Florida’s Oldest Summer Camp Invites Alumni Down Memory Lane
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida 4-H alumni will have a chance to relive the summers of their youth at the first annual 4-H Camp Timpoochee Alumni Day, set for March 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Niceville, Florida.
Camp Timpoochee will celebrate its 92nd anniversary this year, making it the oldest continually running summer camp in Florida. Florida 4-H, which operates the camp, is the youth development organization of the University of Florida IFAS Extension.
“Because our long history, we will have several generations of alumni at the reunion. So far, we have more than 100 people registered, though we welcome anyone who wants to attend,” said Ariel Blanton, director of Camp Timpoochee.
Visiting alumni will participate in a variety of activities designed to take them back to their time at camp, such as cabin tours, arts and crafts, camp games, a photo wall and visit to the camp’s marine science lab.
Marine science education is one of the unique features of Camp Timpoochee, Blanton said.
“For many of our campers, Camp Timpoochee is the first time they get to experience the ocean first hand. The Choctawhatchee Bay is right in our backyard, and it’s a living classroom. We partner with Florida Sea Grant to provide hands-on marine science education to hundreds of kids from the Florida Panhandle each year,” Blanton said. “
Alumni will also tour the camp’s aging sea wall, which is in need of repair, Blanton said. “Without the sea wall, we may not be able to offer the same kind of marine science activities Timpoochee is known for. We hope that our alumni will step forward to help us repair the wall,” she said.
Organizations such as the veterans group Healing Tools for Warriors (HTFW) have generously helped repair other infrastructure at the camp, such as its boat dock. HTFW members will also volunteer at the alumni day.
The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS web site at ifas.ufl.edu and follow us on social media at @UF_IFAS.