For his first summer with Sampson County’s N.C. Cooperative Extension, Daniel Collins is ready to lead students through a variety of hands-on activities.
Registration for the 2015 4-H Summer Workshops is now available for children and teenagers in different age groups, ranging from 5 to 18 years old. Workshops are scheduled to begin June 15 and will continue through early August. Collins said the activity is the premiere part of the 4-H program during the summer. The cost for the workshops ranges from $5 to $15.
“You can’t beat a program that provides a snack, drink and educational fun for five bucks,” Collins said.
Through the workshops, Collins said the participants can learn leadership, life skills, healthy habits and topics related to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
Some of the scheduled activities include exploring waterways and critters; tie-dying; amateur radio; and science experiments. Although Collins is new at the Extension, he’s not a stranger to summer workshops and camps. Collins said 4-H is offering a big array of activities, but he felt more could have been offered, if he had more time to plan. He came to Sampson County in April.
“I usually start planning summer stuff in January,” Collins said. “I didn’t start here until April, so I was three months behind.
Collins said he’ll teach most the workshops during the summer activity.
“This is going to be a way for me to meet kids and parents,” he said regarding families in the community.
One of the workshops Collins is looking forward to is Bubbleology. During the session, participants will use testing solutions and make walking bubbles. Another mentioned workshop is “Health Rocks in Sampson County,” a drug, tobacco and alcohol prevention program. Collins served on the training team for the national program.
Currently about 30 have signed up for multiple activities through the program. All workshops are on a first-come, first-served basis and have a minimum and maximum amount. If a workshop is full, participants will be placed on a waiting list, if a spot becomes available.
“We’re going to keep pushing to get more kids,” he said. “I would like to get as many as we can to hit our maximum with every single one.”
Coming from Virginia, Collins is accustomed to running similar activities through camps. While discussing summertime, Collins mentioned how activities such as the workshop and the camps can be a good alternative to indoor activities such as playing video games or watching television. He recalled moments during his childhood while growing up in the mountains of Virginia and being outside a lot.
“There are some games that can be beneficial,” he said. “The bad part about it is that they set it up on a television inside a house, in the air conditioning. We all love the air conditioning, but it’s one of the things where you can get out and be a part of the community and get your hands dirty.”
He believes being social is another benefit of the 4-H Workshops. It’s one of the reasons Collins is not allowing electronic devices to be used during the sessions.
“They’re going to be so busy with things that we’re doing, they are not going to have time to just sit and listen,” he said. “They’re all going to be very active. I’m not all about sitting and talking all the time. I want them to be hands-on.”
In the future, Collins would like to have more agriculture and science related workshops. He also noted that Cooperative Extension will host an agriculture series for the summer.
In addition to the workshops, the N.C. Cooperative Extension office is hosting a Teen 4-H Adventure Trip (ages 14-18); Junior 4-H Camp at the Betsy Jeff Penn (ages 8-14); and the North Carolina 4-H State Congress (July 18-21), which allow 4-H members to participate in activities and workshops. The event is designed to prepare teens in leadership positions.
The schedule of workshops and other opportunities is available at www.tinyurl.com/Sampson4HSummer. For more information, contact Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org or 4-H Secretary Cindy Nance at email@example.com. Agents may also be reached at 910-592-7161. The Sampson County Extension Office is located at 55 Agriculture Place, Clinton.