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Dave Mathieson
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4-H members gather in Oxford for annual rally

Oxford -

If you're ever stranded in the woods and need to build a fire, having a 4H club member by your side would prove beneficial.

That fact was proved at the 4H woodsmen qualifier held last Saturday outside Oxford High School.
About 30 competitors sawed wood, built fires and ran an obstacle course in an attempt to qualify for the provincials.
"The team from Ro-Win-Lea won the competition," said Jan Matthews, who's 16 year old daughter Emily competed in the competition. "So her team will go on to compete at the provincials in Truro in early May."
Emily, who is from Amherst, came in first place among boys and girls in two of the sawing competitions.
She came in first in the individual competition and also in the pairs where she sawed with Sasha Baldwin of River Philip. She had the second fastest time in the Crosscut competition where she competed with partner Rebecca Smith of Springhill.
Ro-Win-Lea stands for Rodney, Windham and Leamington but the club also draws competitors from Amherst.
They competed against three other 4H clubs - Sunrise, Three Way and Bay Vista Conns Mills.
Matthews works at the library at ARHS and coaches the Spartan Swimmers and she said that the 4H offers life lessons other organizations might overlook.
"People say that you can always tell the kid with the 4H background," said Matthews. "And with my job I see kids in different capacities and there is some truth to that."
4H club members learn public speaking and how to make judgments and evaluations on what they say or on what is being said.
"You have kids coming into 4H who are painfully shy and after about a year you wouldn't believe it's the same person," she said.
In the last year Emily has engaged in public speaking, she's done photography, woodworking and projects with horses.
"She's learning a lot of skills," Matthews said. "It develops confidence, knowledge and leadership.
"She's learned some valuable life lessons with 4H."

Organizations: Oxford High School

Geographic location: Oxford, Amherst, Truro Leamington Bay Vista Conns Mills

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