Tag Archive: Camp

Technology at Camp = Problem Solvers

HughesNet and Florida 4-H have teamed up to help youth learn how to use science and technology to solve problems!

Most people think of camp as a break from the fast-paced technological world, but that’s not always the case.  With a $ 10,000 grant from HughesNet, Florida 4-H is introducing technology in a meaningful way across our state this summer!  As a result of the sponsorship, 340 youth will learn about the engineering design process, and how to use technology and engineering to solve real world issues such as energy, water and conservation.

 “We are grateful for the partnership with a technology leader like HughesNet to get more kids interested in how STEM affects our lives and offers great career paths,” said Michael Gutter, UF/IFAS associate dean for Extension and state program leader for 4-H youth development, families and communities. “Camp is a fun way to learn about STEM and a great way for youth to spend part of their summer.”

During one camp, youth learned how civil engineers design safe bridges to transport people, food and medical supplies. STEM in action!

STEM at Camp is part of a national effort by HughesNet and National 4-H Council to spark youth interest in STEM topics.  Florida was one of four states selected to receive a Summer Camp STEM grant. The other states include Illinois, Maine and Virginia. This is the third consecutive year that HughesNet has supported STEM at Camp programs and the first year that Florida has been a recipient of this funding.

Next week, Florida Panhandle youth have two camps to choose from: Bots by the Bay at 4-H Camp Timpoochee and Wildlife Camp in Monticello, Florida.  During Bots by the Bay camp, youth will learn how to program 3-dimensional printers to print, build and test robots and cars.  During Wildlife Camp, youth will learn how technology is used to protect natural resources and grow our agricultural industry.  Our goal is to spark an interest in using technology to solve real world problems that affect our food safety and supply, as well as our overall quality of life.

National 4-H Council and HughesNet are dedicated to sparking youth interest in STEM topics through hands-on, community-based STEM learning. In addition to STEM at Camp, HughesNet works with National 4-H Council to support STEM programs such as the 4-H Youth In Action STEM Pillar award, National Engineering Week and National Youth Science Day – the world’s largest youth-led STEM challenge.  This year’s experiment, Incredible Wearables, helps youth explore the world of wearable technology as the design, built and test a fitness monitor.  If you have a passion for technology, or simply like to help kids learn, consider becoming a 4-H volunteer.  For more information about 4-H, visit our website or contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office.

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Author: Heather Kent – hckent@ufl.edu

Heather Kent is the Regional Specialized 4-H Agent in the Northwest Extension District.

Heather Kent

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/07/technology-at-camp-problem-solvers/

Staying Healthy At Summer Camp

Staying Healthy At Summer Camp – 7 Keys to a Healthy Camp Counselor Experience

It’s getting hot outside and that means summer camps are heating up! Being a camp counselor is a fun summer job and it’s a great way to learn leadership skills. As a camp counselor, it is your job to take care of the children that are under your supervision, but your own health and well-being is as important as the campers.  If you’re not healthy, you won’t be able to properly care for the campers.

Here are 7 keys to staying healthy throughout your summer at camp:

