Editor’s note: “A Better Life” is a weekly column by the USU Extension – Tooele Office that focuses on a variety of topics intended to enhance quality of life.
Have you ever been to 4-H camp? Neither had I until I attended three this summer. I had no idea of their value until I witnessed them myself.
The first camp was Junior Youth Conference, which is known as JYC, a three-day camp for kids currently in fifth or sixth grade. It was held at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah. JYC has a great leadership development program with age-appropriate activities. Youth participate in fun workshops, water activities, and other great learning experiences to improve self-esteem. This is a fantastic place for kids to start in their leadership development and make some friends from other parts of the state.
Next was i4-H camp, which is a three-day camp for youth in seventh and eighth grade. It was held at the Utah State University – Eastern campus in Price, Utah. Youth participate in team building workshops, and also learn life skills, such as how to introduce yourself or a friend to someone, how to give an impressive hand shake, good table manners and more. The workshops are taught by older 4-H youth who are able to engage kids and make it fun. They also got to enjoy the wave pool, climb the indoor rock wall, plus many other activities.
Last was our family 4-H camp in Ophir. It’s ideal for 4-Hers who like to stay close to home. We had state archaeologist Nate Thomas come and teach about ancient ruins in Utah and how a live dig works. The kids were then able to participate in a live dig, paint fossils, make T-shirts, do some leather making, learn how to fly fish, try archery, take a nature hike, and play on a Zipline.
We were busy but also had plenty of time for stargazing with a telescope and visiting while sitting around a campfire. Our local Teen Council came up with the theme of our family camp and helped run the activities. After dinner, the Teen Council would also gather the kids and play fun games in the evening. We were happy to work with the Tooele Education Foundation in making this camp possible.
But that’s not all, We have Teen Leadership Training camp, also known as TLT, in October at the USU campus in Logan. TLT is an intense leadership-training program for youth in ninth through 12th grades. Participants take part in a variety of fun and challenging activities designed to enhance their ability to lead in their clubs, schools and communities. TLT is a fantastic opportunity to learn some valuable life skills and further leadership abilities. TLT is during UEA weekend of Thursday, Oct. 17 through Saturday, Oct. 19.
There is also an overnight Winter Retreat in February. Winter Retreat is for youth in ninth through 12th grade. Youth gather from across the state to participate in workshops about relationships and communication skills. Youth enjoy the outdoor winter activities as well as have the chance to ask an expert dating panel (Collegiate 4-H Members) questions. Winter Retreat is held at Aspen Grove in Provo Canyon.
Current 4-H State Ambassadors plan our events, as well as the newly selected ambassadors who took office in July. They work together to plan and carry out workshops and act as mentors during all of the camps mentioned. Autumn Zeirenbeg and Ashley Greenhalgh are two youth from Tooele County who are currently serving as State Ambassadors. They are also involved with the Teen Council.
All of the camps are available to 4-H members. Certain activities are grade specific, so be sure to check the eligibility for each camp. For more information about 4-H camps, visit utah4h.org or stop by the USU Extension office in Tooele. We would love to help you.
If you are interested in learning more about the Teen Council, please come with your teen to our Teen Council kick off meeting at 7 p.m. on Sept. 12 in the Extension office.
And at 7 p.m. on Oct. 8 you can come to our Discover 4-H open house at the Extension office. We will have fun activities, crafts and treats. And we will answer any questions you have about 4-H.
Robyn Handley is a 4-H Volunteer/Teen Council Advisor at the USU Extension – Tooele County office, which is located inside the Tooele County Health Department Building, 151 N. Main, Tooele. For more information about the Tooele County 4-H Program, contact Handley at 435-277-2402 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.