Whew! We’re already into July and I’m tired (in a good sort of way!) “Kids’ Camp: Fun, Food, Fitness” started off with a great group of 1st thru 4th grade students. So far, they have learned about MyPlate, the Fruit Group, the Grains Group, No-Cook Meals, the Protein Group, Pet safety, Poison Control, 1st aid, weather, and participated in a t-shirt design contest. They also participated in Walk Across Texas, yoga, team sports, Herbs, Herb Butter, planting seeds, and plenty of outdoor activities. If you have been in Buford Park lately, you’ll notice the flower beds at the Ag Workers’ Building. They were planted by Kids’ Camp participants under the direction of Karen Sanders, Texas A&M AgriLife Research specialist.
The Community Health/Wellness Alliance is the group behind this camp, now in its 6th year. The purpose of the camp is to provide students with a fun, educational, hands-on activity, while teaching them important basics on staying healthy – nutrition, physical activity, and gardening. Campers have taken home lunch kits, insulated market bags, luggage tags, and so much more.
With two more weeks remaining, topics will include the Dairy Group, Quick Snacks, Veggie Group, Outdoor Cooking, Volleyball, water games, fire safety, and one more session assisted by the Master Gardeners. Campers will take home cutting boards, note pads, a Fairy Garden that they created, plus much more. We’ll conclude the camp on July 22 with a celebration day of water slides and bounce houses.
Our committee would like to thank the Blue Blaze Drill Team, Hopkins County Master Wellness Volunteers, and Hopkins County Master Gardeners for their valuable assistance!
For those who “aged out” of Kids’ Camp”, our committee created Skills Camp to fill the void. The 2016 Skills Camp was targeted toward Sulphur Springs students who just completed grades 5 & 6. It began July 5 and ended July 8th. Our first day included a visit from the Sulphur Springs Fire Department to demonstrate how to use a fire extinguisher. Each camper had the opportunity to actually go through the process to operate one using the PASS acronym. The “P” stands for pulling the pin from the top to release the handle. “A” stands for aiming the hose at the flame. “S” represents spraying the flame. The second “S” is for sweeping the spray over the flame. Pull pin, aim, spray, sweep – a great way to remember! Through a grant that I was able to acquire, we purchased 3-D goggles and drones for the campers to use. After a trek to the Civic Center to fly the drones, the campers discovered that it takes a little practice to maneuver the drones!
Day 2 of Skills camp focused on outdoor cooking. Jim Beach, Cooper Lake State Park Ranger, led the session. The grant allowed me to purchase small grills, cooking accessories and ingredients for the campers to make Monkey Bread, Kabobs, and Chicken Pot Pie under Mr. Beach’s direction. They learned about Dutch oven cooking, food safety, and safe handling of knives. The part the kids enjoyed the most was eating their creations!
Day three focused on woodworking, led by Mr. Harold Bryant and Mr. Dennis Sink. Campers learned about different saws, joints, and safety around equipment. Each camper made a bird house to take home. We want to thank Lowe’s and Fix and Feed for their contributions for this day.
Day four focused on welding and leather work. Mr. Dan Froneberger guided the campers to create a horse project using basic welding techniques. While half of the campers were welding, the other half created leatherwork coasters and key chains under the guidance of Steve Morgan. Again, grant monies were used to purchase the leather pieces for campers to create their own designs.
Our committee would like to thank all the instructors for taking time to help these youngsters explore new skills, while strengthening teamwork and communication.
Multi-County 4-H Camp:
My summer wouldn’t be complete without the Multi-county 4-H Camp! As you read this column, I’ll be returning from an out-of-town wedding and concentrating on re-packing for this 3-day event. Hopkins County will be sending 24 4-H members and leaders to this camp, held in Lone Star at the Lakeview Baptist Conference Center. Sessions will include Food Challenge (similar to some of the mystery cooking competitions you have seen on the Food Network), archery, Ropes course, Junior Master Gardeners, Robotics, and Healthy Lifestyles.
The camp venue provides a beautiful lake for canoeing, paddle boating, and blobbing, while the swimming pool provides plenty of cool-down time! Team work, leadership skills, and meeting new friends are all part of this camp.
By the end of July, our 4-H program will be directing focus to re-enrollment for the 2016/2017 4-H year. Our County 4-H Achievement Banquet will take place on August 27, at which time we recognize our 4-H’ers for their accomplishments throughout the year. Those who have submitted a record book, project forms, and special award applications will take the spotlight, while we enjoy a delicious meal and a guest speaker. If you would like to know how to be a part of our Hopkins County 4-H program, give us a call at 903-885-3443 or drop by our office at 1200-B W. Houston street in Sulphur Springs. We’d love to visit with you.
We’ll also have a new training for those interested in the Master Wellness Volunteer program in early 2017, so let me know if you are interested.
“Do the best you can until you know better, then, when you know better, do better” – Maya Angelou
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Family & Consumer Sciences
1200-B W. Houston
Sulphur springs, TX 75483
903-885-3443 – phone
903-439-4909 – Fax