The local 4-H “Go for the Gold” team heads down to the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto on Friday, where it will square off against the other regional winners in the provincial showdown.
Courtney Calder, Joe Sletmoen, Simone LeBlanc, and Jen Sletmoen won the right to represent Northern Ontario at the regional final held Sept. 25 in Emo.
Since then, the four have been boning up on the different project books 4-H has available to its members to start clubs—about 50 in all.
“I have 12 books and it’s pretty much the same for everyone,” noted Joe Sletmoen. “I’ve got a couple on plowing, a couple on beef, a couple on goats, pigs, sheep, and a couple on chickens.”
Sletmoen said the studying has been going pretty well so far despite the time constraints each team member faces. “My sister has been bogged down with mid-terms at university but she’s been going over her books,” he remarked.
Simone LeBlanc, also a university student, is in a similar boat, he added.
The foursome will leave from Winnipeg airport Friday afternoon. Wilma Sletmoen also is making the trip as their coach, with Darrel Sletmoen and Vicki Calder going along as chaperones.
“They’re all wound up,” Vicki Calder said, noting this will be the first chance for most of them to attend the Royal Winter Fair. “Just going down and being there is important.
“They’ve been studying, though,” she added.
Meanwhile, Joe Sletmoen expected the other teams will be hard to beat, noting “Go for the Gold” is much more popular among the 4-H associations in southern Ontario.
“There isn’t quite the variety of clubs run around here as in southern Ontario just because numbers are lower here,” he explained. “There aren’t enough people to make up each different club.”
Sletmoen also noted several of the other associations have dedicated “Go for the Gold” clubs where all they do is study—leaving the district team definitely the underdogs.
“We’re not expecting to take it,” he admitted. “But the view of the club is we just want to go down there, have some fun, and maybe win a couple of games.”
Vicki Calder said she couldn’t agree more. “Just go and enjoy and meet new people,” she stressed.