Merlin Community Club – Meeting #1

The Merlin 4-H Field Crop Club Holds First Meeting
By: Abby Pepper

On Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 9:00 am the Merlin 4-H Field Crop Club met for their first meeting of 2018. The meeting was held at the Sullivan’s house.

The meeting was started off with a mixer activity in which all members and leaders had to share something that about themselves and then the group had to guess if it was true or false.

After the mixer activity, the group was asked a roll call question “Name a crop that you see farmers growing?” Answers included sugar beets, soybeans, corn, alfalfa, peppers, strawberries and tomatoes. After roll call was completed, we reviewed the guideline of being a 4-H member.

Gerry Sullivan, one of the group leaders, introduced the special project for the 4-H group this year. We will be setting traps to see if we have any Western Bean Cutworms in our area. Gerry discussed how the traps work and how much damage the Western Bean Cutworm does to our fields. The group will be testing traps and seeing if their fields have any Western Bean Cutworms, on the 3rd or 4th week of July and will stay in the ground for 2 to 3 weeks. Bob Thurwell from Glencoe supports the Western Bean Cutworm traps.

Shaun Sullivan gave the 4-H group some tips about judging. We then judged facecloths. Some things that the group had to look for were the size, smell, cleanliness and the condition of the cloth.  A few of the members gave their reasoning’s to Shaun.

The group then discussed possible educational tours and our “Me Pages.”  The group members voted on a club name “Thee Merlin Amazing Aggie’s”.

After the club name was voted on, the nominations were then open for the executive positions. The positions were voted on and the results were:

·         President – Ben Rhodes

·         Vice President – Abby Pepper

·         Press Reporter – Abby Pepper

·         Secretary –  Oliver Brady

The meeting was adjourned and Abby Pepper thanked the Sullivan’s for hosting the meeting.

Merlin Community 4-H Press Reporter
Abby Pepper

4-H first meeting 2018


Discover Vet School 2018

Discover Vet School 2018

By: Lauren Sayers

On Saturday Jan 13th, Hanna Reid and I traveled to the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph to attend Discover Vet School Day 1.  This is a 1 or 2 day program organized and run by a team of vet students and professors in support of Global Vets. More information on what Global Vets is and what they do can be found here:

Our day started with registration at 8:30 where we picked up goodie bags full of information and pens and notepads for use during the day. We were welcomed and the Global Vet students introduced the guest speakers to us and they told us that in true vet school fashion, it was going to be a very long day!!  There were about 80 or so people attending the event, ranging from my age (12) to college age and even a few parents!  We attended lectures covering topics such as Haematology, Parasitic Zoonoses, and Misconceptions in Medical Literature (meaning, just because an article tells you that chocolate isn’t bad for you, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s good for you either!).  We also participated in labs.  One lab was on learning how to suture and we were shown how to do two types including simple interrupted and simple continuous sutures and we each got to try our hand at it!  We used the curved suturing needles with needle drivers and real suture thread and practised on leather wrapped foam with mock incisions!  The other lab we did was diagnosing a colic case in a hypothetical horse.  We went around to different stations and learned the symptoms. One station was learning what you would feel inside upon rectal palpation. Another station was listening to heartbeats and counting to determine if in normal range (normal range is 28-40 beats per minute; the horse we were diagnosing had 20 beats in 10 seconds = 120bpm and had tachycardia (rapid heartbeat).) Lastly, we learned how to pass a stomach tube known as a naso-gastric tube and it goes in the horse’s nose and they have to swallow the tube into their esophagus (make sure it doesn’t go in the trachea as then it will end up in the lungs!) and end up in their stomach.  We then attempted “refluxing” the horse by pouring a known volume of water into the hose and creating a siphon by tipping the hose down into a bucket and measuring how much came out.  If what we measured was more than what we put in then we successfully removed the excess liquid! Horses cannot vomit so excess liquid in their stomach can cause pain and even rupture if not removed in time! Our last 2 sessions were a time of Q & A with the current DVM students. They enlightened us to how much work it is, like how a single class can last from 8-5 and tests every Monday, to telling us to make sure we still have a life while in school by doing extracurricular activities and joining clubs so we don’t become loners and stressed out. The last thing we got to do was tour OVC.  We saw all the barns, animal hospital, the medical labs, outdoor paddocks (they told us that they have even had elephants stay overnight there from zoos!), the rooms with all the preserved specimens and skeletons (one of the coolest things was a preserved nervous system of a cat displayed in a glass case complete with eyeballs and brain!) and they even have a giant horse treadmill that is used as a diagnosing tool.