  1. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER : When working outside in the summertime, it is essential for you and your campers to stay hydrated and avoid developing heat-related illnesses. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/data-statistics/plain-water-the-healthier-choice.html recommends between 6 to 8 glasses of water daily for good hydration. However, the amount of water that your body needs should be based on your individual need. Some of the symptoms of dehydration are: Mouth Dryness, Fatigue, Headache, Lightheadedness, Dizziness and Thirst. If you or a child in camp shows signs of any or all of these symptoms, immediately seek medical attention
  2. GET SOME SLEEP: Everyone feels a lot better after a good night’s sleep. One of the most critical threats to wellness for camp staff members is sleep deprivation. It’s easy to burn the candle at both ends when you’re working at a summer camp.  Try to stick to your normal bedtime whenever possible. Routine is important for a good night’s sleep!
  3. EAT HEALTHY: During the hectic pace of summer camp, it is easy to forget to eat properly. What you eat can determine how well your body is fueled and how efficiently it functions. The MyPlate https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate guidelines call for making half your plate fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced meal.  Eating a balanced diet is important for good health and increased energy, especially when working with campers.
  4. HANDWASHING & FOOD SAFETY: Bacteria and germs are hiding anywhere: in your kitchen, on your plate and even on your hands! It is important to wash your hands and hard surfaces often. Make sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before and after handling food. Foodborne bacteria can’t be seen, smelled or tasted, but they can make you sick! Therefore it is important to practice good food safety and food preparation practices. When in Doubt, Throw it out!
  5. SUN SAFETY:  While enjoying the sun and outdoors, protect yourself from overexposure to sunlight by wearing a hat and using sunscreens. Severe sun burns (also known as sun poisoning) can also lead to extreme dehydration for you and your campers. Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen (UVA/UVB), and re-applying every 2 hours or after swimming will help prevent a sunburn. As a camp counselor, you should remind kids to play in shaded areas to reduce their exposure to UV rays, especially between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM, when the sun’s UV rays are at their peak.
  6. BUGS AND TICK BITE PREVENTION:  Bugs and summer go together.  To avoid getting bug bites, you should apply insect repellant that contains DEET to exposed skin, and wear long sleeves, pants, and other light-colored clothing. Campers should also try to avoid areas where ticks can be found, such as high grass and wooded areas. Campers should check for ticks every day, and remove them right away. Tick bites can lead to Lyme disease, which is particularly dangerous in the summer.
  7. STRESS MANAGEMENT: Stress can occur when we feel overloaded or under pressure in a demanding situation. Stress is a common problem among camp counselors. Managing your stress level is just as important as maintaining your physical health. Even though stress can be uncomfortable, it’s not always a bad thing, some stress can be a good thing and can help us better handle difficult situations.

 

As a camp counselor it is vital that you learn to relax, eat right, stay hydrated, and make sleep a priority, wash your hands, protect yourself from the sun, and take care of yourself!

Extension is a great resource for tips to stay healthy during the summer. You can find fact sheets and more information in our Electronic Data Information Source (EDIS) publications: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/

 

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Author: Laurie Osgood – osgoodlb@ufl.edu

Laurie B. Osgood is the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent at the Gadsden County Extension office. You can contact her at: (850) 662-3287
http://gadsden.ifas.ufl.edu/

Laurie Osgood

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/03/staying-healthy-at-summer-camp/

Life Lessons Learned at Camp

4-H Camping Season is open! Photo credit: Heather Kent, UF IFAS

4-H camping season is open! Photo credit: Heather Kent, UF IFAS

Its official- summer camp season has started, which inspired me to ponder my own childhood camp experiences and how different they were from what 4-H offers.  My first youth camping experience was not fun, but it also was not through a positive youth development program (gasp!).  That’s right- although I have been a 4-H professional for more than 17 years, I did not grow up in the 4-H program.  In fact, I had never even heard of 4-H until I attended graduate school at a USDA land-grant University.

One of the explanations for my “4-H vacuum” can be attributed to the fact that I was born into a military family.  Much of my childhood was spent overseas and at that time, 4-H was not widely offered on military bases the way it is now.  Today University of Florida 4-H faculty serve as liaisons to 4-H clubs on military bases in England, Germany, Italy and Cuba.  UF even offers a week of camp specifically for military youth called Camp Corral.  Because of my limited 4-H experience, it was not until I had a couple of summers “under my belt” as a 4-H faculty member that I really understood the value of our camping program and why it is one of the most significant ways we impact youth.

I could spout out all of the data that supports how youth benefit from camp, but I am going to lead with the “why.”  It really hit home for me my second year as a 4-H agent when I found one of my 4-Hers sobbing on the last day of camp.  I asked her what was wrong and she shared:

“I am crying because I don’t want to leave.  This is my second year at camp and I look forward to it all year because it is the only place I feel like I belong.  Camp is the only place I can be myself.  At school I am bullied and made fun of, but here I am accepted for who I am and I am included in everything.  This is where I feel ‘normal’ and where I feel like I matter.  I wish it could be like this all year long.”

