“Dear Mom and Dad,” begins each of the letters sitting on my desk today from Newton County 4-H members.
Each is an entry in the persuasive letter contest to win a free week of 4-H camp this summer.
“I really want to go to Rock Eagle 4-H Center. There will be so many fun things like zip lining, swimming, learning and more! You won’t even have to worry about me for a whole week!” says one.
She goes on to add, “I know you have some concerns because you are a parent, but trust me there is nothing to worry about… if you don’t believe me you can check their website!”
I only giggle because she isn’t here to see my reaction, but we all know no matter how much parents know the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and 4-H program is a name they can trust, they’ll still worry every minute until our busses pull back in on Friday.
Parents usually tell us they’re concerned that their children aren’t ready for camp, but I think it just may be the other way around.
We did not have phones at camp as children, either, but they find it hard to imagine children going to camp without electronic gadgets.
I find that most kids are already making new friends after 10 minutes on a bus without other distractions, and few even want to go home by Friday. Somewhere along the way, they forgot about having phones.
This summer we take fourth through sixth grade students to Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, for the week of July 4-8.
Even I will get to experience something I’ve never seen at 4-H camp—fireworks.
We’ve even been planning a camp parade as we celebrate the holiday with 1000 of our closest 4-H friends.
Camp registration is underway, and you can register any current fourth through sixth grade student with a non-refundable $110 deposit. We can assist you to set up a payment plan to complete the remaining $220.
Call 770-784-2010 or visit us in the Newton County Administration Building at 1113 Usher Street in Covington to make your payment with cash, debit or credit.
Registration is also open for ninth through 12th grade camps at Rock Eagle 4-H Center.
Senior 4-H Camp, including a day of classes at the University of Georgia, is May 30 through June 3. The cost is $370 and transportation is not included.
Senior eXtreme Camp takes place at Frank Fitch Pioneer Camp at Rock Eagle, in tents and A-frame huts. It includes adventures from high ropes to shooting sports, and takes place June 13-17. Transportation is not included, and the total cost is $345.
Space is limited and going quickly in both camps.
Camps for seventh- and eighth-grade students currently have a waiting list, but you can call for more information.
Grandchildren visiting for the summer? We can sign them up, too, so give us a call!
Or are you now reminiscing about your summers at 4-H camp?
Thinking back to the water slide at Rock Eagle (yes, it’s still there), the swimming pond at Wahsega, or the marsh at Camp Burton on Tybee Island?
You can help make camp possible for students in Newton County with a tax-deductible donation to our camp scholarship fund.
Donations of every size help us to send deserving young people to a week of educational fun they’ll never forget.
Funds are awarded by our scholarship committee to 4-H members who have been active and demonstrate financial need, as well as receive recommendations from at least 2 adults.
If I haven’t convinced you to send a kid to camp, just check out what these 4-H’ers have to say:
“No, we won’t be a bunch of muddy little rascals. They have showers to keep us sparkling clean!”
“I know it’s a lot of money, but you guys have a week for freedom. So you can be happy and do whatever you want.”
“I will make some fantastic friends.”
And maybe my favorite so far: “So please, can I get out of the house this summer. When I get home the smile on my face will tell you it was worth it.”
Terri Fullerton is a County Extension Agent in 4-H Youth with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.