Friday, June 20, 2008

Final Camp Reminders and Good-byes!

Well, that's a wrap! Another year under our belts for Orange-Madison 4-H Camp. Thank you, campers, for a wonderful week. We hope you had a great time and will plan to join us next year, same place, and roughly same time.

If you are missing any items, please call your county Extension office (Orange, 672-1361 or Madison, 948-6881). We have an inventory of what was collected from Lost & Found, and will do our best to find your items. Also, if you forgot to pick up any medications, please contact the office soon. We will discard or give to charity any items remaining after July 1st.

Enjoy your recycle bins that were made in Woodworking, share your Scrapbooking class projects with friends and family, and remember to put into place conservation practices learned in the Go Green! Nature Studies class, taught by local Master Naturalists. We wish you a happy and safe summer! Do continue to keep in touch with 4-H activities through the local newsletters.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday Camp -- More Fun, More Memories

Today was another great day at camp. Beautiful weather, well-behaved campers, and you wouldn't believe the wildlife. This morning, there were deer everywhere around the camp (obviously used to lots of people). A wild turkey practically walked in the Conference Center lobby, and squirrels and chipmunks certainly didn't let camp get in the way of their busy schedules.

The camp food was better; it's certainly no Outback Steakhouse or even Golden Corral, but the pancakes for breakfast were a welcome sight and the make-your-own taco salads at lunch seemed to be a big hit. For some reason, desserts have been scarce this year, but the Breyers fruit bars in strawberry, coconut, or lime flavors disappeared quickly when offered this afternoon. For those of you who don't know, camp meals are served family style. Campers can choose where they sit at meals, and teens are at the head of each table. Menu items are placed on the table in large serving dishes and campers pass the food around to their friends. This is our second year for this set-up at camp, but it has worked well. We encourage teens and campers to share in conversation and perhaps take these methods home to their actual families.

Pool and rec times were exciting once again. During Free Recreation, camp volunteer Mrs. Heidi has been offering Felting activities. Campers have made various items by turning sheep's wool or goat fibers into felt. Today's project was felted soap--a bar of soap covered in felt so that it acts as a body loofah. Pretty cool! And all natural, so it's definitely recyclable/biodegradable. Go green with 4-H!

The Wednesday evening program was the dance. Perhaps the most anticipated part of camp for some youth, there was talk all day of who was wearing what, who was dancing with whom, and how much cologne the boys were going to wear. It's always amazing to the adults how quickly the messy boys' dorm transforms from a pig-sty locker-room to a thick aroma/haze of Axe and other products. ha-ha Those of you who remain at home have NO IDEA what you are missing. :) Many thanks to Gillz, a summer staff member, who serves as DJ and selects a wide variety of fast and fun songs, all appropriate for 4-H camp, of course!

Well, tomorrow's our last day. Campers will finish classes, participate in closing ceremonies, and hopefully get all of their stuff packed up quickly and completely. Madison County campers will return to MCHS at 6:00 p.m. Orange County campers will return to OES (Orange Elementary) at 6:30 p.m. Parents: don't forget your Camper Express Pick-up Cards, and remember to get your child's medications, camp craft projects (if any), bank money, etc.


Beautiful Weather - Great Kids - Another Great Day of Camp

Tuesday was a great camp day as well! The weather was absolutely BEAUTIFUL, even a little cool. Our evening program was Kids Marketplace, a Cooperative Extension program that teaches youth about money management. Campers visited a series of stations in which they were given a job, a salary, and then bills to pay--such as rent, car insurance, groceries, etc. Youth had to make choices whether to buy name brand clothes or groceries, or store brands. They had to stretch their dollars depending on the amount of income they received. It appeared to be a great learning experience, and one that the campers enjoyed! Parents, take note: you're encouraged to continue to build on this activity at home. :)

The Virginia Wildlife Center was contracted for an afternoon program entitled "Critters Don't Need Litter", again keeping with our Go Green theme. Cornelius the Snake was a big hit--we have NEVER heard the campers so quiet! Hopefully campers learned to put litter in its place, and not in the open where wildlife can be harmed.

There were still a few cases of stomach upset and homesickness, but they're progressing well and our staff are doing of great job of providing comfort. Continue to send those emails--campers love them!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Junior Camp Gets Off to Fun, Albeit Wet, Start

Even Monday's typical summer thunderstorms couldn't keep Orange-Madison 4-H'ers from having a blast at 4-H Camp. In morning classes, Leathercraft students embossed and dyed 4-H clover necklaces and learned to tie square knots. Woodworking students began nailing together their projects, and proudly reported only one blood-blister casualty from hammering. (Don't worry, parents--ice helped it considerably.) Cheerleaders learned the art of working together, and the archery class was the inaugural group to use the newly renovated archery range.

The afternoon storms packed plenty of thunder and lightning, but were nowhere near as bad as the storms locally that day. During lunch, we ate with the lights out, thereby saving energy and going along with our "Go Green" theme. The afternoon program featured group games and songs, led by Summer Staff (college students who work at the 4-H Center all summer). Cave meetings were held as usual, but afternoon rec had to be moved indoors. Unfortunately, swimming was cancelled, too, but campers still had fun!

Dinner featured tater tots--always a kid-friendly food--and campers received emailed notes from home. The evening program was "Rowdy for Recycling" and featured team-building activities and environmentally-friendly games and competitions. All eight packs participated (Eagles, Rattlesnakes, Bobcats, Crows, Owls, Deer, Foxes, Hawks) while the adults (Skunks) facilitated. The campfire was held in the Center's new amphitheatre-style campfire circle. A slight stomach bug affected several campers, but don't worry parents--the camp nurse handled those problems. No news is good news! So if you haven't heard from us, your camper is healthy and having fun!

Thanks for your interest in 4-H programs, and do check back often to see how things are going! Happy Camping!