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4-H day camp collecting supplies
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Toilet paper tubes, AA batteries and hot glue needed.

My favorite part of recycling has always been re-using objects.

Bert and Ernie’s twiddlebug houses made milk cartons or cookie boxes, complete with matchbox beds always looked so fun.

So this summer, I’m excited to have an outlet for my recycling creativity.

A team of 4-H’ers need your toilet paper tubes, plastic jugs and more for a week of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics fun this summer.

They also need a variety of other supplies that you may have lying around or tell someone you know who can give us a deal.

4-H’ers who attend the weeklong day camp will be transported to “STEAM Island” (located in the Newton County Administration Building) to work as teams to build bridges, boats, trebuchets and more as they establish new settlements on their nearly deserted islands.

Many of the supplies we’re collecting are things you have at home or might be willing to add on when you check out, so please let us know if you can help.

Five low temperature hot glue guns and lots of glue sticks, electrical tape, duct tape, and masking tape are needed to hold projects together.

Large and small rubber bands, twine, string, pipe cleaners, scissors, and wire cutters will also hold creations in place.

Toothpicks, popsicle sticks of all sizes, bendable straws, skewers, dowels of varying thickness, and any type of stake or tube up to 4-feet long will be used in building projects. Types of longer stakes and sticks commonly used include wooden stakes, plastic vegetable stakes and fairly thin PVC pipe.

The smaller items are most often used in building models before the teams test their designs and prepare to build full size projects.

Battery packs to hold two AA batteries, plus AA batteries, alligator clips and insulated electrical wire will be used in building cars and boats.

Other electrical supplies needed are 6 volt mini motors (for cars), mini motors with 3-propellors (for boats), and LEDs of varying colors.

Acrylic paint and small paint brushes, as well as other art supplies are used in many projects.

Large garbage bags, brown paper lunch bags, plastic cups, and Styrofoam plates, bowls and cups will be cut apart and used in everything from building shelters to making funnels.

Bouncy balls, play dough, modeling clay and pool noodles all find surprising uses in STEAM projects.

Recycled items we can use are paper towel and toilet paper tubes, plastic bottles and jugs with lids of all sizes. We’re also looking for t-shirts with interesting, child-appropriate designs that might be repurposed into tote bags and other sewing projects.

Other objects needed for budding engineers are small bits and pieces such as screws, washers, nuts, strips of metal with holes, wheels, and other items that would work similar to an erector set.

To see an example of these types of pieces, there are currently small building kits at Dollar Tree called “Metal Model Kits” which make a robot or plane. Small tools to use would also be useful.

My biggest challenge this year may be organizing all the various pieces, but I couldn’t be more excited about the creativity at work with this team of young leaders.

Five middle school youth recently attended “Mission Make-It” with Georgia 4-H at the Warner Robins Museum of Aviation to experience new projects they can share.

They will each facilitate activities with a team of 3rd-8th grade youth during the camp.

Activities center not only on academic learning, but will also teach teamwork, creativity, and even self-control.

Teen leaders have planned an area where youth can work alone when needed to try out an idea or just get a break from their team, and I can’t wait to see what creativity comes from the maker station.

If you can donate any items, or would like to check if we’re already full on an item, you may reach me at 770-784-2010 or

Items or financial donations can be brought to our office at 1113 Usher Street, Suite 202 in Covington. If your item may be difficult to bring through security, please call ahead so we can make advance arrangements with the officers.

Any extra funds or items will be used with STEAM activities throughout the year.