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.
The Rockdale County 4-H Club has 90 spaces for fifth graders for summer camp at Camp Wahsega in Dahlonega. The cost for a week at Camp Wahsega is $300, which includes transportation, food, lodging, a t-shirt and all activities.
While this is a great value for a week of summer camp, right now 16 fifth graders in Rockdale County will not get to experience 4-H camp because they have applied for a camp scholarship and we do not have the funds. We still need $3290 to fund the scholarship requests for the remaining 16 applicants. Many of the requests from this year’s applicants are from single parents trying to make ends meet, those who have lost their jobs, have medical expenses, or from those facing unexpected expenses such as raising a grandchild.
As part of the application we ask for a detailed budget to make sure applicants are really in need. One applicant showed that he had $75 left from his income each month after bills were paid. The family didn’t have cable or a cell phone, yet the family was asking for only half a scholarship. That’s how badly their child wanted to go to camp. The family is willing to sacrifice even more to send their child.
To fund all the requests, the 4-H program needs $6090. We’ve already received $2800 in donations from our annual scholarship donors, but we need another $3290 to make these final children’s dreams of summer camp come true.
Any amount of money will help. All donations are tax-deductible. Even partial scholarships will make a difference. In the past we’ve had donations from businesses, civic groups, individuals and even families that don’t have kids or whose children had a good experience at camp when they were in the fifth grade.
Summer camp is important to 4-H youngsters. It’s a chance for them to be with their own age group away from their parents, where they can build self-esteem and self-confidence, make new friends, and learn how to be responsible on their own. This doesn’t even take into account that summer camp is just plain FUN!
Campers will have the opportunity to take a variety of classes, which offer hands-on experience in archaeology, archery, photography, microwave cooking, pond ecology and canoeing, to name but a few activities.
If you would like to help send a deserving child to 4-H camp, donations can be sent to the Rockdale County 4-H Club, 1400 Parker Road, Lobby A, Conyers, GA 30094. Checks should be made payable to the Rockdale 4-H Club.
Funds are needed by May 27 and are tax-deductible. If you would like more information on the 4-H camping program please call 770-278-7373.