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4-H’ers stay busy with summer projects

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This has been a busy summer for Brunswick County 4-H.
Twelve teens and one counselor-in-training served at the 4-H Summer Fun day camps. Teens led the campers in songs and icebreakers; taught them about felting, letterboxing, acting and tennis; helped prepare lunches; and even bandaged a boo-boo or two.
Campers aged 9-12 took trips to Airlie Gardens, Masonboro Island, N.C. Baptist Assembly, Cameron Art Museum and Brookgreen Gardens. Accompanied by leaders Portia Gause, Summer Fun coordinator, and Angie Lawrence, program assistant, campers learned environmental science, wildlife care, pirate games, railroad history and how to surf.
Clover-buds (5- to 8-year-olds) had a special teacher for many of the camps, Trisha Apple, a veteran 4-H volunteer, along with her daughters, taught campers about cooking healthy foods, how to make wearable art, how to explore the environment and much more. Personnel from the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher and N.C. Science Museum visited and the campers learned about seahorses and birds.
The last Summer Fun trip was to the N.C. Zoo in Asheboro, where a number of 9- to 12-year-olds, two TiLT teens and Blair Wooten, 4-H extension agent, and Angie Lawrence, 4-H program assistant, attended an overnight stay at the zoo. They learned about giraffes up close and personal, including hand-feeding them; enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour; and learned about animal adaptations and how to make African jewelry.
The Summer Fun Passport to Adventure camps ended with a moon bounce party and games led by TiLT teens and Summer Fun coordinator Portia Gause. They served hot dogs, popcorn and Italian ice to 75 participants including campers, TiLT teens, volunteers and their families.
As a service project for the summer, campers were asked to bring in donations for Brunswick Family Assistance, Paws Place, Comfort Socks and Pregnancy Care Management. At the party, a representative from BFA picked up 177 pounds of food and Comfort Socks received several pairs of new socks. They also collected a box of dog toys and a box of baby items still waiting to be delivered.
The camps would not have been a success without volunteers like Donna Michaux, Marie Yurgel, Trisha Apple, Stephanie Jones, June Summers, the TiLT teens, the 4-H staff and many more.
Other camps enjoyed by 4-H campers included: ATMC Leadership Camp at the N.C. F.F.A. Center at Whitelake; Grange Camp at Eastern 4-H Center; and BJP Residential Camp at Betsy Jeff Penn 4-H Center.
In June, four Brunswick County 4-H teens attended the ATMC Cooperative Leadership Camp. John Macon Michaux, Kirra Jones, Bryan Simmons and Andrew Walton learned how a cooperative works, studied leadership skills and made lifetime friends. In July, Michaux represented Brunswick County 4-H at Grange Camp.
In August, Blair Wooten took 18 children ages 9-14 to Betsy Jeff Penn 4-H Center in Reidsville where they enjoyed canoeing, horseback riding, archery, arts and crafts and much more. Six campers were considered Trekkers. These campers backpacked and camped overnight: They canoed, did some rock climbing and finally stopped and put up tents and camped for the night. Great memories and life skills were made this summer.
Annually, Brunswick County 4-H’ers travel to Raleigh for N.C. State 4-H Congress, where they participate in contests, workshops, awards banquets, dances and community service with other 4-H’ers from all over North Carolina. This year there were seven participants from Brunswick County. They participated in the horticulture contest, poultry contest, AIRE, a presentations contest. A local teen run for state 4-H vice president—and won.
Justin Simmons is the 2011-2012 N.C. State 4-H vice president and will represent N.C. 4-H all over the state this year. The horticulture team came in second and Janzen Jones won gold with her dairy presentation.