help 4-H program expand, run smoothly
Idaho County Free Press
In 1997 the Idaho County 4-H Ambassador Program was initiated to retain older youth in the 4-H program and now in its 19th year the Ambassador program activities continue to grow.
Each year, 10 members who have been in 4-H for at least four years and are a sophomore, junior, or senior in high school are selected to be in the program.
“This is a great opportunity for older 4-H members to be involved in not only community service projects, but also the planning or a variety of fair and 4-H events,” explained Idaho County 4-H Program Director Susie Heckman.
The ambassador year begins in November of each year with the State Ambassador Training in McCall. This three-day session emphasizes public speaking and leadership skills. Monthly meetings also begin in November where they work on developing a public presentation.
The Ambassadors also help plan and carry out all of our county 4-H activities through the year.
“This is a very visible group with the very important job of representing our 4-H program,” Heckman added.
This year the Ambassadors have helped at a variety of events including leadership training, 4-H day camp, Warbird Weekend, the region’s career fair and the Idaho County 4-H Horse Show.
The ambassador program is not a 4-H Club. Each of the Ambassadors must maintain membership in his/her 4-H club where they attend meetings.
For details on how to become a 4-H Ambassador or to inquire about Ambassador help at a specific event, contact Heckman at 983-2667.
This year’s members include Mitchell Nuxoll, Savannah Thanstrom, Harmony Edmondson, Bailie Gehring, Lauren Alfrey, Dylan Canaday and Kortney Sims.
Mitchell Nuxoll is a junior at Clearwater Valley High School (CVHS) in Kooskia. He is the son of Bruce and Marci Nuxoll and is a member of Valley Livestock and More 4-H Club.
“I had a blast being an Ambassador last year,” he said. “I really enjoyed being able to represent 4-H as well as my community,” he said.
Nuxoll said he enjoys helping others and offering a leadership role within the Ambassadors program.
He is involved in BPA, FFA, pep band, football and tennis and is also a member of the National Honor Society and is a junior ambassador in the HOBY Leadership Conference.
Savannah Thanstrom, 18, is a homeschooled senior. She is the daughter of Rick and Michelle Thanstrom of Grangeville and is a member of Crazy Critters 4-H Club.
“I wanted to become an Ambassador to be a role model for other kids and I also love the program,” she said. “I enjoy helping people and this provides me with many opportunities to do so.”
Thanstrom said she brings her organizational skills to the program. She keeps busy babysitting, teaching piano lessons, as church secretary and as a member of the Idaho County Orchestra.
Harmony Edmondson, of Harpster, is a sophomore at CVHS in Kooskia. She is the daughter of Seth Edmondson of Harpster and Alexis Rickman of Boise. She is a member of the Hold Your Horses 4-H Club.
“I applied to be an Ambassador because I wanted to get more involved in my community and the surrounding communities,” she explained. “I think the program will teach me valuable skills in public speaking and leadership.”
Edmondson said she can offer positive motivation as well as new ideas and valuable insight to the Ambassador program. She is involved in volleyball, track, knowledge bowl, the school play, BPA and church youth group.
Bailie Gehring is a junior at Prairie High School (PHS) in Cottonwood. She is the daughter of Brian and Becci Gehring and is a member of the Keuterville Livestock 4-H Club.
“I am excited to help with community events,” said Gehring of why she wanted to become an Ambassador. At school, she is involved in track and field, and Gear Up.
Lauren Alfrey of Ferdinand is the daughter of Pat and Lonnie Alfrey. She is a senior at PHS and is a member of the Cottonwood Saddliers 4-H Club.
“I love being a part of the Ambassador program,” she said. “I also love the kids asking questions and enjoy the company of the people who are in the group with me.” Alfrey said she brings her leadership skills as well as her humor to the group.
She is involved in HOSA, Prairie League, taking football and basketball stats, playing softball, ski patrol and working at two different restaurants.
Dylan Canaday is a senior at Grangeville High School (GHS) and is the son of Gary and Lisa Canaday of Grangeville. He is a member of Lively Livestock 4-H Club.
“I wanted to be involved in Ambassadors to become a better leader in my county 4-H program,” he said.
Canaday serves as GHS band president, is in Varsity Blue select choir, plays basketball and is in jazz band. He sings in his Saturday night church choir and coached middle school girls basketball at Sts. Peter and Paul School.
Kortney Sims is a junior at GHS. She is the daughter of Cheryl Sims of Elk City and Ken Sims of Coeur d’Alene. She is a member of Rough Riders 4-H Club and has been involved in Know Your Government.
“I have always looked up to the Ambassadors and wanted a way to be more involved in the Idaho County Fair,” Sims said. “I think I offer new ideas while bringing a positive attitude to the program.”
Sims is in FCCLA, band, plays volleyball, takes basketball stats, student council. Youth Legislature, jazz band and has volunteered with the Elk City Ladies Auxiliary.
The 2016 Idaho County 4-H Ambassadors are (top, L-R) Kortney Sims, Dylan Canaday and Savannah Thanstrom. (middle, L-R) Mitch Nuxoll and Bailey Gehring and (front, L-R) Harmony Edmondson and Lauren Alfrey. Photo by Lorie Palmer.