Photo credit: Heather Kent, University of Florida IFAS

Photo credit: Heather Kent, University of Florida IFAS

From that point forward, I never dreaded all the work that went into making camp happen.   I realized the true impact of what we do, and I have heard countless youth express similar sentiments over the years.  It gives youth a break from the cliques or labels at school.  They can explore new interests and cultivate an appreciation of the outdoors.  They learn how to be responsible for their belongings; how to get along with others in cramped cabin spaces; they observe adults and teens working together and respecting people who might look or act differently from themselves.

When I wear my 4-H shirt , I am almost always stopped by strangers telling me that they were in 4-H and that 4-H camp is where they met their best friend, spouse, where they learned to swim, or how they learned to lead.  4-H camp matters.  4-H camp is different and 4-H camp works because faculty, staff and volunteers are intentional about incorporating the essential elements of positive youth development into every aspect of camp.  We painstakingly plan to create an inclusive environment where it is safe to try new things like tying a clinch knot to rig your fishing pole, performing a skit on stage or kayaking with dolphins.  We purposefully plan to build a sense of community at camp.  In a very measured way we develop leaders and youth adult partnerships.  4-H camp is in and of itself a teen-adult youth partnership.  4-H teens are trained as counselors and have quite a bit of input on how the camp week is structured.  In addition, these teens demonstrate their 4-H skills by teaching classes at camp, leading activities, and mentoring younger youth.  These elements are not present at most other camps- even the really expensive or exclusive ones.  However, 4-H camps are reasonably priced and open to all youth between the ages of 8 and 18 (as of Sept. 1st).

Camp is a safe place to try new things like archery. Photo credit: UF IFAS Florida 4-H.

Camp is a safe place to try new things like archery. Photo credit: UF IFAS.

I have had the privilege of witnessing first-hand how camp can ignite a spark in a young person to set them up for success later in life.  I saw my first-time campers grow to become counselors in training.  After a couple more years I watched them blossom into leaders- not just at camp, but in our community back home and at their schools.  I watched them mentor other youth and influence their peers in positive ways.  I had the honor of watching them win scholarships and internships based on their service and leadership through 4-H.  I saw them return to camp as 4-H alumni, summer staff and volunteers.  Now, many of them are successful business owners, teachers, engineers and civic leaders.  Soon, my “campers” will have children of their own old enough to attend 4-H camp.  As I reflect, I can’t help but hear the faint tune of “Circle of Life” playing in my head. . .

But seriously, I wish that I had had the opportunity to experience 4-H camp as a young person. My first (non-4-H) camping experience had none of these elements of positive youth development.  I remember being incredibly grateful when the experience was over and thankful to have survived it (it involved an earthquake while traveling by train through the mountains of Italy to reach our campsite- a compelling story for a different type of blog-post).  The 4-H camp formula is not only fun (and safe) for kids, it has a well-documented history of teaching them lifelong lessons to help them be productive citizens and members of the workforce.  As a Gen X mom myself, I have to ask “What parent wouldn’t want that for their child?”  To find out more about the Florida 4-H Camping Program, contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office, or visit http://florida4h.org.

2016 Florida 4-H Camp Schedule– it’s not too late to sign up, but camp slots are going quickly!

 

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Author: Heather Kent – hckent@ufl.edu

Heather Kent is the Regional Specialized 4-H Agent in the Northwest Extension District.

Heather Kent

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/06/17/life-lessons-learned-at-camp/

The Impact of Teen Volunteers As Camp Counselors

DSC01860Most of us are familiar with the need for our teens to become more independent, better communicators, and to develop good decision making skills.  A quick scan of the news headlines can really make one wonder about the future of our community, country, and world.  This post will help relieve your anxieties!  One of the ways that the Florida 4-H Program is successfully addressing this need is through our summer camp counselor program.  4-H Camp Counselors have the opportunity to learn valuable leadership skills while at the same time have a positive effect on the lives of many children. Counselors wear many hats during camp, sometimes serving in the role of a parent, role model, confidant, counselor, nurse, and mediator all in one day. The task of sharing the impact teen volunteers make as counselors was not very difficult since this is a role I have personally seen materialize while working as an 4-H extension educator. There is nothing more rewarding then to watch a child grow up starting out as a home sick camper, then developing into a confidence camper, and later becoming a responsible and dependable teen camp counselor.

