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Wirt County 4-H Camping Season 2019

Wirt County 4-H Camp Hosts 86 Campers!

Final Council Circle - campers with 4-H flag
4-H Campers pose for a picture during the final council circle of the 2019 Wirt County 4-H All Age Camp.

On June 8, 2019, eighty-six youth ages 8-21 arrived at Camp Barbe for a week of fun, learning, and personal growth. Throughout the week, campers participated in sports, classes, tribal meetings, and a daily council circle. A team of twenty-nine volunteers helped make this event possible.

This year, we were joined by twenty-four new campers! These new faces were Jacob Amos, Trenton Bunner, Kamryn Carpenter, Jamie Collins, Sophia Colon, Izac Dotson, Andrea Dye, Lilly Fordyce, Matt Graham, Martel King, Liam March, Clayton Mills, Brooklin Mills, Kinsley Nicolais, Eden Pack, Seth Pack, Emmett Paxton, Jayde Roberts, Jozey Roberts, Raina Shearlock, Issabella Speece, Olivia Starcher, and Dane Stephens.

Camp Awards

Awards were given to several campers who showed leadership and growth throughout the week. Four campers received the Outstanding First Year Camper Award, which is presented to campers who have displayed a great attitude, enthusiasm and overall good adjustment to camp life during their first year as a camper. This award provides a full scholarship to the 2020 Wirt County 4-H Camp.  Recipients were Liam March, Clayton Mills, Kinsley Nicolais, and Kamryn Carpenter.

The Green and White Felt leadership award was presented to campers who showed the ability to be a role model throughout the week. These awards were presented to Jackson Reeder, Mikayla Bailey, Aaron Stutler, Emma Wyer, and Kelsey Moore.  Blue and Gold Felts, which are given to those exhibiting exemplary leadership qualities, were presented to Maggie Bailey, Lance Sims, and Haley McKown.

Foundation Scholarships are awarded to outgoing campers who express interest in attending a state 4-H camp. This year, the Wirt County 4-H Foundation awarded four scholarships to cover half of the cost of a state camp. These were awarded to Maggie Bailey, Brighton Robinson, Adeline Sims, and Natalie Wells.

The H’s are the most coveted awards presented at Wirt County 4-H Camp. Each H signifies one part of the four pillars of our program. The Head H is awarded to a camper who has displayed the ability to solve problems and lead by example. This year’s Head H was awarded to Haley McKown. The Heart H is awarded to a camper who shows passion and commitment to the 4-H program. This year, Isabella March was the recipient of this honor. The Hands H is awarded to a camper who displays a strong desire to help others and provide service. Adeline Sims received this year’s Head H award.  Finally, the Health H is given to a camper who is concerned with the well-being of others. The 2019 Health H was presented to Maggie Bailey.

Spirit of Camp, Charles Wells, paints a barn quilt.
Spirit of Camp, Charles Wells, works on a barn quilt.

The final award is the Spirit of Camp. This honor is given annually to one camper who exemplifies what it means to be a 4-H camper. This year’s Spirit of Camp Award was presented to Charles Wells.  Charles is tenth year camper at Wirt County 4-H Camp.  In 2019, Charles served as Chief of the Seneca tribe. Over the past few years, Charles has assumed a leadership role not only within his tribe, but within the entire camp. From serving as a mentor to younger members, taking on additional responsibilities as a young adult staff member, and contributing to his camp classes, Charles is a role model for all young campers.

Wirt County Campers Take on Older Member's Conference

OMC Campers from Wirt County -

4-H'ers from Wirt County attending OMC.  From left to right - Phillip Balis (Jackson County 4-H member), Brighton Robinson, Callie Daugherty (Extension Agent), Brooklyn Smith, and Maggie Bailey.  Not pictured: Issabella March

After Wirt County 4-H Camp, five 4-H’ers traveled to Jackson’s Mill to participate in Older Member’s Conference. This is a unique state 4-H camp that’s only for youth ages 14-21. The purpose of this camp is to develop leadership among older 4-H members through opportunities to discuss timely issues and problems. The camp teaches new skills that can be used in local clubs and communities.

Every morning, campers participated in a presentation by a guest speaker or a community service project. Then, campers discussed the topic in small groups before bringing their ideas back together in a large assembly.

This was the first-week long state 4-H camp for each of these campers. To top it off, it was a historic camp! This was the largest ever Older Member’s Conference to take place at Jackson’s Mill.  The camp hosted over 340 youth from West Virginia and included a few exchange campers from Maryland and Virginia. The camp also broke a new record for most overall new campers, with over 200 of the participants enjoying their first-ever OMC.

Campers took part in three-large scale service projects. First, campers repaired and painted approximately 15 benches at Jackson’s Mill that had fallen into disarray. Second, camper packaged care bags to take back to their communities and give away to those in need. Finally, the campers made felt tie blankets that were donated to children’s hospitals. Overall, Older Members Conference was a great kick off to the state-level summer camping season!

Wirt County Cloverbud Day Camp

2019 Wirt CDC Campers
Cloverbud Day Campers pose for a picture in t-shirt's they decorated!

For the first time, Cloverbud Campers (ages 5-9) didn't join us at regular camp, but participated in their own three-day long day camp!  31 children participated everyday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., July 15-17. Each day, campers participated in morning recreation, three classes, an assembly presented by the Forestry Department, water activities, tribal meetings, and council circle. Throughout the week, these campers learned 4-H songs and how to work together in their tribes to accomplish a task.

The three classes Cloverbud Day Campers participated in were STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), Visual Art, and This is 4-H. In the STEM class, camper made slime,  kaleidoscopes, and UV bracelets. They played with solar kites and took on three different Paper Bag STEM challenges that required problem solving and teamwork skills.

In the Visual Arts class, campers made several keepsakes to take home with them including a canvas tote, t-shirt, tie-dyed pillow case, and t-shirt. They also got to explore different qualities of wind by making a wind sock through the Leap into Science Program. Campers also learned about saving money by creating a three-compartment savings bank using the MoonJar curriculum.

In the This is 4-H class, campers were introduced to what 4-H is and did different activities each day involving Head, Heart, Hands and Health.  These activities included friendship bracelets, exploring MyPlate, taking a walking tour of Camp Barbe, and learning about 4-H traditions.

Campers were also introduced to participating in camp in tribes. Three tribes were led by teens who volunteered to help during Cloverbud Day Camp. During tribal meetings, the teen leaders taught younger campers a traditional 4-H song and helped them make up a skit. These songs and skits were presented every afternoon during council circle.

Thank you!

A special thanks to all of the volunteers, teen leaders, and sponsors who helped make all of the 4-H camping experience a success this year for Wirt County.  Participation of older campers (age 9-21) increased by almost 41% from 2018.  Participation of Cloverbud Day Campers rose from 13 in 2018 to 31 in 2019, nearly tripling participation ! How How!