We were provided lunch and had the opportunity to purchase shirts, calendars and hoodies to support Global Vets.  I got a great T-Shirt!  It was an awesome day and I recommend it for anyone interested in animal medicine as well as those wishing to (hopefully) become a vet one day.  This is the 9th year that they have run this program and I hope to return next year to learn more!  Information on the program can be found here:

Sugarbeet Club 2017

The 4-H Sugarbeet Club held their year end banquet Jan. 8, 2018 at the Countryview Golf Course. Ian Lawton did a fantastic job as our Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Clayton Van Hyfte led us in the pledge, Everett Ellis said grace, Lauren Ross thanked the cooking and serving staff and Aidan Ellis expressed his appreciation to the members of the Michigan Sugar Company who provide ongoing support and resources for our club. Awards were presented to each of the members and each of them read excerpts from their essays that they had completed as part of the requirements to get credit for being a part of the club. Top awards went to Sophie Jubenville and Kyle Ross, Everett Ellis, Clayton Van Hyfte, Sarah Campbell and Aidan Ellis. We would like to thank all of the parents who supported us over the past year and the members who made this club enjoyable to lead. We hope to see you all next year.

Rob & Maureen McKerrall
Sugarbeet Club Co-leaders



Horse and Pony Club 2017

Horse and Pony Club 2017
Club Name: “Horsing Around”
Leaders:  Kyla Reid & Allison Stirling

It was a busy year for the 4H Horse and Pony Club in Chatham Kent.  We had a fantastic group of energetic youth who wanted to learn about our four-legged, long-eared, equine friends!

This year, we were very fortunate to have several guest speakers come to talk to our group about a various topics.

In March, Cindy Cook from Purina joined our meeting to talk about the importance of good equine nutrition.  Members were able to inspect different types of feed and learned how to calculate the weight of a horse using a weigh tape.

In June, we visited the Village Hardware and Tack Shop in Thamesville.  Our horse club members were provided with a list of various horse tack and accessories that they had to find throughout the store and record it’s price.  Once all the items were found on the “scavenger hunt” list, the students tallied up the cost of all the items.  They discovered that it can be quite expensive to outfit a horse!  Special thanks to Ron Vanroboys for opening his store after hours for us!  We had a lot of fun!

In July, we had the opportunity to observe a reining demonstration in Chatham at Dr. Donna Vansegbrook’s farm.  Her daughter, Amber, performed a wonderful show and talked to our group about various events that she competes at.  Afterwards, Dr. Vansegbrook spoke to the group about different types of equine injuries and emergencies.  She talked about ways to prevent some common horse injuries and what to do if they occur.  The members enjoyed their visit and especially liked the frozen treats that Dr. Donna provided to the group!

In August, we visited the von Martels farm where we met Cecile von Martels.  She graciously invited us in to watch her perform a dressage demonstration.  Her and her mother, Debbie, answered all our questions about this sport and gave us a tour of their facility. We all had a wonderful time and greatly appreciated the experience!

But the fun didn’t stop there!  We also participated in the Thamesville and Ridgetown parades!  We decorated a float and rode through Thamesville showing off our 4H pride!  Then, we headed over to Ridgetown for their parade to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday!  However, this time we dressed up like rodeo clowns and pushed our wheelbarrows down the streets of Ridgetown to pick up…you guessed it…ROAD APPLES!  Our crew did a terrific job by helping out the community during this great day.  It wasn’t a glamorous job…but everyone who participated had a positive 4H attitude!  A special thank-you goes to Fran Murphy for walking with our group and being a wonderful parent volunteer!  It was greatly appreciated and your kindness did not go unnoticed!

