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Thursday, July 23, 2015

McKean County 4-H Day Camps

Two 4-H day camps were held at the Donald J. Comes Natural Resources Learning Center this summer. “Map Your World” was held Monday, July 20. Penn State Extension Master Gardener Coordinator Richard Putnam started the day with an introduction to the demonstration garden on one corner of the property. The campers were invited to taste peas in the pod; they planted tomatoes in raised beds and were given tomato seedlings to take home.

4-H Extension Educator Ann Dunkerton took the campers on a walking tour of the non-forested portion of the learning center. Penn State Extension Program Assistant for Healthy Living, Kyle Lightner, taught about My Plate and Fitness Bingo. Summer intern Caleb Cooper led a variety of activities, including a parachute game about garden friends and pests. After lunch, the campers worked on a series of maps indicating what they would like to see on the grounds, including benches, a playground, a decorative fountain, a water slide and several bike racks. The camp ended with a session on rocketry.

The second camp, “Healthy Kids and Careers” started with a visit from Penn State Extension Water Specialist Jim Clark, who was running a test of the well. He had the campers pace out the depth of the well (119 feet) and explained about the test. After a few introductory games led by Cooper, Dunkerton taught the campers about entrepreneurship by dividing them into rival paper airplane companies. Lightner brought different fruits, vegetables and nuts for the campers to taste, like pomegranates, rhubarb, and pistachios. They also played “Character Skillastics”. Next, the campers were invited to set up their own businesses and shop using play money. They all experienced what it means to be part of a community.

These camps were supported in part by grants from United Way of Smethport. A third day camp will be held July 31 at Callahan Park, supported by a grant from United Way of Bradford. There are still openings for youth ages 6-18; pre-registration is required by July 29.

4-H is the largest youth development organization in the world, a community of 7 million young people in more than 50 countries who are learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills through projects of their choice. 4-H programs are implemented by the 109 land grant universities and the Cooperative Extension system through 3,100 local Extension offices. New members and adult volunteers are encouraged to join the program. Contact the McKean County Extension Office at 814-887-5613 for more information.

Penn State Extension encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact the McKean County Extension Office in advance of your participation. Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to minorities, women, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and other protected groups.

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