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4-H camps to teach children life skills

By Maria-Jose Subiria

msubiria@news-daily.com

Local youngsters will get instructions on various life skills -- such as saving energy, canning, and how to start a business -- during Georgia 4-H day camps this summer, according to Laura Garrett, 4-H agent at the Clayton County Extension Office.

Garrett said themed summer, day camps, such as the "Weatherization Day Camp," on July 19; the

"Preserving Summer" camp, on July 26; and the course on making an omelet on July 29, will take place at the Clayton County Extension Office, at 1262 Government Circle, in Jonesboro.

The "Entrepreneurship Workshop," on July 30, will be held at Clayton State University, 2000 Clayton State Blvd., in Morrow. "We are here to develop the skills in young people ... so they may turn into productive, contributing members in the community," said Garrett.

She said the weatherization camp is free and open to 5th-and 6th-graders, who should bring money for snacks and a lunch. Garrett said she is currently planning, and developing, the other camps, which will be at a reasonable cost that has not been determined at this time.

She said the deadline to register for the weatherization camp is July 2, and no registration deadlines for the other camps have been set, yet.

Chuck Rose, weatherization coordinator for the Clayton County Extension Service, said children at the camp will learn the amount of potable water that is available in the world, how people consume it, and ways they can help conserve it. The camp will also teach them the amount of energy a home consumes, and how to conserve energy, he added.

Children will also get to prepare -- and can -- jams, jellies and salsa, during the "Preserving Summer" day camp, Garrett said. "They will learn about it [canning] and go through the process of preparing and chopping -- and take home samples," she explained.

The omelet course will give participants hands-on experience with cooking an omelet, said Garrett.

She said an omelet was chosen, because eggs are high in protein, inexpensive, and it's quick to prepare. It will also help children hone their skills, if they are interested in participating in an omelet competition in October, at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Ga., said Garrett. "Food-related camps will help them [children] be self-sufficient in the kitchen, and teach them life skills," she said.

Vanessa Hall, 17, of Ellenwood, said she is a six-year participant in Georgia 4-H camps, and has taught cooking lessons, as a team leader for a day camp two years ago.

"I think it [day camp] betters their lives," said Hall. "Most kids our age don't know how to cook anymore ... As they grow up, they will be glad and grateful that they decided to take the opportunity."

She said the program has allowed her to blossom in public speaking, and is currently helping to prepare her for the "State 4-H Congress" in July, where she will attempt to obtain the Master 4-H title, through a presentation. The Master 4-H title would be the equivalent to an Eagle Rank, for the Boy Scouts of America, she explained.

Garrett said another day camp, The "Entrepreneurship Workshop" is targeted for 8th-through 11th-graders. Participants will be informed of ways to start a business, market a business, and where to seek funds to assist them in their development, said Garrett.