Youth in Bryan County looking for summer activities have the opportunity to travel to various places in Georgia through the county’s 4-H program.
According to Bryan County 4-H Extension Coordinator Shanna Waters Davis, students in grades 5-12 can participate in various summer camps that will provide outdoor recreation, educational workshops and classes and more.
“As with all of our 4-H activities, it gives the four essential elements of youth — mastery, belonging, independence and generosity,” Davis said. “Being away from home for a week you have a chance to shine in one of your skills, whether it be physical or arts and crafts or swimming — you’ll have the chance to be good at something.”
Davis said Bryan County 4-H is looking for more kids and teens in the county to attend the camps because participation has declined in the past few years.
“We want to get the word out and have more children know about the camp — we’re (4-H) not allowed to go into the middle schools like we used to and many students don’t hear about the camps anymore,” Davis said.
Students in fifth and sixth grades for $320 can attend the Cloverleaf Camp this year from June 10-14 at Georgia 4-H’s mountain retreat, Wahsega, located in Dahlonega.
Students will participate in various activities, including panning for gold, nature trails, swimming, canoeing, educational classes and more.
Seventh- and eighth-grade students for $355 can enjoy a week of activities from June 17-21 at Fortson 4-H Center in Hampton near Atlanta. Students will enjoy off-center activities, including a night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, White Water Park and a laser show at Stone Mountain Park.
At the center, campers can enjoy activities, including a zip line, rock wall, archery, herpetology, dance, canoeing, swimming, nature trails, ultimate Frisbee, campfire, kickball and more.
Students in grades 9-12 for $320 can enjoy a weeklong from July 1-5 trip to senior camp at Jekyll Island 4-H Center on Jekyll Island. A Fourth of July celebration will take place during camp, which includes dinner, a talent show, a dance and fireworks on the beach.
Other activities during senior camp include a trip to Summer Waves Water Park, mini golf and shopping on St. Simons Island, community service activities, free time and educational classes.
Davis said some parents worry about how far away some of the camps are, but she noted all camp and 4-H extension personnel are trained for emergencies.
“We understand it is a good bit away, but we are well trained for any emergency that may happen,” Davis said. “If your child needs to come home, you’re contacted. And if it is a medical emergency, we will take them to the hospital. The camp staff and extension staff have protocol we must follow.”
She said counselors and extension staff will also work with campers who become homesick by introducing them to the camp, spending one-on-one time with them and making sure they feel comfortable.
Davis said the cost of each camp includes lodging, meals, transportation, classes, recreation, chaperones, activity fees, insurance and a camp T-shirt.
“A lot of children, once they hear how much it costs, won’t even take the information home,” she said. “But we try to explain if they’d be willing to do extra chores to earn a way to camp, or have a yard sale or wash cars or cut grass for a neighbor, they might be able to earn the chance to go.”
Payments for the camps are accepted in installments, Davis said, but the extension office staff encourages families and students to register and pay by April 15.
For more information about certain camps, prices or deadlines, call the Bryan County 4-H office at 653-2231 or visit www.georgia4h.org.