As summer approaches, school winds down, the days get longer and warmer, and 4-H is busy getting ready for weeks of summer fun! 4-H programming in Palm Beach County and throughout the State engages youth in fun, hands-on, educational activities all through the summer months and right into the start of the next 4-H year in September. There are many great ways for Palm Beach County youth to stay engaged in 4-H with our summer programming. The fun does not end once school is out for summer! Palm Beach County and Florida 4-H offer a diverse series of summer events to keep kids engaged in safe, enjoyable, and scholastic activities while meeting 4-H members from outside their 4-H club and across the state. There are some great summer programs available this year as well, including traditional residential camps, specialty camps, and state events!
4-H MAKER CAMP
The first summer event is the Palm Beach County 4-H Maker Camp. Across the nation, the “Do It Yourself” culture is thriving through the Maker Movement. The Maker Movement inspires people to design something new or find unique solutions to current and relevant problems in their communities, state, country, and the world. The Palm Beach County 4-H Maker Camp participants ages 9-12 get the opportunity to tinker, create, build and learn while gaining STEM knowledge and skills. From robotics to coding, there will be something for everyone. Older 4-H youth, ages 13-18, also have the opportunity to develop STEM skills as well as leadership and communication skills as Maker Camp Teen Leaders. Teen Leaders work side-by-side with younger campers, lead each day’s activities, and reinforce STEM concepts. Teen Leaders gain leadership, communication, and teamwork skills and gain community service hours. Maker Camp will take place June 11-14 from 9:00am to 4:00pm for a cost of $55.00; there is no charge for Teen Leaders. Maker Camp will be located at the Mounts Auditorium in West Palm Beach (531 N. Military Trail).
4-H CAMP CLOVERLEAF
Also in June is 4-H Camp Cloverleaf. Camp Cloverleaf is an exciting residential overnight camp where youth can experience nature and take part in many camp activities including kayaking, fishing, archery, environmental science, swimming, and campfires! Youth from other Florida counties also attend, allowing youth to make new friends while enjoying a traditional camp experience. Youth ages 8-13 stay in cabins and teens ages 14-17 lead as counselor and counselors-in-training under the supervision of professional camp and 4-H staff. Camp Cloverleaf is June 18-22, 2018 and is located in Lake Placid, Florida. The fee for all campers and counselors is $220.00, which includes all meals, transportation, and activities. This traditional camp experience fosters independence in youth, enables youth to practice kindness and make diverse friendships, enjoy the outdoors, and take a break from technology, as there are no cell phones permitted.
At the end of June, 4-H seniors, ages 13-18, have the unique opportunity to come together with 4-H members across Florida for a State Mock Legislature event in Tallahassee, Florida. 4-H Members develop their skills to debate, analyze legislation and speak publicly all while making new friends and having a whole lot of fun. At this civic education event, youth can sponsor a bill, amend, or lobby it, then debate the issues on the Florida State Capitol House and Senate floors. Mock Legislature is a five-day intensive learning experience in state government that youth can participate in a number of ways. Youth learn about the functions of state-level government and become informed about the state system of government by serving as mock legislators, reporters or lobbyists. Youth stay in the dorms of Florida State University for the duration of the event and develop as citizens and leaders.
4-H MARINE SCIENCE CAMP
Moving into July, Palm Beach County 4-H hosts a Marine Science Camp for youth ages 8-12. Throughout the camp, youth visit a variety of marine habitats in Palm Beach County, learn about native environments and organisms, participate in dissections and specimen collection, and learn about the importance of the marine environment that is in their own backyards. Youth ages 13-18 can also gain leadership and teamwork skills as Camp Teen Leaders while gaining community service hours. Campers will gain hands-on experience using marine science tools and equipment, learn to log data, understand the processes of life in the sea as they explore local beaches, meander along coastal trails, investigate life in the tidal pools, and enjoy floating in the ocean waters.
To end the summer fun, youth ages 14-18 can participate in Florida 4-H University. 4-H University is a week-long overnight event from July 30 to August 2, for young adults held at the University of Florida. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in educational workshops led by University of Florida faculty, explore career opportunities, lead community service activities, interact with youth from all over the state, and have fun while developing critical life skills that will help them become productive and engaged citizens in their communities, their country, and their world. The cost is not finalized but was $250 in 2017.
With the diverse 4-H Summer programming, there is something available for everyone and even adult volunteers are welcome as well. I hope that you will join us for a summer filled with fun, friendships, and 4-H!
For more information and registration information, please visit our websites:
Noelle Guay, 4-H Agent
Palm Beach County