By Jennifer Hoegg
Brittany Brydon will try her hand at just about anything.
“I played hockey this year,” she laughs, “even though I can’t skate.”
The 18-year-old hit the ice for Central Kings last season, to add to the long list of sports and extracurricular activities filling in the gaps in her schedule. There isn’t much room on her agenda, after her provincial 4-H duties, but she also helps on her family’s Black Rock sheep farm and spends time volunteering in her home community.
“It’s a good one to grow up in,” Brydon said.
This weekend, the Jubilee Scholarship winner will be at the front of the room in Truro serving as hostess for the annual 4-H provincial show. She was chosen for the yearlong role in the spring, after also serving as local and county hostess, through a selection process including interviews and public speaking.
Brydon said she was surprised to secure the leadership position at her age.
“4-H age goes up to 21, so there is an opportunity for older members.”
‘Learn to do while doing’ is the program’s motto, and it is clear Brydon has learned to be a capable leader through her time in 4-H.
“She has certainly had an influential role,” Western Kings 4-H general leader Mary Magee said of Brydon. ”She is enthusiastic and an excellent role model for the younger members and her peers.”
Beginning with animal projects, like goat and sheep, she and her four sisters have been involved since they were nine years old. Most of the projects Brydon did were fun, but the years with the Western Kings group brought more than hands-on skills.
“As you get older you realize the other aspects,” she said, including public speaking and growth opportunities like her recent trip to Ottawa for the National 4-H Citizenship Seminar.
The personal development offered by the program is why Brydon has praised the province’s decision to give a high school credit for 4-H.
“It means all the hard work though out the year will be recognized.”
She credits her parents, Robert and Crystal Brydon, for encouraging her to get involved and for driving her to activities over the years.
“I can certainly fund the gas company quite well,” Crystal said, of her carpool hours.
“Time management is huge. It’s the biggest thing we try to offer (as parents). With five busy girls and a farm and work you have to be somewhat organized in order for us to get out the door at all.”
Crystal said the 4-H program has been particularly good for her daughters’ development, from sheep to tug-of-war to public speaking,
“The confidence they have learned from the program, because they are in charge of it, is huge,” she said. “They really are reaping the benefits.”
Along with the provincial host, Brydon will serve on the provincial council until May 2013. She said she feels it’s important to represent youth voices at that level.
“She will help make a number of decisions on what happens with 4-H provincially,” Magee pointed out, including planning for the organization’s centenary.
“Brittany’s main goal seems to be to enhance the 4-H experience for everyone else. When she does well it’s a perk… she wants other people to experience 4-H.”
It’s a pleasure working with her, Magee added.
“Young people like Brittany are the reason why I keep involved in 4-H myself.”
Brydon will be carrying on with leadership studies this year at University of New Brunswick’s Renaissance College.
“It will be a great program to explore in,” she said of the interdisciplinary leadership degree
Did you know?
4-H is for youth ages nine to 21.
Program offers more than 40 projects, from rabbits to computers.
There are 2,400 members and 100 clubs in Nova Scotia.
For information on 4-H in the Annapolis Valley, call 679-6027
The 4-H pledge
My Head to clearer thinking
My Heart to greater loyalty
My Hands to larger service
My Health to better living
For my club, my community and my country.