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4-H looking for exchange students


Two more teens are needed to fill out the roster of local 4-H’ers bound for Olds, Alta. this summer on an exchange program funded through the federal government.

Kim Jo Calder, a club leader with the Rainy River District 4-H Association, said anyone aged 14-18 who was interested had to sign up by the end of this week, plus hand in their $174 registration fee.

“We’re hoping to get our paperwork out by the end of this week,” Calder said. “It has to be sent in by the end of March.”

Already confirmed to go on the exchange are David Gemmell, Jeff LaFleur, Courtney Calder, Joe Sletmoen, Celine LeBlanc, Linda Zimmerman, Stacey Angus, and Tina Hyatt.

And Calder was confident another two teens will fill in the remaining slots quickly.

“The biggest problem is having to take 10 days off of a summer job,” she noted. “And then when your exchange student is here, you hate to be working your 10 days here.”

A similar exchange happened in 1995, also with Alberta students, although Calder stressed that was through a different program.

“Their travel is paid to get to Alberta and back again but anything we to do with them we have to raise money for,” Calder said, such as visiting the Calgary Stampede while there.

“They’re hoping to have a couple of events at Spring Fever Days in Emo [next month] to raise the money,” she added.

Calder said tentative plans are to send the local 4-H’ers to Alberta at the beginning of July. Then they’ll come home for about a week before playing host to the teens from Alberta for another 10 days.

“The kids are supposed to be e-mailing each other to find out about their exchange partner,” Calder said. “One of the exchange students from Alberta is a deaf person so she’s coming with an interpreter.”

Meanwhile, the local host families are still tying to figure out what to do with their Alberta guests for 10 days.

Calder said some of the places they intend to take them include the interpretative centre at the Manitou Mounds, the sturgeon hatchery, and the mill.

The local families also want to schedule private time with their exchange students, not to mention a casual day or two.

“The last time we had Alberta [students] over, the highlight was the day of the lake,” Calder said.

“The group we had in one time from Nova Scotia, all they wanted to do [was] hear a loon,” she added. “They want to see different country.”

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