Former city slicker learns to love life in the 4-H Club

Dave Mathieson
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Emma Bishop shaves wood from a piece of kindling with a blade and Ben Bacon blows on the flame during the ‘water boil’ competition Sunday afternoon in the parking lot of the Immanuel United Church on Hickman in Amherst 

AMHERST – 4-H kids aren’t your typical kids.

“When your daughter asks you to buy her a two-headed axe, it’s not something I thought I’d ever hear my daughter ask for,” said Sharon Snook, mother to 17-year-old Tamara Snook.

Two-headed axes are just one of many tools 4-H’ers learn to become acquainted with, and 10 new members gathered Sunday afternoon in the parking lot of the Immanuel United Church on Hickman Street for a woodsman’s demonstration.

The Snook’s are a former military family that moved to Oxford four years ago from London. Ont.

“She has coveralls and work boots, and we now have sheep,” said Sharon.

She also has a show-cane that is used to keep an animal calm while showing it at competitions, and she also has a $500 blow dryer.

“You have a spa day for the sheep,” said Tamara. “The sheep gets washed, blow dried, clipped, and gets her nails done.

Tamara has two sheep and says she loves them.

“We’re getting more this spring and then we’re going to breed them this August.”

Tamara said she ‘hated’ living in the city, and loves the country life.

“So much so that she is wearing her prom dress with her cowboy boots,” said her mom with a laugh.

Upon graduation this spring Snook will enter the pre-veterinarian class at the Dalhousie Agricultural College in Truro.

“4-H helped me decide I want to be a vet later on. I don’t want to do anything else.”

Tamara says her fellow 4-Her’s are her second family and gives her friend, 12-year-old Emma Bishop, a big hug.

Bishop is also from away. She moved to Amherst six years ago from Riverview, N.B., and gives credit to 4-H for helping her make new friends.

“I didn’t know anybody when we moved here to but now I know a lot of people.”

“It’s nice to see a 12-year old and a 17-year old hanging out with each other,” added Bishop’s mom, Lynn.

Both girls say 4-H helps them enjoy the outdoors.

“There’s so much you can do outside,” said Tamara. “Kids waste there lives on computers and video games. There’s no reason to do that.”

Both girls are willing to give up their computers but they’re not quite ready to abandon their phones.

“Phones are different,” says Snook with a laugh.










Organizations: Dalhousie Agricultural College, 4-H Club, Immanuel United Church

Geographic location: AMHERST, Hickman Street, Oxford London Truro

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