Our group “cantered on” into September where they displayed their 4H achievement projects with pride at the Highgate Fair!  The members also created two fantastic display boards highlighting this year’s Horse & Pony Club.

We had an amazing group of youth who were eager to learn and happy to help out.   Our goal for the year was to teach the basics about handling and caring for horses.  Our members were taught different subjects which included barn safety, grooming, equine anatomy and tack.  However, if you ask our members which meeting they liked the most they would probably say it was the obstacle course day!  The students were able to lead the horses through a pattern of obstacles on a lead line.

Lastly, on behalf of Kyla and myself, we would like to thank our members for participating in this year’s club.  We did a lot of “horsing around” and we hope you enjoyed the club as much as we did leading it.

Thanks for a great year!

Happy Trails!
Kyla & Allison


Engineering Lego Club

The Engineering Lego Club visited the STEAM Centre in St. Thomas on November 4th, 2017. The cost of this visit was mostly paid for by the Secan “Grow a Leader” Twitter campaign. The kids enjoyed a tour of the STEAM Centre and spent the morning coding Ozzobots, both on paper & on the computer; building a cardboard maze for Sphero robots and doing 3-dimensional scans. The STEAM Centre staff were impressed with the 4-H members and how quickly they learned to code and build. Everyone agreed it was a fun morning!


Merlin 4-H Achievement Night

4-H Press Report – Achievement Night

On October 23rd, 2017, the Merlin 4-H Crop Pros along with the Blenheim 4-H Field Crop Club got together at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus to have their annual achievement night. We started off the meeting by saying the 4-H pledge, then we discussed what the itinerary for the night would be.

One of the leaders from the Blenheim Club introduced the three judges who would be judging all the crops that each member brought into different categories. The crops that were there were hay, shelled corn, ear corn, wheat grains, soybeans, and a wheat sheaf. At the end of the night, they would announce the winners.

After they introduced the judges, we went over to the Agri Theatre. We had a guest speaker named Nicole Mackellar from Glencoe, Ontario. She is the manager of market development at Grain Farmers of Ontario. She was a self-described farm kid, who always helped out around the fields, but what she expanded on was her career journey.

Her career began at an IGA grocery store when she was in grade 10, she went to McMaster University to study sports therapy, but ended up studying economics and psychology instead. She said that she applied for a job at the Hamilton Tiger-Cats CFL team, and got the job. I found it interesting when she said that one day, her boss told her that he hired her because she was a farm kid, thinking that she would get the job done. A few years later, she was hired to work with the Toronto Blue Jays, as the manager of corporate partnership.

Now, she works as the manager of market development at the Grain Farmers of Ontario. She was a Nuffield Scholar in 2017, travelling around the world to countries like Japan, the United States, Belgium, Germany, and more, working on the agricultural part of the world stage. After that, she went over what the Grain Farmers of Ontario do, and what crops they grow, then ended her presentation.

After that, the judges came into the Agri Theatre and gave the winners page to the Blenheim 4-H youth leader. The overall winners were Gregory Vermey for soybeans, Sarah Campbell for ear corn, Adam Reid for hay, Cora Vince for the wheat sheaf, Andrew Vermey for wheat, and Craig Scott for shelled corn. The meeting was then adjourned.



Wallaceburg 4-H Canoe & Kayak Club

Fifteen paddling excursions on lakes, rivers, creeks and streams! One three day camping trip! One full day paddling on Lake Erie and Rondeau Bay! More than 50 members! Many friendships forged. Life-skills learned. That sums up the 2017 season for the Wallaceburg Canoe & Kayak Club.