A recent study in Wisconsin measuring the impact of being a camp counselor resulted in the following: Teens were asked “What is unique about being a counselor?” and “What skills have you develop as a result of serving as a counselor”? The top eight skills identified included (in order of ranking) leadership, people skills, communication, patience, responsibility, teamwork, problem solving, and planning. They also reported that this experience will help them prepare for their careers because of the skills they have learned (Forsythe, Matysik, and Nelson).

An individual study done on teens that have served as camp counselors in Leon County from 2005 – 2013 showed the top skills the teens gained by serving as a camp counselor were leadership, patience, how to work with kids, and cooperation. Several teens stated that their experience has helped them to decide on what to study in college as well as what career path they would like to pursue.  To bring it home and narrow the focus even more our Sr. Counselor application includes the following question: “How have you personally benefited from being a counselor?” All seven responses from our senior counselors can be summarized by the following statements:

“I’m more responsible and have made life long friendships”

“I have learned leadership skills and how to handle stressful situations”

“I’ve learned how to make campers have fun”

“It’s taught me how to communicate better and made me more outgoing”

“I was hired at my current job because I told my employee I was a camp counselor”

Research has clearly shown that the camp counselor experience provides an excellent opportunity for teens to gain leadership skills that are proven to build much needed life skills that will help them later in life.  To find out more about 4-H teen leadership programs, contact your local UF IFAS Extension Office.  If you have skills or experiences to share with teens to help prepare them for a future career, consider becoming a 4-H Volunteer.  We offer a variety of volunteer roles based on your interests and schedule.

We hope you have enjoyed this month’s series on 4-H Summer Camp.  Next week, a new series on summer safety will begin as Yolanda Goode shares firework safety tips!   Your opinion matters to us- please take this short survey to provide feedback to help us improve this blog https://ufl.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3gtLKjqia3F75QN.

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Author: Marcus Boston Jr. – marcusb@ufl.edu

Marcus serves as a 4-H Extension Agent for Leon County and places empahasis in programs in the areas of science, leadership development, and civic engagement..

Marcus Boston Jr.

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/06/26/the-impact-of-teen-volunteers-as-camp-counselors/

Preparing for Summer Camp

Photo credit UF IFAS Washington County

Photo credit UF IFAS Washington County

School is out and the summer is quickly approaching. As a kid, this was my favorite time of the year because in a few weeks I would be off to summer camp. I was always excited about summer camp because it was a time to make new friends while participating in my favorite outdoor activities. Going to sleep away camp gave me a sense of independence and allowed me to learn and make decisions on my own. What classes did I want to take? What activities did I want to participate in? This was something I had to decide on my own without my parents input.

4-H summer camp is the perfect opportunity to learn, make friends, disconnect from electronics, and enjoy the outdoors! Camp Cherry Lake and Camp Timpoochee give youth the opportunity to learn while having fun in a safe environment.

Preparing for camp can be physical and mental, not only on the camper, but on the parent as well. It is completely normal to be nervous before a week of sleep away camp. One of the biggest issues campers deal with is homesickness.  There will be many trained adults and teen counselors who will be around the entire week of camp that will make sure that the campers are learning and having a great time, but here are some proactive things you can do with your child in preparation for camp:

  • Have a sleepover at a relative’s house for the weekend.
  • When physically packing, make sure your camper is involved. This can help prevent homesickness as well as making them aware of what they have with them.  When packing for camp, make a list so that nothing is forgotten.
  • Try avoid making deals with your child (If you are homesick, I will come pick you up early).
  • The American Camping Association has some great online reources for preventing homesickness.

For more information about 4-H summer camp opportunities for youth and teen and adult volunteers, contact your local UF IFAS Extension Office.

Your opinion matters!  Please provide feedback on this short survey to help us improve our blog:https://ufl.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3gtLKjqia3F75QN.

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Author: hdbignell – hdbignell@ufl.edu

hdbignell

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/06/12/preparing-for-summer-camp/

Summer Camp is Almost Here: Preparation Tips for Campers (and Parents!)

4-Hers still enjoy swimming and kayaking in the Choctawhatchee Bay.  Photo provided by Jackson County 4-H.

4-Hers still enjoy swimming and kayaking in the Choctawhatchee Bay. Photo provided by Jackson County 4-H.

