"Dear Mom, Have you ever been to 4-H camp?" starts a letter from a fifth grade 4-H student.
She lists her reasons in the persuasive letter, but my favorite has to be this paragraph:
"My final reason is that camp is a wonderful time to get to leave the house. Getting to leave the house and don't be like a squirrel in winter! My mom said I need to get out of the house. My 4-H teacher said it's a good way to get out of the house!"
Many of the other letters we've read this year include the need to escape a sibling for a week, or a desire to meet new friends.
They also talk about the fun environmental education classes, the exciting ropes courses and team building events, and getting to see something new.
If your child turned 9 in 2011, he or she is old enough for 4-H camp! We have camps for children age 9 all the way through twelfth grade.
You do not need to be a current member of 4-H to attend camp-and friends or relatives visiting for the summer are welcome to sign up, too!
A $100 non-refundable, cash deposit reserves your space, and the remainder of the camp fee can be paid in installments over the next two months.
You may also mail a money order to: Newton County 4-H, 1113 Usher Street, Suite 202, Covington, Georgia 30014.
There are four excellent opportunities this summer.
Youth who turned 9 anytime in 2011 up through the 6th grade can join us at Cloverleaf Camp at Rock Eagle 4-H Center this summer.
We leave on Monday, June 25 for a week jam-packed with new friends, canoeing, healthy living activities, campfires, environmental education classes, recreation, sports, wildlife, and fun.
Your child will develop independence, practice making decisions, and learn to make new friends as they spend 5 days and 4 nights at Rock Eagle.
Transportation to and from Covington, a camp t-shirt, insurance, and all activities and food are included.
Sixth and seventh grade students have the choice of two camps.
The first is Wilderness Challenge Camp at Wahsega 4-H Center in Dahlonega.
From July 9 to 13, we'll challenge ourselves with exciting wilderness tests.
Spending the night in Raccoon Mountain Cavern is my favorite event of the week, although rafting the Ocoee River rapids is a close second.
4-H'ers also enjoy camping outdoors one night, swimming in the pond at Wahsega, making new friends, and taking wilderness courses.
The total cost is $325 and includes all events, a souvenir, insurance, transportation, lodging and food.
Seventh and eighth grade students may also sign up for Junior Camp at Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island from June 11 to 15.
Youth will hit the beach, tour a lighthouse, explore Savannah, study the marsh, cruise the river, and make new friends.
All events, a camp souvenir, insurance, lodging and food are included for $300. An optional district bus is available for $50.
High school students are invited to Senior Camp at Rock Eagle 4-H Center from July 2 to 6.
These students will tackle the high ropes, tour colleges, host night swims, celebrate the 4th of July, attend the variety show, host a service carnival, and much more.
Transportation to Rock Eagle (36 miles from Covington) is not included.
Senior Camp events, insurance, lodging and food are all covered for only $295.
All camps are staffed by UGA screened and trained collegiate counselors and employees.
Additional leaders attending with each county are UGA employees and UGA screened and trained volunteer leaders.
Military families should also check out http://georgia4h.org/omk/ and http://www.militaryfamily.org/our-programs/operation-purple/ to learn about free camping programs around the country. Camp scholarship funds for Newton County 4-H'ers of all ages are greatly needed, and all donations are tax-deductible.
Five simple days away from home, learning a little independence and a lot about life can make a huge difference in the life of a young person. A small donation toward a partial camp scholarship can help make that possible for even more youth in our community this year.
Call me at (770) 784-2010 if you have any questions about registering for camp or making a donation.
Terri Kimble is the Newton County 4-H Agent through UGA Cooperative Extension. She can be reached at (770) 784-2010 or email@example.com.