortunately, because we were so careful to not pack too much, we only packed one deck of cards. Playing with 11 people and 1 deck was enjoyable, but ended right after it began. We then had mug up, which is a hot drink and a snack. After mug up it was time to go to bed as we had an early morning the next day


The next morning was an early start for Kayla and her Canoeing Buddies. We wanted to get on the water earlier then later so we could have a smooth paddle before the wind began to pick up. We first had some breakfast and cleaned up the equipment. We then packed the bags and took down all of our tents. After packing the boats up, we were on our way to the new campsite. The plan for the day was to paddle for the morning to find a new site, and then spend the day going on little trips to explore the area. We decided to try a site on an island for the second night. We were lucky enough to find 2 great island sites that had a flat area to camp and a large area around the fire. Once we set the damp tents and tarp out to dry, we were given some time to set out our tent base. We then set up for lunch. We had decided to have a make your own sandwiches lunch. Once we had all eaten, we discussed what we were going to be doing for the day. We decided that we were going to paddle out to find a sandy beach and go for a swim. We also explored different parts of the area and found different wildlife that we never see in Caledon. Overall, the day was very productive in terms of learning and appreciating the area around us without having the added pressure of getting to a site at a certain area by a certain time. When we were finished with our little trips, we went back to the campsite. We once again had to collect enough firewood for both our dinner that night, and breakfast the next morning. In addition, we also had to pump more water as our main water filter bag was no longer working for us. Each person kept busy and continued to help out. The dinner that we had decided for the evening was skewers and roasted sweet potatoes. We all helped out with preparing different parts of the meal. As we enjoyed our dinner, we discussed what we had enjoyed about the trip so far. Everyone agreed that although it could be stressful at times, the trip had been incredibly enjoyable and rewarding. Instead of having evening activities, we decided to spend some time as a group and simply enjoy each-other’s company. We ended up going around the circle sharing events from our childhood. We then had some smores and jiffy pop to finish off our evening. We then went to bed with plans to get up even earlier the next morning to avoid the heavy winds that were in the forecast.


On the third day of our trip, we decided to try to get up as early as possible. We ended up quickly eating breakfast and packing up the tents and eating breakfast. We made sure we left our campsite clean for the next people and decided to leave them with a little pile of wood we had collected. We then got onto the water for the final time. We were incredibly motivated to get back home as we were all very sore and tired so we really powered through the first couple hours of paddling. Once we had come to the first portage, we decided that instead of stopping for lunch at the next portage, we would just snack on our GORP to tide ourselves over. Once again, Kayla and her Canoeing Buddies kept themselves busy, powering through singing loudly. Eventually, the waves began to increase, and we became more tired and sore. Eventually, we made it to the final stretch in our journey. Unfortunately, because the wind was so incredibly strong, we really had to put all of our effort into paddling to avoid moving backwards. Eventually, we made it to the launch, and exited our boats for the final time. After unloading, we made our way back to the cars. Although we were incredibly exhausted, we were chatting all the way to Huntsville. Once arriving in Huntsville, we stopped for pizza and Kawartha Dairy ice cream. We eventually made it back to Chesslawn Farms, where we unpacked all of the gear and set the tents u so they could dry properly. We also split up the leftover food. Kayla adjourned the club with the 4-H motto and we all went home for some well-deserved sleep.

Note: All minutes for this club were circulated by email as our club meetings were quite busy.

Summary of the Club

Nicole Emmerton



Sunday August 6th to Monday August 7th 2017


Club: An Adventurous Journey

Name: Kayla and her Canoeing Buddies

Goals of the Club

  • Members will be participating in their Qualifying Journey for the Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award
  • Members will challenge themselves physically to effectively complete 7 hours of activity per day

Special Guests

  • We were joined by Ethan Mumford, who is a scouter working toward his silver award
  • We were also joined by Steve Vickers who is a scouting volunteer
  • The male Chaperone for the trip was Thomas Hautot


Members: 7

Leaders: 3 leaders, 1 youth leader

Members completed: 7/7

What I Learned as a Secretary

This club was one of the most challenging and rewarding clubs to have the position of the secretary. I was given the opportunity to write long detailed minutes that spanned over three days. As a result, I was unable to take notes about what we did during specific parts of the trip which forced me to expand my memory. This club was a new challenge for me and it was fun to write something different than traditional meeting summaries.



