Ten West Virginia 4-H members and three adult chaperones flew to Alberta, Canada to Edmonton on Tuesday, July 7, 2009 for a ten day exchange with Canadian 4-H’ers who live in St. Paul. Last summer the Canadians came to West Virginia.
Activities include lake swimming, boating, visiting a Ukrainian Village, shopping at the second largest Mall in the World in Edmonton, hiking, horseback riding, snorkeling. They plan to camp for 3 days in the Rocky Mountains and take in the Jasper Tramway, Miette Hot Springs, Columbia Ice Fields, Athabasca Falls, Lake Louise and Lake Banff.
4-H members include Charlie Brown from Preston County, Meredith Orndorff from Monongalia County, Alec James from Hancock County, Amanda Wimer from Lewis County, Shane Yeater and Mandy Yeater from Doddridge County, Sophia Lind from Jefferson County, Emily Vandevender from Greenbrier County, Jennings Sisler from Hardy County, Kati Hildreth from Roane County and chaperones, Connie Williams from Monongalia County and Barry and Marci Yeater from Doddridge County.
My hope is that they have a great experience and build even stronger ties with our Canadian neighbors. Last year the Canadians were fascinated by our fireflies but in WV we call these creatures “lightning bugs.” Sometimes appreciating the simple differences in our environment is a way to build lasting friendships. The Canadians also spent a week at Alpha II State 4-H Camp last year.
This trip was originally planned for Russia but because of the economic climate and an accident with a Russian student in Wales the Russian group that I had always worked with was forced to suspend any future exchanges. In the meantime, Gayle Plante, a Canadian 4-H leader found me on the Internet and we began to talk about an exchange. I feel very lucky that we found another opportunity so that the WV 4-H’ers still were able to experience an exchange. I had hoped to go but with Alpha I beginning on Saturday, I had to bow down to three super 4-H leaders who agreed to chaperone this trip. So thank you Connie, Barry and Marci for taking time out of your schedules to supervise this trip. My last trip to Canada was over thirty years ago and I am sad to miss this one but very excited that at least one Orndorff (my youngest daughter) was able to go. Have fun kids!
Thank you Canada!