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Posted: May 31, 2014 10:00 p.m.

10 excuses not to go to camp answered

We’re down to the last days of camp registration, and lucky for you there are still a few spaces available! Are your ready for your child to have the most amazing week of adventure?

If you have concerns or questions, I bet you’re not the only one. Keep reading to see why I think you should send your 9 year old to rising seventh grader to camp with me this summer.

My child has never spent the night away from home.

It has to happen one day, right? I’ve rarely had a child go home for being homesick.

The vast majority of kids meet new friends, maybe get a little sad the first night, and by Tuesday they’re ready to live at camp forever.

Sorry, parents, but they really aren’t thinking about you much by Tuesday.

But there are snakes in the wilderness!Guess what? There are snakes in Newton County!

I’ll also let you in on a little secret—the snakes really don’t like kids, either. They won’t be roasting s’mores by the campfire or lining up at the dining hall.

Just remind your child not to pick up any wildlife at camp unless it’s in the learning lab.

What if my child doesn't know anyone?


Great! He’ll be the first to make new friends instead of just trying to spend time only with the one kid he already knows.

With about 185 Newton, Rockdale and Irwin County youth, there are a lot of new friends to meet at Camp Wahsega.

I can't get to the office during business hours to make a payment.

We accept most major credit and debit cards over the phone.

I know kids can go to camp if they turned at least 9 by Dec. 31, 2013, but my child is only a rising fourth grader.


Okay, this is a tough one. Some kids are ready in the third or fourth grade and some aren’t. But my cousin Aley just finished third grade at Flint Hill and is headed to camp this summer, and she’d love to meet you’re your child.

My child isn't a 4-H member!

It only takes a minute to fill out the enrollment card-- and joining 4-H is free!

We hope 4-H camp will be just the first of many fun and educational 4-H adventures for your child.

How do I know I can trust the chaperones?

All adult leaders, paid and volunteer, and camp staff are background checked and trained through the University of Georgia.

Teen leaders are youth we know well through their extensive 4-H participation, and they are also trained.

Counselors are trained in CPR, first aid, life guarding, ropes courses, youth development and environmental education.

I watched the camp video at wahsega4h.org, and some of those activities look dangerous. Are you sure my child won't get hurt at camp?

You’re raising a child, so of course you already know life doesn’t come with any guarantees. Yes, sometimes kids catch strep throat or twist an ankle.

I can’t make any guarantees your child won’t get hurt or sick at camp, but there is nothing inherently unsafe about camp activities.

Trained lifeguards are on duty during swim time, ropes courses are inspected and operated by trained staff, and we wear life vests during the tubing trip.

Georgia 4-H camps more than 10,000 children each summer, and we hope the biggest risk your child takes this summer is deciding whether or not to use all his spending money by Wednesday or stepping out and trying something new at camp.

My child has food allergies or other special needs.

The cafeteria staff at Wahsega are experts at providing special foods-- just ask my dad, who can’t have dehydrated onions in the spaghetti sauce. He’s camped there every summer for at least 10 years without any trouble.

We also routinely take children who need other medical care, such as daily medications, breathing treatments for Cystic Fibrosis, or daily insulin shots.

I'm out of excuses, when is camp?

Camp Wahsega is June 23-27.  Call 770-784-2010 or visit us at 1113 Usher Street, Suite 202, to make your $310 payment and pick up a packing list!

Terri Kimble Fullerton is a Newton County 4-H Agent through UGA Cooperative Extension. She can be reached at tkimble@uga.edu.

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