October 18th 2017


Nicole Emmerton



September 18th 2017




As a club, we would like to thank our leaders for their extreme dedication. This club required more planning and organizing than any other club, and truly gave all the members an experience of a lifetime. Robert Matson’s leadership as a youth leader was exemplary and we feel so lucky to have experienced this with them. 






EastGen Challenge

Congratulations to the Peel 4-H Dairy team who represented their association very well at the EastGen Challenge at the Markham fairgrounds on July 13 &14th.  Team members included Julie French, Nicole French, Curtis Ruta, Matt Williamson and Jamie Laidlaw.  The Peel 4 H team competed against many other 4-H associations and earned some notable placings at EastGen this year.  Curtis Ruta placed 8th in  senior showmanship.  The top quiz was awarded to Julie French, with Nicole French placing second.    Overall Peel placed 3rd for Best Exhibit with their impressive Celebrating Canada 150 themed display.  Well done Everyone!

Press Reports

4-Her’s spotted in Algonquin Park. Canoe Believe it?

Submitted by: Allison French

    This summer seven Peel 4-h members were out on the water trying their hand at canoeing to complete our Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award. With one expert out of the seven of us 4-H members, it made it fit for Robert Matson to be the Junior Leader of our Adventurous Journey Club. The Duke of Edinburgh is an International Award available to all 14-24 year olds. For the Silver Award there is four sections and participants must demonstrate consistent commitment in Service, Skill and Physical Recreation for a minimum of 6 months. Then they have to complete an Adventurous Journey that is three days and two nights. It is a requirement for members to complete a pre-trip of two days and one night before embarking on their Adventurous journey. We choose to do our Journey August 12th-14th at Algonquin Provincial Park on North Tea Lake.

     The members of the club were, Nicole and Kayla Emmerton, Colin, Julie, Nicole and Allison French, Robert Matson as the Junior Leader, Karen Matson, Mary Emmerton, Thomas Hautot and Brain Emmerton as our Leaders. Steve Vickers a scout Leader and one scout member Ethan Mumford joined us.

    After countless hours spent on Island Lake in Orangeville earning our level two and three orca, we were finally ready for our pre-trip. We decided to do our pre-trip at Guelph Lake, so on August 5th everyone loaded up the two cars and headed off to the lake. We had tons of fun paddling against the wind the whole first day. When we arrived back at the campsite we set up the tents and the rest of the campsite. Following this we discussed aspects of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award and prepared a menu and a packing list for the adventurous journey.

    With everyone surviving the pre-trip, the preparations for our trip started to take place. After a group trip to the grocery store and spending what felt like hours at the meat counter, trying to get the best deals, we prepped all of our meals for the trip. We had a team BBQ the night before to go over a few last things and pack all of our stuff into barrels and thumps. We left for our adventure at 6am on August 12th, in the two cars with everyone ready and excited to start our adventure. Arriving at just outside of Algonquin Park we started our journey canoeing across Kawawaymog Lake and then through a small winding river completing two portages successfully; one was 135m and the other was 255m. We ending up at the mouth of North Tea Lake. We then went looking for a campsite and after finding our home for the night we all broke off and started collecting firewood, pitching tents, pumping water, starting to cook dinner and many more other small jobs. When we were trying to hang our bear bags, one of the group members started reading us the “fun facts” about Black Bears and what to do if we encountered one, this in turn motivated us to throw our bear bag onto a higher branch. After going on a night swim and lazy canoe around an island, we played a card game and called it a night making sure that we brought a paddle to sit outside our tent door (no explanation needed after our black bear ‘fun facts’).