Summer is here, and for most 4-H families, that means camp is on the horizon. If this will be your child’s first summer camp experience, you and your child both may have some camp anxieties.  But never fear!  Here are some simple steps you can take to prepare your camper (and yourself) for camp:

Preparing Campers:
• Plan several sleep overs before the week of camp arrives. Resist the urge to pack their bags for them or to check on them while there. If they have a cell phone, have them leave it at home. This is a good way to practice not having direct or constant contact.
• Encourage them to write a letter to someone (maybe you) while at camp. You will be so excited when you receive a letter from camp! Be sure to include envelopes, addresses, stamps, paper, and a pen in their luggage.
Gear up physically. If you have purchased new tennis shoes, break them in with a few long walks, so the blisters don’t have to happen at camp.
• Especially for teenagers, have them take a mini-vacation from their electronic devices. A couple of hours or a weekend.
• Have them write a statement for their social media pages. “Peace out Facebook, I will be at camp for the next week. Check in with you when I get back.” Or something similar.
• Have them write down their goals for camp. So they can mentally prepare themselves for what they hope to do and see.
• Make a homesick plan:
1. Homesickness isn’t entirely bad. It’s great to love your home. It’s sometimes part of the process, and it’s a confidence booster when a camper gets through it.
2. Make a happy place plan and write it down. This is an amazing opportunity to learn a life skill. Today’s youth go to technology to escape, and studies show this increases their stress. Some ideas might be: taking 10 deep breaths, traveling to a happy place in your mind, packing a certain stuffed animal, or tossing a football. They are capable of this independence.
 3. Your plan should NOT be, “Give it a couple of days and if you don’t like it, we will come get you.” This will set them up to give it a couple of days and knock the confidence right out of them.
4. Let your camper know what to expect with correspondence. You don’t need to write every day, but let them know what to expect.

Parents:
You are giving your child an incredible gift. I cannot promise you that they will not lose some socks, that they will love every meal or activity, or that they will adore every counselor. But you are preparing them for college and beyond; you are giving them the freedom to gain confidence, independence, and leadership skills; and you are instilling in them that they can do it.
What do YOU want to do during their time at camp? Plan a vacation for a later time, time to organize, time to have one-on-one time with your other children, or some “date nights” with your spouse or friends.
If you have apprehensions, work to resolve them. If you are worried that your camper is not going to know anyone, set up a pre-camp get-together. If you are worried about your camper’s medical needs, become friendly with the camp staff. If you are anxious about their food allergies, talk to the camp’s director. Make a camper-sick plan for yourself. Make sure there is only excitement and optimism coming from you, and share your anxiety with another adult.
Pack self-addressed envelopes in their luggage.
• Whether they are flying or driving, refrain from crying your eyes out until they cannot see you. Take a deep breath, trust, and remind yourself that you are giving them an awesome gift.

And, what is this gift everyone is talking about? At camp, they will be part of a community all their own. They will become emotionally attached to handmade rope bracelets on their wrist, and have a song for any occasion on cue, and maybe even forget they need to shower, and think sunscreen is just a normal daily moisturizing technique. They will learn to do things on their own, and they’ll learn to rely on others. They will learn how to survive on their own for a week or two, and they’ll learn how to help each other through it.

They may even grow up on summers away from TV, and forget Facebook exists. They will relish in the joy of sleeping in cabins, swatting mosquitoes at campfire, and swimming every day. They will savor the feeling of pushing water behind them with a paddle and the whoosh of air behind the tail of an arrow as they fire. They’ll forget about appearances, relish tan lines, and recognize the beauty of a smile over anything else.

So send your kids to camp. Send them so they’ll learn to set tables and make beds and wake early. Send them so they’ll know how to be a leader, paddle a kayak, weave a bracelet, and sing as loud as they can. Send your kids to camp so they’ll learn to love themselves and learn to love others. Send your kids to camp because they’ll realize who they are, or who they want to be. And, prepare yourselves for a year of camp stories, and for a flurry of songs. Prepare to learn names of kids you’ve never met. And for your kids to have a need for sunshine, a need for campfires, and companionship. They will be forever grateful for your awesome gift of summer camp.

