The third week of summer day camps for Jackson County 4-H kicked off with lessons about agriculture and the outdoors.
The 4-H campers participated in learning activities ranging from the role of pollinators to lake and forest ecosystems.
This program was a collaboration with neighboring Barrow County 4-H, bringing the total number of participants to 24 between the two counties.
Campers got to experience the great outdoors by visiting Sunny Hill Farms, Shields-Etheridge Farm, 7 G’s Farm and Fort Yargo State Park.
Teamwork skills were learned by campers in activities like building electronic bees and searching for geocaches.
During the visit to Fort Yargo, the 4-H’ers spent time on trails learning about plant and animal identification, as well as hunting for geocaches with guidance from Jackson County Master Gardener Brandy Pethel.
Jonathan Page, Jackson County 4-H Educator, described the week as a great learning opportunity for the kids.
“Our campers have had a busy week of completing healthy outdoor living activities, visiting with farm animals and learning about where their food comes from,” Page said following a visit to Pittman Farms to get up close with a herd of beef cattle.
Page expanded on how tenants of 4-H build life skills for children and ultimately result in positive youth development.
“The hands-on approach that 4-H incorporates into empowering kids to become more confident and independent is something we really try to emphasize with the young people who come through our programs,” Page said.
Exposing children to agriculture shows them how scientific procedures can be applied to everyday living. It also teaches kids where their food comes from and how it is produced.
The long-lasting positive impacts for children who go through 4-H are tough to ignore.
4-H’ers are more likely to give back to their community, make healthier food choices and participate in STEM activities when compared to other young people.
“As an educator, it is always fun to see how a child can hear one interesting thing about a topic and then become very passionate about learning more,” Page said.
By giving kids the opportunity to learn about agriculture, they are able to discover a career field that encompasses much more than just working on a farm.
“I believe that making children aware of how they can channel their passions into a career down the road is a key role as an educator,” Page said.
From picking blueberries to geocaching and fishing for bass, the kids at camp kept high spirits throughout the week.
“It is less common today to see kids playing outside and enjoying nature, so it really feels rewarding to see the campers having fun as they run around looking for bugs and start to see the value in getting outdoors,” Page said.
For more information about Jackson County 4-H and its programs, contact 4-H Extension Agent April Edwards at email@example.com or 4-H Educator Jonathan Page at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jackson County 4-H is a unit of the Jackson County Extension Service which is run by the University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Science.