Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Members Earn Awards in State Livestock Judging Competition

Congratulations to the Orange 4-H members who competed in today's State 4-H Livestock Judging Contest: Robert and Elizabeth Nixon, John Michael Knight, Blake Hopkins, and TJ Williams. The junior team placed 3rd out of 24 teams. Individual honors were bestowed upon TJ Williams (7th in sheep), Blake Hopkins (7th overall, 7th in cattle, 9th in swine), and John Michael Knight (1st in cattle, 2nd in reasons, and 4th overall). The junior team was also 4th in sheep, 2nd in cattle, and 3rd in reasons. They were coached by Sarah Joseph, Extension Intern, Ron Burleson, 4-H volunteer, and Steve Hopkins, agriculture Extension Agent.

OCF 4-H Auction Info

4-H'ers planning to participate in the 4-H Auction at the Orange County Fair may stop by the Extension Office to pick up auction brochures to distribute to buyers. You may also buy Buyers' Dinner tickets for $8 each. Tickets should be purchased for any buyers you wish to invite, as well as your family if you wish to eat in the show tent the night of the auction. The 4-H food booth will not be open Saturday night of the fair.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sunshine for the Last Day

The sun came out for our last day of camp. Everyone is in overdrive trying to finish class projects, have the most fun possible, collect contact info for their new friends over the summer, etc., etc.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rainy Day, But a Sunny Camp Experience!

Through the rain and heavy drizzle all day, camp has gone on with a smile! Our afternoon program featured instruction and practice for many of the popular line dances kids do today. Cave meetings were next, and then the usual recreation and swimming time was replaced with indoor rec and games. The summer staff did a great job of leading activities and keeping the kids busy and upbeat.

We had a quick hospital run for one camper just before dinner, but that situation turned out okay, thank goodness! The camper was back in plenty of time to enjoy the dance, which was the ultimate goal. :) Between rec and dinner, we allowed extra time in the dorms for some rest and relaxation. Who are we kidding? That time was not used for sleep, but rather extra showers, time for curling hair, plenty of Axe cologne in the boys' lodges, and lots of preparation trying on special outfits for the dance! This is literally the highlight of the week for some campers, but it's a treat for the adults to observe as well. The campers are so cute preparing for the big event! One camper dressed up in a suit!

The dance is going on now, and the room is full!!! The kids seem to be having a great time with lots of fast songs, and are making a lot of good memories for the last night of camp. Unfortunately, our last campfire will be indoors as well, but we plan to end with a special ceremony to commemorate the 2009 camp. Yesterday it seemed the week would never end, but today it seems to have all gone by so quickly.

Thanks for keeping up with our camp activities. Stay tuned for more updates. Remember, Orange campers return to Orange Elementary at 6:30 p.m. Thursday; Madison campers return to Madison High School/Wetsel Middle School at 6:00 p.m.

If it's raining and you know it...

...clap your hands! Wait--that would be much too loud. Sure enough, the rains set in at the Center today, but we're carrying on with camp activities as best we can. GPS/Techno Treasure Hunt moved inside and students are making topographical maps of the camp using Play-Dough. Chorus/Singing students are jamming, with many strong voices and lots of clapping and movement. We tried fishing in first period, but it was too rainy for the campers' liking, so they're conducting class at Fairfax Shelter. Canoeing and swimming classes were cancelled because there must be at least ten degrees difference between water and air temperature in order to get in. So...they are conducting team-building games indoors.

The 4-H elves showed up for Woodworking sometime last night and finished projects that were lagging behind in order that campers may paint/varnish/decorate tool boxes today. Multimedia students are busy preparing photos for the much-anticipated slide show during tomorrow's closing ceremony, and the CIT's (counselors in training) are decorating for the dance tonight.

We're looking forward to taco salads for lunch!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The rains held off ... for awhile!

The light sprinkles at lunch turned out to be nothing; in fact, some classes didn't even feel the rain. After chicken nuggets for lunch, the afternoon program featured a "4-H Camp Live" show by the summer staff. This was a spin-off of the famous Saturday Night Live show and featured much camper involvement and interviews. We were able to enjoy swim and recreation time, though the weather was much cooler and more windy as the front came through. Dinner was spaghetti (not a camper favorite), but the orange sherbet dessert seemed to end things on a good note.

