© Connor Doucette
4H member Chantzlyn Logan shows off one of the two horses as part of the final show of Achievement Day on Friday at Maltby Stables.
PICTOU - Betty Lou Scott, a 4-H leader for 36 years, hopes 100 years of fond memories will bring former members to a reunion and competition this weekend on the exhibition grounds in Pictou.
In addition to the regular livestock shows and skills competitions, Pictou County 4-H is hosting a birthday party.
“It’s not every day there is a 100-year anniversary to celebrate,” Scott says.
The two-day event is scheduled for Sept. 7 and 8. The regular livestock shows will take place on Saturday, while the skills competitions will be on Sunday. The competitions serve as a qualifier for the provincial show in Bridgewater during the last weekend of September.
Alumni events are also on Sunday, with livestock shows and an “old-timers” tug of war for those 30 years and older.
Members of the public aren’t exempt from the friendly competition. Bakers can enter their decorated cakes in a contest by 10 a.m. Sunday. The tasty desserts will be put on display and votes will be counted by donations received.
Normally, the Pictou County 4-H competition is paired with the exhibition. With the Pictou-North Colchester Exhibition cancelled this year, Scott is concerned the community and former 4-H members may not be aware of the show.
Although there’s been expensive social media promotion, Scott thinks it won’t reach most of the senior alumni.
“It’s a bit of an uphill battle.”
For those over 90 years of age, Scott says they’ve mailed personal written invitations.
For an event that has only been in the works for the past two months, things are coming together nicely.
Scott says there has been a lot of interest from alumni, including members that were part of the original poultry club in Salt Springs.
Scott says it’s rewarding for those involved.
“Because of fellowship and friends, they value their years in 4-H.”
Scott says 4-H can take kids on amazing trips. She recalls one exchange between 10 children from Salmon Arm, B.C. and 10 from Pictou County, where they switched provinces for a week.
She says alumni also appreciate the life skills they learn, including public speaking, even if they don’t enjoy it at the time.
“They hate it, but it’s the best thing that’s happened to them.”
She cites judging as an example of how they improve their public speaking skills. Not only must they judge their peers, they have to explain how they came to that decision.
It’s these lasting benefits that Scott hopes will attract former members to the reunion.
“It’s the best years of their life.”
Everyone is welcome to attend. Admission is free, but donations are recommended.
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