4-H camp fosters positive development

4-H camp fosters positive development

As we are wrapping up camp counselor training this week for our Ashland-Wayne 4-H junior camp counselors, I am reminded of the strong impact camp can have on young people.

From June 30 through July 3, 215 kids age 8-13 will participate in many time-honored traditions and some new activities being offered at 4-H Junior Camp at Camp Ohio near Utica. Guiding, inspiring and watching out for the safety of these kids are 48 bright, talented and dedicated teens who have completed a rigorous 24 or more hours of training. In addition to the 24 hours of camp counselor training taught here in Wayne County, our counselors also will participate in onsite training at Camp Ohio on June 29, the day before campers arrive.

Camp counselor training covers many topics related to safety/risk management and camp activities/programming. Some of the safety and risk management related topics address things like basic first aid, water safety, what to do in the event of severe weather, fire safety including how to safely build and extinguish a campfire, how to recognize signs of child abuse or neglect and what to do about it, and general camp safety rules. Our counselors recognize they must be strong role models, substitute parents, mentors, activity leaders, friends and much more to the campers entrusted in their care.

Camp activities and program training topics have included learning how to teach camp songs, leading rainy-day activities, engaging campers in recreation and camp sessions, working with homesick campers and more.

Our counselors and campers will be engaged in myriad activities at camp. Here are just a few of the many things that go on at 4-H camp: cabin and outdoor games, canoeing, archery, riflery, nature programs, flag raising and lowering, camp fires, zip lining, scuba diving, tye dying, rock climbing, fishing, kayaking, outdoor cooking, line dancing and so much more.

I am very proud of the dedication our camp counselors have shown throughout the past few months of training sessions, and I’m grateful our campers get to benefit from their leadership during camp.

This year’s 4-H Camp sold out quickly, but I hope in the future you will consider sending your kids to 4-H camp to take advantage of the many activities available.

Doug Foxx is an OSU Extension 4-H youth development educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722 or foxx.2@osu.edu.

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