Dear Editor: Canoeing, campfires, swimming and even swatting a few annoying insects are all a part of 4-H summer camp. It lasts only a week, yet memories endure for life.
I am worried that some fifth graders in Rockdale County might not get to experience 4-H camp. This year, we have 27 applicants for partial summer camp scholarships.
Many requests are from single parents or grandparents raising children trying to make ends meet; those who have lost their jobs, have medical expenses or from those facing unexpected expenses.
The cost for a week at Camp Rock Eagle in Eatonton is $315, which includes transportation, food, lodging, a T-shirt and all activities.
Thanks to the generosity of our annual camp scholarship donors, we have raised $2,240 to help send 13 of the applicants to Rock Eagle, but we still have 11 4-H’ers whom we don’t have funds for to cover the cost of camp. We need another $1,760 to get them to Rock Eagle.
ANY amount of money will help and donations are tax-deductible. In the past, we’ve had donations from businesses, civic groups, individuals and even families who don’t have kids or whose children had a good experience at 4-H camp when they were in the fifth grade.
For many fifth graders, 4-H summer camp is a chance for them to be away from home for the first time. They enjoy time with others in their peer groups away from their parents where they can build self-esteem and self-confidence, make new friends and learn how to be self-directed young people.
Campers have the opportunity to take a variety of classes, which offer hands-on experience in archery, lake ecology, wildlife, herpetology and canoeing, to name a few activities.
Also, at Rock Eagle, the campers learn about Native American heritage and the mound builders who were in the region more than 5,000 years ago and left an eagle-shaped rock mound at the Rock Eagle site.
If you would like to help send a deserving 4-H’er to camp, donations can be sent to the Rockdale County 4-H Club, 1400 Parker Road, Lobby A, Conyers, GA 30094. For more information, call 770-278-7373.
Rockdale County 4-H Agent