Monday, June 25, 2012

4-H Summer Camp 2012, Final Comments

A knot bracelet Eli made.
I am so glad to be home, and I think the kids are too. I took an informal poll from about a dozen kids, and they were very glad they came to Camp Cloverleaf this summer, but they were ready to go home. Some of the comments about their favorite activities were, "kayaking - I made it tip over", "having fun with my cabin friends" and "shaving cream wars". Some of the less-than-favorite activities included, "going last in the lunch line" and "getting homesick". I can understand that, I got a little homesick too.

Rhianna after telling her I was going
to sleep on the way home.
Before we left camp, we all completed an evaluation, cleaned up EVERYTHING, and said our goodbyes. Camp is more than just a leisure activity for youth. Statewide evaluations conducted by 4-H staff across Florida show that camp develops essential life skills in youth. In these studies, the specific life skills evaluated are teamwork, self-responsibility, learning by doing and social skills. Parents and youth agree that 4-H camp is a valuable educational experience.

Hanging out for the last time.
Summer camp is one of the most valuable learning experiences a child can have!  Young people need strong relationships and emotional skills to meet today's challenges.  Through camping, young people learn independence, responsibility, how to get along with others, and how to make the right decisions.  Camp promotes cooperation, teamwork, and respect for other people and our natural environment.  There are still more state sponsored camps this summer, and I hope you will consider it for yourself or your child.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

4-H Summer Camp 2012, day 4

What a day? Is it almost over yet?

Camp has been so much fun this week, not just for me but I think the kids had a great time too! We only had one child go home early due to homesickness I think. No one went home due to behavioral issues, as sometimes happens. In my 7 years as a 4-H Agent, including about 15 summer camps, about 10 kids have had to have their parent pick them up early. Not a bad average, but 1 is too many.

At 4-H camp we hold very high standards for respect to others. When children have to go home due to disrespect, they've had multiple chances to correct their attitude. Enough of that!

Geocaching Class
Finding a geocache!
The day started out again early with a few kids out and about about 6:45. At 8:00 am everyone is at the flag pole for Colors and by 8:30 we're eating and at 9:30 we've all begun on fun activities for the day. Today we had the same general activities as I mentioned earlier, but with the addition of geocaching, and a muzzle loading rifle demonstration after dinner. The kids who got to try it include Josh B., Ethan L., Janoah, Eli and parent volunteer Ms. Sheryl. Sheryl's son Fabian didn't get to shoot because he was too young. We all felt bad. Mr. Cooper the Camp Director was there, as well as Joe Menendez one of the camp staff. Poor Joe didn't get to shoot, because he had to go, but Joe and his brother Jake went to the National 4-H Invitational with me a few years ago.

ALL THE KIDS HAD TO LEAVE at 6:45 pm sharp, because we had a dance tonight. Camp smelled soooo good, and the kids all cleaned up very nice! Left is Josh shooting a Missouri Trade Rifle, a 50 caliber black powder gun at the camp gun range.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

4-H Summer Camp 2012, day 3

7:00 am. Last night the kids were so much better, in spite of doing the old cabin switch-a-roo again with some of them. The County Agents are in charge of the cabin assignments. We do so based primarily on age, but also on group size and personality mix. I think we've got it this time. Sometimes it can take a day or two.

9:30 pm.  What a blast we had today! We were anticipating bad weather, but it only sprinkled.   We had swimming, kayaking, geocaching, archery, fishing, Mr. and Ms. Outrageous, knot tying, line dancing and the most fun was shaving cream wars!  Some of us even had time for a service project!  Below are a couple of pics that show some of the fun.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

4-H Summer Camp 2012, day 2

7:30 am. Camp is starting to hum with a little bit of activity. I'm outside my cabin reading a thought for the day, enjoying the birds make their different sounds. Some of the kids are up and about. I see two or three just moseying about, three shooting hoops and another small group on the soccer field.

9:00 pm. What a great day we had! I am so glad programs such as 4-H still teach patriotism and respect for our country and leaders. Cabin 11 started us out with our flag ceremony including the Pledge of Allegiance and the 4-H pledge.

After breakfast we cleaned up and then went to our classes. We have two classes in the morning before lunch. After lunch we have one more class, free swim, canteen and an hour rest time. It was a beautiful day, not too hot with a gentle breeze most of the time. Too breezy and it will make our kayakers blow away, and we don't want that!

For dinner tonight we had hamburgers. After dinner more group games and as I am writing this the kids are at the campfire ring making smores. I think they'll sleep better tonight.

Monday, June 18, 2012

4-H Summer Camp 2012, day 1

What a wonderful opportunity I have this week to accompany the kids of Brevard County to 4-H Camp Cloverleaf!

We arrived at camp safe and sound right at 10:30am and the highlight of the trip over was spotting a little bitty Armadillo around Yeehaw Junction. After arriving at camp, we checked in, got to our cabins, unpacked and had a lunch of chicken tenders and french fries. It is so much fun to meet new people! All of the kids are happy and making new friends of their fellow campers and the staff.

The afternoon was filled with swim tests, recreation time and canteen. For dinner we had spagetti, garlic bread, salad and a brownie with whipped cream. This evening we're playing "get to know you games", have our flag lowering and and we can't wait for the campfire with "magic dust"!

The magic dust was really cool. Each person got to throw it into the fire after making a wish, then watch the fire flare up.

It's about 10:30pm now, and I'm making sure all are going to sleep, while sitting at a table out of view to the campers. Tonight is an exciting night and they usually sleep better tomorrow. Goodnight.

11:30. A young man threw up a little while ago (not from my county). Said he was homesick. Think it was chicken nuggets. A thousand of them.

A young lady's bed fell apart (also not Brevard County). Fixed. Goodnight again.