Many 4-H alumni talk about the days of county camps in locations closer to home, such as using Salem Campground.
Today’s 4-H’ers are accustomed to our five large 4-H centers from the mountains to the coast, so visiting an old county camp was a real treat this weekend.
Thirteen 4-H’ers and two leaders traveled to Richmond County 4-H Camp in Augusta for an overnight portfolio retreat. It was hosted by Richmond County 4-H’ers and staff, including 4-H agent Robin Turi, who most recently worked with 4-H in Rockdale County.
Rockdale 4-H’ers also attended with agent Brittany Johnson.
The three counties’ youths spent Friday night selecting projects and writing out their portfolio work for 2013. Portfolios summarize the learning, teaching, service and leadership each seventh- through twelfth grade 4-H’er does each calendar year. Members detail the learning and teaching they do within a certain project area, such as nutrition, earth science, veterinary science or sports.
They then record community service and leadership activities from any area, including what they have done with school, scouts and church.
The end result is two pages of writing similar to a résumé, along with two pages of supporting materials and a cover letter for high-school students. These portfolios are not only used in competition, but also can easily help a 4-H member apply to colleges and seek scholarships in the future.
Seventh-graders might have entries such as "helped younger brother tie his shoes," or "packed lunches for siblings."
The older 4-H’ers tend to have more involved items, such as "led 12 youths in a river cleanup" or "taught seven classes on nuclear science to the groups listed."
The retreat was a way for new 4-H members to get a jump start on their portfolios, and for all three counties’ youths to get to know some new friends.
And we were all excited to try out a different 4-H camp, even if it was pretty rustic. I must admit, we joked that it seemed like we were sleeping in the seven dwarfs’ cabin – we had never seen such tiny bunk beds! A tree frog landed on my head not once, but twice, during the night, but I was too tired to care much after the late night and morning working on portfolios and service projects.
It’s not too late to start on a portfolio. If you are in grades 7-12, give me a call to see how you can start yours and spend a 3-day weekend at Rock Eagle with us in March. Students ages 9 through sixth grade are working on projects right now. Call to make an appointment to receive help with your 4-H project.
And now, it’s off to Pittsburgh, Pa., with several other Georgia extension agents as we network with a few thousand extension agents from around the country.
I am presenting a poster session on how to use national 4-H marketing resources in county programs.
I am also fortunate to be receiving three awards this week at the conference: a service award, a specialty award for a geospatial program at camp, and my second national award for this column.
I appreciate you reading each week, and supporting our youth through 4-H.
Don’t forget that we are in the final weeks of our 2013 aluminum pop-tab collection. Bring your tabs into the office this week so we can reach our old record of 598 pounds!
Terri Kimble Fullerton is the Newton County 4-H Agent through UGA Cooperative Extension. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.