4-H Offers Many Summer Camp Opportunities

— Written By and last updated by Kay Morton

It’s time to forget about winter weather, and start thinking about fun in the sun! This summer, Lee County boys and girls from ages 8 to 14 can spend a fun-filled week, August 2-7, at Camp Betsy-Jeff Penn in Reidsville, N.C. Campers will enjoy activities such as horseback riding, archery, outdoor living, nature studies, campfires, swimming, nature classes, arts and crafts, canoeing, ropes courses, and much more! Transportation, meals, classes and crafts, are all included in the $275 camp registration fee. The deadline for registration and a camp deposit of $100 per camper is due by April 10th. Registration forms are available at the Lee County 4-H office.

The 4-H camping program lets young people get away from home and enjoy outdoor living skills and challenging leadership experiences. Youth in North Carolina may participate in a 4-H camp program three ways. They may attend Junior 4-H Camp with the county in which they live, participate in Junior 4-H Camps through open-enrollment through the state 4-H office in Raleigh, or participate in a specialty camp program by registering through the state 4-H office in Raleigh. 4-H camps take place at the following 4-H Centers across North Carolina: Betsy-Jeff Penn located near Reidsville (where we will be attending), Camp Millstone near Ellerbee, and The Eastern Center near Columbia. All 4-H Centers are among the 25% of youth camps nationwide that have received American Camping Association (ACA) accreditation.

Youth interested in exploring wildlife and other natural resources will enjoy attending the “Fur, Fish and Game Camp” the week of July 19-24 and July 26-31 at Millstone 4-H Center near Ellerbe. This is the premier summer camp experience for youth interested in the out of doors, wildlife, hunting, and fishing. Campers will have the opportunity to work with outstanding instructors from NC State University and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Classes include canoeing, riflery, archery, reptile study, snake ID, taxidermy, fishing, orienteering, and much more. Campers will also have the opportunity to earn their hunter safety certification. The camp is open to youth ages 11 to 16. The fee is $420.

Camp Millstone will also host a Boating Residential Day Camp available to youth through a grant program from the United States Coast Guard and the Spirit of America organization.

The course is available to Middle School Aged Youth (11 -15 years old). Different types and sizes of watercraft and water-based activities provide an ideal environment for students who want to learn and develop lifelong skills and ambitions. Based on a “learn by doing” program, our young adults develop self-esteem, exercise teamwork, safe seamanship, good boating and water safety practices, and demonstrate responsibility. At the end of this camp, they will be proud owners of their own NASBLA Boating License! This camp is runs from July 12-17, is open to 11-15 year olds with a cost of $420.

The Eastern 4-H Center in Columbia offers Camp Canvasback, which is a wonderful summer program that encourages and educates young hunters on waterfowl conservation. This camp runs from July 12-17 and is open to 10-17 year olds at a cost of $460 per week. Through a partnership with the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission, teenage girls and boys participate in activities that help them understand waterfowl biology, wetland ecology, hunting techniques, and other conservation practices. First-year campers will acquire their Hunter Education card, which is needed for hunting! The camp consists of a 4 year track, with campers progressing to the next track the following year to build on previously learned skills. Many skills taught are Shotgun Safety, Shooting & Firearm Care, Waterfowl ID, Duck Blind Construction, GPS Navigation, Boat & Water Safety, and First Aid.

There are also many other camps offered around the state that focus on areas such as horses, leadership, teen mentoring, marine science, environmental day camps, and even a beginning camp for 5-8 year olds. All of these opportunities at 4-H summer camp are a great way for young people to acquire new skills, make new friends, and have a great time! Call Lee County 4-H at 775-5624 for more information about any of these camps or to register your child for an exciting summer camping adventure. We look forward to camping with you!

Bill Stone is 4-H Youth Development Agent for North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Lee County.