Canoeing, fishing, archery, 4-H Spa

Last updated: June 30. 2014 7:02PM - 763 Views
By Brandy Calvert 4-H Agent for Youth Development

Bell County Cooperative Extension ServiceBell County 4-H campers are pictured with 4-H Youth Development Agent Brandy Calvert and 4-H volunteer Richard Mason.
Bell County Cooperative Extension ServiceBell County 4-H campers are pictured with 4-H Youth Development Agent Brandy Calvert and 4-H volunteer Richard Mason.
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J.M. Feltner Memorial 4-H Camp became a home away from home recently for 36 4-Hers from Bell County. They joined over 200 other campers from Knox, Whitley, Rockcastle and McQueary Counties.

Campers enjoyed classes on canoeing, swimming, archery, fishing, riflery and cooking. Some of the ladies even indulged at the 4-H Spa getting manicures and learning about the importance of exfoliating while in the air conditioning, while other campers were out soaking up the sun (while wearing SPF 55+, of course)!

Campers “met at the flag pole” every morning for assembly, which included rousing versions of camp songs (such as “Brown Squirrel, Brown Squirrel”) announcements and a flag ceremony. After assembly, they were off to breakfast and then classes. Campers have lots of fun and new, neat experiences, but they also learn a higher level of responsibility. Campers each take a turn on “kitchen patrol” cleaning dishes after meals, are expected to keep their cabin and campgrounds neat and clean, and they are expected to report to classes at the correct location and on time.

Campers should come prepared to try to new things, meet new people and have lots of fun.

Parents can expect their children to come home with many positive memories. Campers will likely learn new skills and develop a greater appreciation for the environment and wildlife. 4-H Camp also helps develop independence, responsibility, self-confidence, and camaraderie among peers and adult staff members and volunteers. Trained staff and volunteers supervise the campers and strive to make sure everyone has a safe and happy camping experience.

Resident 4-H camps are open to all Kentucky youth, ages nine through 14. The 4-H camping program provides a safe, secure and fun environment for Kentucky campers. An onsite EMT/health care provider is always available to take care of campers needs.

Kentucky 4-H Camps have been awarded accreditation by the American Camp Association in recognition of the 4-H program using the “best practices in the camping industry” in providing a safe, nurturing, and fun environment for campers.

The 2014 4-H Camp was especially special, with a musical theme, “Catch the beat at 4-H Camp!” Special guest Jimmy Rose spoke to 4-Hers on Tuesday evening about following their hopes and dreams, and performed many of the songs the nation heard on America’s Got Talent while the Bell County native competed on the show. Rose, who had been to 4-H Camp as a youngster, enjoyed his visit, even taking the time to “Sally down the Alley” with campers during their evening dance time.

On Monday night, you may have heard about camp live on MIX96.1, as the radio station set up a live feed from camp and spoke with Bell County 4-H Agent Brandy Calvert.

Campers experience a truly memorable evening on their last night at camp, as the talented, dedicated and gracious camp staff takes the campers out by the lake. Over 200 young people sat quietly as staffers spoke about the highlights of camp by candlelight. Then, a truly magical thing happened. Campers sang the camp song “Linger” to the beat of the crickets chirping and with the moon for an audience.

The Bell County 4-H Camping program is great because of the tremendous support of the Bell County community. 4-H Camp was made possible through donations from the following: Pineville Lion’s Club, Pineville Rotary Club, Pineville Kiwanis, the Cumberland Park Garden Club, Middlesboro ARH, Bell County Conservation District, Roberta Dean, Middlesboro BPW and the Pineville Senior Homemakers Club. The camp fee was lowered from $165 to $100, and the majority of campers went on a full or partial scholarship. Scott Huddleston at Coca-Cola arranged for the donation of Cumberland Gap Spring Water for the campers. The Bell County School System graciously allowed the use of a school bus. Campers’ luggage was hauled to the camp in a trailer donated to 4-H and the Bell County Cooperative Extension Service by Bell County Sherriff Bruce Bennett. 4-H Volunteers Nikki Gibson and Richard Mason gave a week of his time to attend camp and council campers. A special thanks to teen leaders: Christopher Tyler Mason and Morgan Bond.

If you would like to get your child involved in 4-H or if you would like to volunteer your time to help with 4-H programs or camp, contact Brandy Calvert at the Bell County Cooperative Extension Service office, 606-337-2376. She may also be reached via e-mail at brandy.calvert@uky.edu.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin.

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