Take an inside look at what went on during 4-H Cloverbud Day Camp!
The St. Johns County 4-H Program kicked summer off with the 4-H Farm Friends Cloverbud Summer Day Camp. This one-day camp was offered to youth ages five to seven years old who had an interest in learning about the different animals that call farms their home.
Campers started their day learning about an unlikely farm friend – pollinators! While pollinators may not be the first animal that comes to mind when you think of farms, they certainly are one of the most important. Pollinators play a major role in agriculture and food production, making them the perfect “farm friend” to start with. Campers learned about different types of pollinators, the pollination process, and created pollinator-related crafts. The pollinator lesson was finished off with an up-close look at honeybees thanks to Ms. Molly LaRocca, beekeeper at Bikini Bee Company. Ms. LaRocca shared her knowledge of bees, demonstrated the different products that honeybees produce, and offered hands-on learning experiences for the campers.
Before lunchtime, campers were asked to create their very own farms. Campers were required to include all elements that an animal needs to stay healthy and survive under human care. This included a shelter, food, water, and even veterinary care. Using a cardboard box base, campers crafted their own barns, fences, feed bins, and water troughs. Campers then picked out and added the animals they felt were best suited to their farm setup.
As the afternoon approached, campers switched topics to learn about chickens. Vitally important to agriculture, chickens play a huge role in both egg and meat production. Campers learned about the different breeds, characteristics, and purposes of chickens. Campers were able to pet and get an up-close view of different chicken breeds. Campers also learned about the characteristics of a chicken’s feet that allow them to perch and roost, which led to a very entertaining game – chicken track painting!
As we reached the final hours of camp, the focus was switched to cattle. Campers spent time learning about the different breeds and the many by-products of cattle. They were surprised to see just how many products they used every day that was a by-product of a cow. Campers were tasked with making their very own butter from scratch. After many minutes of shaking, they were delighted to see how easy it was to make butter and to taste test it.
Campers walked away from camp with an increased knowledge of animal science and the role that these animals play in society. Campers were encouraged to return to 4-H after camp to learn about the many animal science projects 4-H has to offer. The 4-H Animal Science Program offers youth valuable educational opportunities through raising, exhibiting, and judging livestock and horses.
While this camp has concluded, it’s not too late to sign up for summer day camps! The 4-H Farm Friends Cloverbud Summer Day Camp is just one of twelve summer camps offered by the St. Johns County 4-H Program. If you are interested in learning more about 4-H or the other summer camps, visit the St. Johns County 4-H website.