4-H Summer Campers Learn by Doing
UF/IFAS Levy County 4-H hosts day camps throughout the summer. This year, the camps are focusing on the 4-H Mission.
The UF/IFAS Extension 4-H Youth Development Program uses a learn-by-doing approach to help the young people gain the knowledge and skills they need to be responsible, productive citizens. This mission is accomplished by creating safe and inclusive learning environments, involving caring adults, and utilizing the expertise and resources of the University of Florida and the nationwide land grant university system.
With this mission in mind, Genevieve Mendoza, the new 4-H agent in Levy County, planned the first week’s camp with many, many hands-on activities. After all of the campers enjoyed their breakfast, said the Pledge of Allegiance and the 4-H Pledge, they broke into their two separate camps.
Gardening & Nutrition Camp
The Gardening & Nutrition camp first learned about fruits and veggies with Katie Trimm, the FNP program assistant at the Levy Extension Office. Katie spoke about the parts of plants and the parts of plant you eat. Then the campers learned about cutting up cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and carrots and proceeded to eat those plant parts. They learned about a healthy snack — black bean corn salsa — and then they sampled some.
Other events during the week included the creation of a garden in a glove, hydroponic gardening, and making a rainbow carnation. They learned about water conservation, soil sampling, and created photo webs of how most everyday products can be traced back to the soil.
The campers went on a field trip to a watermelon farm with Mr. Anthony Drew, the agriculture agent for the Levy Extension Office. There they saw how watermelons grow. After their visit to the field, the campers and Mr. Drew went to a packing and processing plant for watermelons. Then they visited Winn Dixie in Chiefland to see the final products in the store. Many watermelon samples were enjoyed by the campers.
The second group of campers learned about fish and fishing. Two members of the Aquatic Animal Health Department at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine came out to discuss fish conservation and husbandry with an interactive PowerPoint demonstration. After lunch, the campers learned all about tackle and angler basics and the differences between saltwater and freshwater fishing. The fishing camp went on a few field trips, which included going to the UF fisheries, the Cedar Key FWC fish dissection lab and they did some fishing at the Cedar Key Pier.
On the last day of that camp, the campers learned about cleaning the fish they caught, and they were instructed in some fish-frying fundamentals. They then sampled catfish, tilapia and mullet to see how the tastes differed between those species.
The 4-H day camps are now booked for the rest of the summer. Those campers will be learning by doing throughout their days at camp. The UF/IFAS Extension Office in Levy County wants to thank all of the staffers, counselors and volunteers throughout the area who helped the young people of Levy County to gain insight while having fun with new experiences this summer.
If you have a child that may be interested in 4-H Camping, there are still openings at the away camp, Camp Cherry Lake, in Madison, Florida. Campers from Levy, Dixie, Alachua and Gilchrist will be camping together for the week. The age range for campers is 8-13. In Levy, the campers meet at the Extension Office and will be transported by bus to camp. This camp runs from July 10 through 14 and the cost is $245. If you are interested in registering your child for Camp Cherry Lake, click here. You will also need to fill out additional forms which you can find and print from the UF/IFAS Levy Extension website.
NOTE: If you are interested in the 2018 summer camp dates and activities, keep watching this blog, our Facebook page or Eventbrite.