Source:
American Camping Association, Inc. (http://www.acacamps.org)

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: Melanie Taylor – metaylor@ufl.edu

Melanie Taylor

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2014/07/09/summer-camp-is-almost-here-preparation-tips-for-campers-and-parents-2/

Summer Camp is Almost Here: Preparation Tips for Campers (and Parents!)

Summer camp teaches children independence and leadership skills.

Summer camp teaches children independence and leadership skills.

Summer is here and summer camp is on the horizon. Maybe this is your child’s first time to an overnight camp or they are “old pros” at this thing called camp. Many parents and children will have camp anxieties, but here are some things you can do to prepare your camper and yourself for camp.

Campers:
• Plan several sleepovers before the week of camp arrives. Resist the urge to pack their bags for them or to check on them while there. If they have a cell phone, have them leave it at home. This is a good way to practice not having direct or constant contact.
Encourage them to write a letter to someone (maybe you) while at camp. You will be so excited when you receive a letter from camp! Be sure to include envelopes, addresses, stamps, paper, and a pen in their luggage.
Gear up physically. If you have purchased your camper new tennis shoes, have them break them in with a few long walks so the blisters don’t happen at camp.
Especially for teenagers, have them take a mini-vacation from their electronic devices – a couple of hours or a weekend.
Have them write a statement for their social media pages. “Peace out Facebook, I will be at camp for the next week. Check in with you when I get back” or something similar.
Have them write down their goals for camp so they can mentally prepare themselves for what they hope to do and see.
Make a homesick plan:

1. Homesickness isn’t entirely bad. It’s great to love your home. It’s sometimes part of the process and it’s a confidence-booster when a camper gets through it.

2. Make a “happy place” plan and write it down. This is an amazing opportunity to learn a life skill. Today’s youth go to technology to escape and studies show this increases their stress. Some ideas include: taking 10 deep breaths, traveling to a “happy place” in your mind, packing a certain stuffed animal, or tossing a football. Children are capable of this independence.

3. Your plan should NOT be, “Give it a couple of days and if you don’t like it, we will come get you.” This will set them up to give it a couple of days and knock the confidence right out of them.

4. Let your camper know what to expect with correspondence. You don’t need to write every day but let them know what to expect.

Parents:
You are giving your child an incredible gift. I cannot promise you they will not lose some socks, they will love every meal or activity, and they will adore every staff member. But you are preparing them for college and beyond; you are giving them the freedom to gain confidence, independence, and leadership skills; and you are instilling in them that they can do it.
What do YOU want to do during their time at camp? Plan a vacation for a later time, organize the house, or enjoy one-on-one time with your other children or some “date nights” with your spouse or friends.
If you have apprehensions, work to resolve them. If you are worried your camper is not going to know anyone, set up a pre-camp get-together. If you are worried about your camper’s medical needs, become friendly with the camp staff. If you are anxious about their food allergies, talk to the camp’s director. Make a camper-sick plan for yourself. Make sure there is only excitement and optimism coming from you; share your anxiety with another adult.
• Pack self-addressed stamped envelopes in their luggage.
• Whether they are flying or driving, hold off on crying your eyes out until they cannot see you. Take a deep breath, trust, and remind yourself you are giving them an awesome gift.

And just what is this gift everyone is talking about? At camp, they will be part of a community all their own. They will become emotionally attached to handmade rope bracelets on their wrist, and have a song for any occasion on cue, and maybe even forget they need to shower, and think sunscreen is just a normal daily moisturizing technique. They will learn to do things on their own and they’ll learn to rely on others. They will learn how to survive on their own for a week or two and they’ll learn how to help each other through it.

They may even grow up on summers away from TV and forget Facebook exists. They will relish the joy of sleeping in cabins, swatting mosquitoes at campfire, and swimming every day. They will savor the feeling of pushing water behind them with a paddle and the whoosh of air behind the tail of an arrow as they fire. They’ll forget about appearances, relish tan lines, and recognize the beauty of a smile over anything else.