When morning arrived we made breakfast and packed all of our stuff up to move to our next campsite. We hit the water when it was glass-like and went “real-estate shopping” as our leaders put it. This meant that we stayed along the shoreline and looked at all the different campsites and talked about the pros and cons of each of them. Our “ideal campsite” is simple; it has a beach. We kept canoeing on North Tea Lake and ended up finding our ideal campsite on an island. With the island to ourselves we unpacked everything and then went back out onto the water on a leisure canoe to a beach. After swimming for a bit we came back and started dinner and some had some s’mores afterwards. After laughing around the campfire we went to bed with a 5:30am wakeup call the next morning. The next morning after having breakfast and packing up all our things we hit the water by 7am and headed back across North Tea Lake. We were all in great spirits and high energy because we all knew that there was ice cream at the end of today’s canoe trip. On our way back we had some great vocals lead by Kayla and Nicole F. and then the rest of the group joined in. We spotted a loon and a great Blue Heron as well as (according to Julie) a red squirrel that was swimming. We didn’t take long to get to the first portage and quickly traversed both portages with ease. After being in the winding river forever we final saw the end in sight when we reached Kawawaymog Lake. Despite reaching the final lake it was not going to be an easy canoe back due to the wind that was blowing across the lake. We all made it back alive without having to use any of our emergency maneuvers rescues (meaning we didn’t flip any of our canoes once). To end off our trip we headed into Huntsville and got pizza and of course some Kawartha Dairy ice cream.

This was an incredible opportunity that a lot of us would not do normally, and it took a lot of people out of their comfort zones, but it was an amazing journey that we will never forget.  


Bird Watching

By: Kayla Emmerton (March 2017)

 4-Her’s had a great time this season exploring and learning about birds in the community through a new fun and interactive club- BIRDWATCHING! We were able to get outside and see some interesting birds in their natural habitat as well as complete some fun crafts for the birds and ourselves! We made bird houses both out of recycling materials and wood, as well as some sticky suet blocks. We also had a lot of fun making (and eating!) our chocolate nests with jellybean eggs! Birdwatching is a great way to get out in the community to enjoy nature as well as find out more about these amazing creatures. Birdwatching is one of the many clubs that has been offered through Peel 4-H. To find more information and to see more pictures of the club, visit http://www.4-hontario.ca/4h-in-my-area/peel.aspx.



Submitted by Kayla Emmerton (March 2017)

In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, members of Peel 4-H had an amazing time taking part of a craft club that has been around longer than Canada has-Embroidery! Members were able to “Learn to Do by Doing” by learning a variety of different stitches, like “the Lazy Daisy” and the blanket stitch- a common stitch found on the edges of many fleece blankets. For their final project, members decided to embroider the provincial flowers of Canada and quilt them together to create a wall hanging. The squares turned out very beautiful, and the quilt will be auctioned off at 4-H awards night in the fall. Through this fun and stimulating club, 4-Her’s were able to enjoy socializing and working together just like they did 100 years ago. For more pictures and information about Peel 4-H visit http://www.4-hontario.ca/4h-in-my-area/peel.aspx.



Our Peel 4-H Ambassador for 2018 is Mel Karpenko.  She will represent our County
presenting ribbons at 4-H events and bringing greetings at the Fairs.


Peel 4-H Activity Calendar

October 28 -Secretary Minute Books due to Betty Brander
October 28 -Press Reports due to Carol Williams
November Nov 2, 2018 – Nov 11, 2018 -The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
November th and th TD Canadian 4-H Classic show at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
November 16th -Peel 4-H Awards Night and Pot Luck Supper, 6:30 pm, Brampton Fair Grounds
November  -Peel Federation of Agriculture Farm Family of the Year Banquet, Caledon East Complex
November  -The Peel-Dufferin Plowmen's Association Annual Meeting

*Awards Night*  
*Friday, November 16 , 2018*

You and your family are invited to attend our pot luck Awards evening!
Friday, November 16 , 2018 • 6:30 p.m.
Brampton Fairgrounds, 12942 Heart Lake Road, Caledon, Junior Farmers Hall
Celebrating the completion and final achievements of:
Bolton Dairy
Brampton Dairy
Peel Beef
Grow Your Own Giant Pumpkin -Brian Cleave, Darlene Downey, Greg Downey, Thomas Hautot
Garden Tractor Pulling Club-Heather French, Tim Boughen
Fitness-Darlene Downey, Barb Patton, Heather French
A Taste of Ontario-Brian Emmerton, Mary Matson, Carol Williams 
Bird Watching-Darlene Downey, Barb Patton
Rabbit Club-Heather French, Tom French, Danette Woodword

Our Website www.peel4-h.ca

You can access our web site through your smart phone as well as your computer. Forgot the meeting date or location? Just check out the calendar on the website to find out. The site includes Announcements of new clubs, a Calendar, Press Reports, Photos of our members in action, the Ambassador and Scholarship application forms.


We greatly appreciate the generosity of our donors and sponsors which makes our Peel 4-H program strong.