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4-H Camp a Success

By Staff | Jul 6, 2016

Photo by Linda Henderson The final council circle, including all five tribe chiefs, is held at 2016 Wetzel County 4-H Camp.

Over 130 4-H’ers from across Wetzel County spent last week enjoying a traditional summer activity: camp!

“Lights, Camera, 4-H” was the theme of the 2016 Wetzel County 4-H Camp, held at the Wetzel County 4-H Campgrounds in New Martinsville. Campers celebrated the theme with a Tribal Talent Show, Recycled Fashion Show, Barn Dance, and by enjoying time in the new cabins.

Campers took part in a variety of classes including archery, outdoor cooking, basic survival skills, cake and cookie decorating, ceramics, basic sign language, fishing, canvas painting, STEM, and more. Many campers loved going to classes and said their classes were their favorite thing about camp.

The camp took trips to Bruce Park to play mini-golf, and to the Hundred Pool for a day of swimming and fun.

In addition to trips and classes the counselors led campers in a variety of games and challenges. One camper reported, “My favorite thing was the team building activities because they made our tribe work together and built spirit.”

Campers show their spirit by coming together every evening around the fire at Council Circle. This is the highlight of the day for many campers; they sing, perform skits, and enjoy being together as a whole camp. “My favorite camp activity is Council Circle because you come together as a tribe, sing, yell, and have fun,” said another camper.

4-H Camp is more than just a chance to spend some time outdoors. Through research-backed programs and activities, participants are challenged to develop new skills and learn more about themselves and the world around them. Wetzel campers completed two science experiments throughout the week which were led by a WVU 4-H STEM Ambassador. They also make friendships that can last a lifetime.

Wetzel County 4-H camp is open to all, including youth from outside the county. In fact, this year some campers came from Ohio, North Carolina, and Texas.

WVU Extension Agent, Mollie Toppe, stated that, “Wetzel County 4-H Camp was staffed by over 40 volunteers who gave their time to attend trainings prior to camp, and then spend a week at camp. We have an excellent team of dedicated volunteers who care deeply about our 4-H youth and often take vacation time from their jobs to help at camp.” Adult volunteers for the program undergo special training and a federal background check.

For more than a century, 4-H has focused on agricultural science, home economics, electricity, mechanics, entrepreneurship and natural sciences. Today, 4-H out-of-school opportunities also exist in subjects like rocketry, robotics, biofuels, renewable energy and computer science.

To learn more about local opportunities in the 4-H program, contact the Wetzel County office of the WVU Extension Service at 304-455-0934.