2017 was an amazing season for our Club. Members learned, not only how to paddle the canoes and kayaks, but also how to launch from different situations, from floating docks to beach waves. Canoe and Kayak rescue methods were learned. Paddles included traversing through small rapids, flat water, choppy lakes, and the challenging (but very fun) St. Clair River. Those along the shorelines watching were always out with cameras to photograph the colourful parade we provided on Thursday evenings throughout the summer.

Our camping trip to the Saugeen River at Walkerton was nothing short of amazing! Our theme – Canada 150 was carried out throughout the weekend, including a campsite decorating contest, followed by a Canada Trivia challenge hosted by none other than “Justine Beaver” proved to be lots of fun!

Leaders, Dawne Mudford, Marc Jacques and Dennis Carnegie wish to thank everyone for their support this season. The kids were amazing! Their parents were wonderful, and we very much appreciated all of the assistance that they provided to us – from loading and unloading boats, transporting trailers and shuttling vehicles when required on our weekly paddles. This Club would never be possible without that support.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone in 2018!!!


Merlin Community Club – Meeting #6

Merlin 4-H Crop Pro’s Harvest Meeting
By: Elloitt Vince

On Monday August 21, 2017 at 6:00pm, the Merlin Crop Pro’s had their sixth meeting. We started off the meeting with the 4-H pledge by Shaun Sullivan followed by a garden display by Jordan Pepper. The Members judged Jordan’s garden display and she received a red ribbon. After that, a BBQ supper was provided for all members and parents. Secretary minutes were recited by Owen Jack. We continued with the business portion of the meeting which was harvest techniques. Demonstrations on how to prepare a commodity sample for achievement night/Royal Winter Fair were done by Shaun Sullivan, Ben Rhodes, and Owen Jack. Uniformity, free of disease and maturity are some characteristics to look for when preparing your sample. We discussed upcoming important dates, handed in special project reports and confirmed what crop we are growing for achievement night. Marg Nauta explained a new SeCan project we are going to be doing. The meeting was then adjourned and Kael Brady thanked Mrs. Pepper for hosting and Oliver Brady thanked the parents who supplied the food and refreshments.



Sugarbeet Club – Meeting #4

“Tapping into the Roots of Sugar”
Chatham-Kent 4-H Sugar Beet Meeting #4
By: Lauren Ross

On Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 9:00 am at the St.Paul’s Church on 40 Highway Ryan McKerrall called the meeting to order with the 4-H pledge. Next William read the minutes form the last meeting and did roll call. Roll call was can you give any suggestion of what our club can do as a social event? Some suggestions were going to a water park, a trampoline park or having a Canada 150 event. Next Maureen went over the recipes we were going to make. We made muffins, cookies and the sauce for pulled pork and a lot more stuff all made with SUGAR!! Once we got done making all the food we gathered around and grabbed a plate so we could taste all the delicious food that we made! Once we were done eating we tasted two glasses of Pepsi; we had to figure out which glass of pop had sugar in it and which had high fructose corn syrup. The retro Pepsi is made with sugar and the regular Pepsi is made with high fructose corn syrup. Ryan McKerrall then made a motion to close the meeting at 12:00 pm. The next meeting will be determined.











Sugarbeet Club – Meeting #3

2017 Sugar Beet Meeting 3
April 15, 2017
“Tapping into the Roots of Sugar”
By: Lauren Ross

On Saturday April 15 2017 at 9:00am our President Ian Lawton called the meeting to order with the 4-H pledge. Next Ian opened the floor for our club name nominations. The club decided on the name “Tapping into the Roots of Sugar”. Then Rob explained how sugarbeets are processed into sugar. Maureen read an article from The Voice of the Kent Farmer April 4, 1995 that recalled the 4-H movement in Kent County came to life in 1930, with the introduction of the “Better Sugar Beet Club”. The 1930 sugar beet club in Chatham Kent was for boys to learn how to grow better sugar beets. Then sugar beet meeting was adjourned at 10:35am with a social time among the sugar beet participants.