Our evening program was a game show night, featuring 4-H versions of Deal or No Deal, Money versus the Mob, and Fear Factor. Deal or No Deal contestants competed for bear claws, which are the 4-H camp equivalent of points. Bear claws are earned by packs for good deeds, winning competitions, and good behavior or performance. In Money vs. the Mob, campers answered trivia questions related to Orange, Madison, 4-H in general, and 4-H Camp. Parents: you should be proud of your little campers! Fear Factor was the grand finale, and boy, was it hilarious!!! Campers who signed up for the event drank carrot juice out of a baby bottle, went ice fishing with their toes, and then experienced several eating challenges. Wasabi peas, black forest worms, peppers, brussels sprouts, and chocolate covered grasshoppers made their way onto the tables. Don't worry: ALL participation was voluntary and the audience seemed to have as much fun, if not more, as the participants!!! :-) (Some of you can probably guess if your camper participated or not.)

Just as we were ready to move into campfire, the rains came! So we had snack under cover and then an indoor "campfire" in the Conference Center. Same traditions, different methods! Great Bear Erika Elford provided good leadership. The Outdoor Living Skills class moved their traditional overnight sleepover indoors, but they have tents and sleeping bags just the same. It appears the rain will still be here tomorrow, so we'll make more modifications on the schedule. Nighttime checks are almost complete. Stay tuned for more camp experiences tomorrow!

A Few Photos from Camp...

Wacky Science Class: Solar Ovens

Practicing Teamwork and Communications Skills in Low Ropes Class

Carnival Game: Animal Races

Lunch time!!!

We made it through the morning successfully! Light sprinkles seem to be setting in now, but we're trying to look on the bright side. Campers cooped up inside at camp is NOT a good thing, as we're sure you parents understand. If it's just rain, we'll swim anyway!

Morning class activities included: Fun with Foods made omelets and chose their own toppings. It was funny how cheese was the most popular filling, and onions and green peppers were the least favorites! :-) LEGO Robotics programmed their robots to complete a challenge course. The campers' use of the computers and programming was amazing. Riflery and archery reiterated safety, and then practiced their marksmanship, with several campers hitting the bulls-eye. The fish were biting in fishing class, and outdoor cooking got a good fire going to toast their S'mores. Leathercraft individuals were pounding away (literally), but made some beautiful stamped designs that they will bring home to you. The hip hop class' dance moves are starting to come together--watching teens coreograph routines for youngsters is fun to watch!

Lunch time now--the campers are lined up singing camp songs while waiting to head into the dining hall. Keep those e-mails coming; we've received, printed, and distributed more than 100 so far.

Good Morning Campers!

It is another beautiful day at the NOVA 4-H Center. Sunny and 70. After a yummy breakfast of sausage biscuits, fried apples and cereal campers have headed off the their classes! Hopefully some fish are caught, some goals made and some strokes learned.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 2 - Another Great DaY!!

We had another awesome day at camp. The weather was great and so were the campers. This afternoon we enjoyed the pool and recreation. The evening was spent at the Carnival. Campers had the opportunity to visit various booths including: facepainting, penny pitch, toilet paper toss and more. A great time was had by all. We celebrated the end of the day with the nightly campfire. Looking forward to another great day tommorow.

Morning Classes Were Fun!

The first night went well. There were a few cases of homesickness, but the counselors and adult volunteers handled them well. Breakfast this morning was french toast sticks, oranges, cereal, and bacon. Campers attended three classes, and we're now getting ready for lunch. In the fishing class, campers practiced casting on dry land before hitting the water. Canoeing students learned a few safety tips, donned life jackets, and went for some smooth rides on Lake Culpeper. Campers made homemade goop and sidewalk chalk in the arts and crafts class, and Woodworking youth sanded the pieces for their take-home tool boxes. Stay tuned for more updates!

At campfire last night, campers were introduced to a special "guest" at camp this year. We have a 'ReeseStrong' paper doll from a six year old girl in Richmond who is undergoing chemotherapy treatments all summer. Since Reese cannot be outside much, and cannot travel, her family created the ReeseStrong paper dolls to travel for her. We have a doll here at camp and are documenting our 4-H camp experience through photos, which will be shared via e-mail.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

4-H Camp Day 1: Success!

