L-R: Evan Sigman, Pate Beckham (only partially), Sam Surratt, Steele Faircloth and Carson Lynn with Burton 4-H Center counselor holding an alligator.
Georgia’s 4-H summer camping program offers a camping experience unparalleled in the nation. 4-H Camp is fun and rewarding. Cooperation and character building, along with just having a great time, are all part of the camping adventure. This summer, Decatur County 4-H’ers had the opportunity to increase awareness of ecological processes while also improving social interaction with fellow 4-H’ers and adults.
Beginning the summer was 4-H2O Day Camp on June 5th-7th. Students participated in activities focusing on water; its quality, conservation and usage. Scientists, researchers and field-related personnel presented materials in an outdoor classroom setting, making this camp more educational and challenging than the ordinary day camp. Decatur County 4-H’ers Rachel Hayes, Chloe Parrish, Abram Austinson, Scott Ross Hayes and Langston Bennett enjoyed visits to Gin Creek near Moultrie, the Stripling Irrigation Research Park at Camilla and Splash Island in Valdosta as they learned the importance of irrigation and water conservation in southwest Georgia. 4-H’ers learned about other various water-related topics such as aquifers, personal water use, and hydration.
Then, during the week of June 18-22, 2018, forty-six Decatur County Cloverleaf 4-H’ers had an amazing, fun-filled camping experience at Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island. . Decatur County 4th, 5th and 6th grade campers were Gavin Anderson, Aidan Angle, Abram Austinson, Pate Beckham, Langston Bennett, Aden Black, Hunter Black, Hailey Brown, Jayden Brown, Zachary Burdick, Peyton Cloud, Sara Kate Crews, Chloe Eakin, Brennan Enfinger, Steele Faircloth, Mason Gardner, Cullen Glover, Caden Godwin, Grayson Griffin, David Hall, Marshall Harper, Harley Hicks, Nourah Holt, Kaylee Howell, Evan Hutto, Elijah Knight, Carson Lynn, Dani Martin, Bryson McLendon, Kenny Moye, Keenan Phillips, J. T. Powell, Sarah Shaw, Evan Sigman, Kate Sigman, Bowen Smith, Riley Starling, Sam Surratt, Tucker Surratt, KerriAnn Tate, Cait Taylor, Emilee Tindell, Imari Tomlin, Kinsey Ward, Kierstyn White and Brock Williams.
4-H’ers enjoyed classes on beach formation, erosion and life in the salt marsh. They caught fiddler crabs, hummed to periwinkle snails and smeared detritus all over. Not only did they see and handle native and non-native captive reptiles, but they also seined in the bay and dipped nets in the marsh creek to capture crustaceans and fish. For some the highlight of camp was dissecting squid while others enjoyed searching the waves for dolphins on the boat cruise. Besides swimming at the beach, students practiced team-building abilities, enjoyed new experiences and learned life skills as they strove to win the coveted Treasure Chest for their color crew.
Over 8,000 children ages 9 and up, accompanied by over 1,000 adult and teen leaders, annually descend on each of Georgia’s unique 4-H centers for a week of camp that will be reflected upon and cherished for years to come. Every camp offers great adventure, friendship and fun, and all seek to develop the camper’s Head, Heart, Hands and Health to make him or her a better person. 4-H is provided by the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. For more information, contact the Decatur County Extension Office at 229-248-3033.