So send your kids to camp. Send them so they’ll learn to set tables and make beds and wake early. Send them so they’ll know how to be a leader, paddle a kayak, weave a bracelet, and sing as loud as they can. Send your kids to camp so they’ll learn to love themselves and learn to love others. Send your kids to camp because they’ll realize who they are – or who they want to be. And, prepare yourselves for a year of camp stories and for a flurry of songs. Prepare to learn names of kids you’ve never met. And for your kids to have a need for sunshine, campfires, and companionship. They will be forever grateful for your awesome gift of summer camp.

Source:
American Camping Association, Inc. (http://www.acacamps.org)

 

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Author: Melanie Taylor – metaylor@ufl.edu

Melanie Taylor

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2014/06/27/summer-camp-is-almost-here-preparation-tips-for-campers-and-parents/

How Volunteer Leaders Can Promote 4-H Camp Involvement

1013441_659740687387883_254816366_n[1]One word: Incentives

Youth enjoy 4-H summer camp because it provides a welcoming environment where they can learn and grow.  They get to make new friends and participate in activities like, archery, swimming, canoeing, rocketry, kayaking, arts and crafts, and more.  When they come home from camp singing camp songs and relating their awesome experiences, they encourage their friends at school as well as fellow club members to come with them during the next year. With this in mind, how can club leaders and other volunteers encourage youth to participate in camp if they have never attended or have never considered attending?

At this time of year, camps may already be over for your county 4-H program, but it is never too early to start planning for next summer. As club leaders, when you begin thinking about fundraising and club program planning for the fall, consider incorporating some “camp incentives” for youth who might want to plan to attend camp next year. Here are a few ideas:

  • Include fundraising percentages or credits given to members who participate in and plan club fundraisers.  Maybe 10% of the funds they raise for the club in a particular fundraiser will go to their camp fees, etc.
  • You may offer full or partial scholarships to youth who demonstrate leadership or take on an officer role in a community club setting.
  • Allow 4-H members who turn in a completed and well-produced project book to be rewarded at the awards banquet with a camp price reduction or prize to be used in conjunction with camp attendance such as a club t-shirt or goodie bag with camp related items.

While funding for camp can introduce challenges for some club members, these obstacles when handled appropriately and quickly can provide terrific learning opportunities for youth who earn their way to attend camp and have a wonderful experience while there.

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Author: Sherri Kraeft – sjkraeft@ufl.edu

Sherri Kraeft is the Wakulla County 4-H Agent

Sherri Kraeft

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2013/07/05/how-volunteer-leaders-can-promote-4-h-camp-involvement/

Forestry Tools Jefferson and Leon Outdoor Camp

Forestry Tools Jefferson and Leon Outdoor Camp

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Campers Measuring Trees with Division of Forestry.

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Author: Scott Jackson – lsj@ufl.edu


http://bay.ifas.ufl.edu/seagrant

Scott Jackson

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2013/06/17/forestry-tools-jefferson-and-leon-outdoor-camp/

Tips for Summer Camp FUNdraising

 Sherri Kraeft
Wakulla County 4-H Agent
Wakulla County Extension Office
84 Cedar Avenue
Crawfordville, FL   32327
sjkraeft@ufl.edu
850-926-3931
850-926-8789
 

Tips for Summer Camp FUNdraising
Every child wants the opportunity to attend summer camp, but some are unable to due to financial hardships on their families. In order to alleviate this problem, many counties have begun to fundraise specifically for camp scholarships. In order to have a successful fundraiser, it is helpful to have the following in place to help your fundraiser to be a success:

1.Have a theme or idea that is eye-catching and attention grabbing and center the activity around that theme. For example, Wakulla County 4-H is doing a battle of the bands competition this year called “Jam 4 Camp” and has invited local musicians to participate
2.Have buy-in from your 4-H Leaders, Community Leaders and Advisory Groups. These are the backbones of your 4-H program and they are essential at helping to coordinate staff and solicit resources and donations from the community.
3.Advertise, advertise, and advertise. We all know that word of mouth is the absolute best way to promote an event, but use social media sites, websites, email and good old fashioned posters along with media coverage in your local paper and news.
4.Set a goal amount and solicit sponsorships from local businesses, banks and organizations. Every little bit counts and it eventually adds up.

Volunteering in the Panhandle

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2012/02/02/tips-for-summer-camp-fundraising/