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Posted: June 23, 2012 5:32 p.m.

Health Rocks! camp a success

Watch out Covington - there are some really talented watermelon seed spitters here.
Granted, my favorite part was seeing the look on children's faces when they were handed a slice of watermelon and told it was OK to spit the seeds as far as possible.
4-H Health Rocks! Day Camp is always an adventure.
It's planned by the youth and adult 4-H Health Rocks! ambassadors with the help of other 4-H teen leaders and volunteer leaders.
After three years, it continues to evolve.
The youth take turns preparing and presenting each lesson in the 10 hours of curriculum, changing which lessons are selected slightly each year.
Teen leaders coordinate crafts, healthy snacks, and recreation time, as well as ice breakers and other time fillers.
4-H'ers also prepare lessons on their own projects, such as public speaking or rabbits.
This year, on top of all that, they added a community service project - the "Good Ol' Fashioned Fun Day" on the square Friday.
Each camper, from the most experienced teen leader to the newest 4-H'er, helped plan and host the event.
One group forgot to bring all their supplies; two groups needed tables but didn't think to include those in their packing lists.
And the biggest question of all running through my head: is anyone even going to come?
Thank you to everyone who put that fear to rest, as even well before we officially began, people began to flood onto the square.
At the official start of the event, I counted at least 100 children and adults spread across the Square creating pet rocks, petting bunnies, hula hooping, blowing bubbles and having fun.
Even the tiniest of adorable babies was bouncing along to the music coming from the record player.
Yes, a real record player -another first for many of our campers this week.
We were also proud to have Kohl's employees volunteering at our event.
Five employees from the Conyers Kohl's store assisted by cutting watermelon, passing out snacks, photographing the event and filling in at the games.
They are also donating $500 toward 4-H Project Achievement, helping us keep the public speaking competition free for all our competitors. It costs about $2,500 annually for Newton 4-H'ers to participate.
But as I looked across the square Friday, individual faces of the 4-H'ers participating stood out to me as I thought of how much personal growth I've seen this week.
One youth told a teen leader he wasn't even sure where he was going when his parents dropped him off on Monday, and admitted that's why he was a little shy that day.
By Friday, he was marching around the square with a grin plastered across his face, and a face painted curly mustache, encouraging more people to stop and join our games with a 4-H sign.
Countless people stopped to tell me what an enthusiastic and great ambassador for 4-H we had found and I completely agree.
So, congratulations on a great week of day camp to our 4-H Health Rocks! Ambassadors Michelle Lewis, MaKenzy McCord, Mrs. Colleen Lewis and Mrs. Jamie McCord.
Thank you to all the teen leaders and campers who made the week a success: Bryce Boutwell, Tiffani Singleton, Charles Reed, Jamie Aevaliotis, Kara Gartner, Kacie Gartner, Liz Simpson, Kayla Gartner, Rachel Langford, Jacob Sorrells, Cati Aevaliotis, Bradford Porter and Catherine Little.
Thanks also to volunteer leaders Sandi Gartner, Laura Aevaliotis and Elaine Kimble for helping with camp.

 

Terri Kimble is the Newton County 4-H Agent through UGA Cooperative Extension. She can be reached at (770) 784-2010 or tkimble@uga.edu.

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