Day 1 was great for Orange-Madison 4-H Junior Camp. The weather has been beautiful, and the campers and teens are terrific! We arrived at the Center without many incidents, although we did have motion sickness and a nose bleed on two different buses. Don't worry, parents: both campers are okay! We checked into our dorms, went to the pool, and had chicken patties for dinner. Our evening program tonight was a 4-H version of The Amazing Race, a series of clues and hikes to familiarize campers with the 4-H Center. We had a great campfire led by Great Bear Erika Elford, and we're now getting ready to head to bed. Thanks for your interest, and keep checking back here for updates on our camp experience!

Friday, June 12, 2009

SSD Member Jasmine Montes Earns Awards at National Event

Congratulations to Solids, Spots, and Dots, 4-H member Jasmine Montes, who recently competed in The Egyptian Event in Lexington, KY. Jasmine was selected by a panel of international judges to receive the El Gohara award, which is for the horse/rider combo with the "most beautiful expression and closest bond between the rider's heart and the soul of the performance horse". Jasmine exhibited her horse Imiir, and they also took first place in Western Pleasure, Amateur and Junior Rider.

Farm Safety Day Message Presented to More than 200

Even under stormy conditions, Wednesday's Farm Safety Day was a success! The nice facilities at McConnell Angus in Somerset allowed the event to continue safely, even as the weather raged outside. More than 215 participants attended the event, which featured four farm safety stations: Human Health and Safety, Machinery and Pinch Points, Livestock Handling, and Chainsaws, Weedeaters, and Mowers. The beginnings of a rollover demonstration started, and the Orange Firec Company was on hand to assist, but the storms prevented this portion of the event. Guest speaker Arthur Mitchell shared his harrowing tale of being caught in a corn picker many years ago, and the challenges, surgeries, and therapy sessions that have ensued, not to mention the expenses. Mitchell showed attendees both prostethic legs and encouraged participants to slow down on the farm, and take time to be safe.
The event was planned by a committee of Extension professionals, 4-H volunteers, and local and state Farm Bureau directors and professionals. Sponsors included Ridgeview New Holland, Central Virginia Cattleman Association, Orange Farm Bureau, Farm Credit of the Virginias, and Orange-Madison Coop.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

4-H Member Donates Hair to Locks of Love

4-H Dairy Cloverbud Club member Autumn Rogers recently cut 11 inches of her hair and donated them to the Locks of Love program, which provides wigs for cancer patients. Autumn will be attending 4-H Camp this summer and was concerned about her ability to take care of her hair without her mom there. Her much shorter hairstyle is cute and fun, and she donated to a very worth cause. Thank you, Autumn, for exemplifying the "hands to larger service" portion of the 4-H pledge!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Orange 4-H'ers Invited to Enter Breeding Animals and Horses in Madison County Fair

Madison County Fair has extended an invitation to Orange 4-H'ers with livestock and dairy breeding animals as well as horse exhibitors for their horse show on Saturday of their fair. Fair dates are July 14-18, 2009. Entries are due to the Madison Extension Office by June 26th. Contact the Madison or Orange office for entry forms.

Orange County Fair Entry Forms Now Available

Entry forms and class listings for livestock, dairy, and goat entries are now posted on the new Orange County Fair website. Visit, selected '4-H' from the grey sidebar at left, and then open the desired pdf files. These forms are due to the Extension Office by Friday, June 12th (next week)!!! Late entries will incur a fee, and entries will not be accepted that are more than one week late. PLEASE make sure you get your entries recorded and submitted! Thanks!

OC 4-H'ers Win Multiple Awards in District Shows

Congratulations to Orange 4-H Hoofmates Club members who won awards at 4-H District Horse Shows recently. Sydney Davis placed third in large pony over fences and fourth in pony equitation over fences at the Dorey Park Show near Richmond. Bryan, Ashleigh, and Amanda Ramey competed in the Northern District's Rose Mount Show. Bryan was the High Point Junior Gymkhana winner (barrel racing, pole bending, and keyhole) and received third in barrels and fifth in keyhole. He was also Junior Hunter Pleasure Horse Champion and Reserve High Point Junior Hunter Pleasure winner.

Ashleigh Ramey won the High Point Senior Hunter award after winning two regular hunter classes and fourth in both Senior Equitation Over Fences and Senior Trail. Amanda Ramey won the Senior Hunter Showmanship division out of 30 entries and was the Senior Hunt High Points winner. She was second in Senior Hunter Pleasure Horse and fourth in Senior Hunter Pleasure Equitation.

Congratulations to the HoofMates members, and stay tuned for results from other clubs!