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Each year, youth from around the state travel to 4-H camps with their county 4-H agent. This year will be no exception, as Brunswick County 4-H’ers will be attending Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Center Aug. 7-12.
Beginning with a cookout on Sunday afternoon and culminating with fond farewells and hugs on Friday morning, a week of camp can be the highlight of a child’s summer. Packed with activity, new friends and new opportunity, the week seems to go by way too fast.
The Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Center maintains full 24-hour supervision with a staff-to-camper ratio of at least a one-to-eight. The staff attempts to teach life skills and encourage personal growth in all interactions and activities, while following the 4-H method, “Learn by doing!” Campers will have the opportunity to be involved in many activities, such as canoeing, wall climbing, horseback riding, crafts, swimming and archery.
Campers are assigned single-sex cabins and coed activity groups according to age and request (when possible). Activity groups stay together throughout the day, participating in various camp activities and sharing meal times.
The camp staff is highly trained, energetic and enthusiastic about both the programs and participants. Staff members are hired locally and internationally, providing a culturally diverse group of people. As an operation of North Carolina State University, the camp has access to the best training on youth development techniques and programming in the state. Background checks are also performed on all program staff.
Young people ages 15-17 interested in gaining leadership skills and understanding camp and youth development are encouraged to inquire about the Leader-In-Training (LIT) program. LITs spend part of their time working on program setup and behind-the-scenes details. They also participate in specific training exercises, teambuilding, high ropes and other leadership opportunities.
Campers ages 8-14 sleep in modern cabins with multiple indoor showers and restroom facilities. Each cabin houses up to 22 participants in three separate rooms, with three counselors available to provide supervision.
Youth ages 12-14 are eligible to participate in the Outdoor Adventure. Youth ages 13-14 can participate in Trekker programs. Adventurers camp outdoors for two nights on the campgrounds. They will learn the importance of trust and communication through team building and high-ropes course activities. They will also be able to develop and expand canoeing skills and learn global positioning skills during Geocaching adventures. Trekkers spend the first half of the week learning canoeing and rock climbing skills. During the last half, Trekkers will travel offsite to canoe down the Mayo River, rock climb at Pilot Mountain State Park and camp at the park.
Cost is $310 or $330 for the Trekker program, which includes a T-shirt and $15 camp store credit. A non-refundable deposit of $50 is required by June 1 to reserve your spot for camp. A $100 payment is due by July 1 and the remaining balance is due Aug. 1.