Wilkes County 4-H Summer Fun 2023

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This summer has seen tremendous growth in Wilkes County 4-H! Almost all of our summer programs have been filled to capacity, which is a far cry from summer of 2022. So far 4-H members have been on field trips, participated in workshops, and attended 4-H Residential Camp at the Betsy-Jeff Penn.

Our first activity of the summer was a trip to the Greensboro Science Center, and 4-H’ers had the opportunity to see many different species of animals, especially the new baby pygmy hippopotamus, visit the on-site aquarium, and go through the different educational exhibits throughout the facility.

Grandfather Mountain is another favorite of ours to visit, and even with the less than stellar weather, it did not disappoint again! The knowledgeable staff gave us a tour of the animal habitats and answered any questions about the mountain our youth had. We were unable to cross the mile-high bridge due to the high winds, but it was still a great time!

To go along with the excitement brought along by the NASCAR All Star Race, we made the trip to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. Our 4-H members learned about the history of stock car racing and the technological advancements that have taken place over the past 75 years. The interactive exhibits and racing simulator were a big hit, and created an experiential learning environment. We will definitely be back again, especially with the resurgence of North Wilkesboro Speedway!

Our biggest summer event is our annual trip to 4-H residential camp! This year Wilkes County had six participants attend camp at the Betsy-Jeff Penn (BJP) 4-H Center. The week-long camp allows youth to unplug from technology and experience outdoor activities. Traditional campers range from 8-12 years of age, but there are options for teens. BJP offers Adventurer and Trekker programs for 12-14 year old campers that allow them to participate in different activities including an off-site camping trip. 15-17 year olds can also apply to be Leaders in Training, which allows them to serve as junior counselors and develop leadership skills. Other camp activities include archery, swimming, canoeing, and ropes courses to name a few. North Carolina has three camps for 4-H members to attend: Betsy-Jeff Penn, Eastern 4-H Center, and Millstone 4-H Center.

Now that July is coming to an end, so is the bulk of our summer programming. We still have a few activities planned including a dry fly tying workshop and even a mushroom workshop for the kids! Thank you to all the volunteers and parents that made this summer successful!