For Extension Agent Amanda Bradshaw and other 4-H leaders, it was a great summer.
The Sampson County Extension Office recently wrapped up its 4-H Summer Workshop, which involved 160 youth from axross Sampson County. The summer activities have an overall purpose of teaching life skills to young people.
“We had a good group of kids this year,” Bradshaw noted this week. “We had a lot of kids that we have not had before, which is great.”
The camp features more than 20 workshops. Some of them included edible art, animal science, electricity and more.
Bradshaw said she hopes the participants learned skills, communicating with others and appreciated how children explored new things.
“Maybe it lit a few little light bulbs for careers in the future for several of them,” Bradshaw stressed.
As the workshops have grown, so have the number of participants, which Bradshaw said had been steady over the years.
“We’ve learned over the years that we can only handle x-amount of workshops,” she said. “Our volunteers make it a lot easier on us, too, because they come in and help us teach things.”
One of the volunteers was Mike Flock, who taught participants about electricity.
Funding from the United Way of Sampson County covers the cost of the program, which allows families to pay a low fee for the activities.
Thanks to the volunteers, there were no hiccups along the way. In fact, the only down side to the workshops, Bradshaw said, is that she merely wished the camp was a little longer to offer more activities. Activities began in early June and ended Tuesday with a trip for teens, which included team building exercises and bowling.
“You only have six or seven weeks to get good programing in,” she said. “It’s really not a lot of time. We try to cram as much as we can into those few weeks.”
If there was more time, Bradshaw said she would like to see a boys’ version of their “Girls Rock,” activity. They would also like to add more sewing, arts and crafts, painting and photography classes. Animal science is also popular.
“I’m sure if we offered sewing again during the summertime, it would be full,” Bradshaw said, “but we just run out of time; there’s only so many hours in a day.”
During the camp, Bradshaw enjoyed meeting new families and enjoyed seeing previous attendants.
“It’s good seeing how much everyone has grown,” she attested. “We’re looking forward to a good fall.”
She’s also looking forward to the children participating with 4-H for activities throughout the year.
The 4-H program is in the process of planning activities for the upcoming season, such as banquets, volunteering and youth leadership. A calendar for 4-H activities will be released within the next few weeks.
“We’re just getting back to the swing of things since school is starting up,” Bradshaw said. “But we’ll have more definite things down on the calendar when it comes out in three weeks.”
For more information about the program, visit http://sampson.ces.ncsu.edu/categories/4-h-youth-development/