The energy is apparent the second you step on to the Stampede grounds.
The sun has barely started to make its climb into the sky and there are kids headed in every direction and yet it’s not chaos. They have purpose, direction and are upbeat with a smile on their face chatting with their friends old and new as they set about their task.
It’s 4-H on Parade, a chance for kids from Calgary area clubs to show off their projects which include everything from livestock to photography to welding to baking.
They’ve put a lot of work into these projects and want to put their best foot forward, while still carrying out their regular duties.
That brings us to Carson Campbell from the Millarville – Stockland 4-H Beef Club. It’s his turn to sweep the stall for his club. One catch, he’s sporting a fancy walking boot after injuring his foot recently.
However, this hasn’t soured his spirits adding there was no way this was going to slow him down.
“Got to keep pushing through it, it’s the lifestyle we live,” said Campbell.
The teenager from the Black Diamond area says the values he learns through 4-H are ones you use later in life, citing public speaking and respect for others and yourself as skills he’s learned through 4-H.
For many at this weekend’s event, they aren’t here just because of one project, but several. On top of their projects, they have responsibilities not only to their clubs at the event, but helping others as well. They really rally to help others in need of a helping hand.
The money raised from this year’s charity steer is going to help a family, who was struck by tragedy last year. In the fall of 2017, Balzac Beef Club alumni Garth Bishop was killed in a tragic car crash, leaving behind his wife Jessie and young sons Lincoln and Tyson.
The community really came together with several people pooling their money to buy one of the steers so that it could be raised and sold for the trust that has been set up for the Bishops.
Stanley Jones, who knew Garth, took on the job of raising the steer, which is now affectionately known as ‘Tank’.
“It really means a lot to me to raise this steer,” said Jones. “Everyday I was feeding this calf, I was really wanted to make sure this steer as heavy as possible, so we could get as much money donated back to the family.”
Jones is hoping a lot of buyers show up and put their hands in the air.
Tank will be sold along with the charity lamb on Sunday at around noon.
That lamb, which goes by the name ‘Champ’, was raised by Landon Hebbes and the Cheadle 4-H Club.
The money from this sale will go to the War Amps, which Hebbes say will go to helping kids who need the War Amps.
He says he is happy to balance all of the projects.
“I have raised a charity lamb before and it was super humbling and I thought, what a great opportunity to do it again this year,” said Hebbes.
Many of those I spoke to said the growth they experience through 4-H was one of the biggest reasons they encourage other to join.
“You can always learn new things,” said Campbell adding that knowledge is power and that is why he enjoys 4-H.
It’s this ability to not only improve and grow themselves, but to help others at the same time, where the energy really shines through and shows off how much of a community 4-H really is.
The approximately 500 kids who took part in 4-H on Parade showed that dedication, perseverance, respect and sense of community.