Campers find more at camp
By MEGAN THOMAS
Express Staff Writer
Camp isnít always just fun and games. This
week a group of 80 campers from Blaine, Camas and Lemhi counties gathered at the
Central Idaho 4-H Camp north of Ketchum to enjoy camp traditions, while
stretching their knowledge and giving back to Blaine County.
4-H campers explore an earlier life
on the Western frontier. Photo by David N. Seelig.
The purpose of the camp is to "expand
knowledge of the world we live in, teach socialization and provide life
experiences that all children should have," explained Kathi Kimball, the Blaine
County 4-H program coordinator.
This year the camp promoted the "Exploring
Frontiers" theme to teach campers about historical frontiers and to encourage
community involvement. Sixty-two campers from Blaine County took part.
Stations were set up throughout the camp
to give youngsters a hands-on history lesson. Campers learned many different
elements of the frontier from pioneer fashions to panning for gold.
At one station, a group of campers learned
to lasso while learning about the Western frontier.
"We are teaching the importance of the
prairie ecosystem" Kate McFarland, a counselor from Salmon explained.
Counselors and volunteers linked the
history lessons with hands-on activities. Throughout the afternoon campers ages
8 to 12 learned to everything from how to lasso to starting a fire with flint.
At the end of the day, campers "put
together a skit to compile the information they learn throughout the day,"
Organizers also add an unusual twist to
the experience with a focus on community involvement.
This year the camp hopes to make 100
fleece hats for charity. The hats will be donated to Blaine County schools as
part of the Coats for Kids program.
"The kids do a lot for the community as
well as for themselves,í explained camp volunteer Val McCarthy of Ketchum.
In addition to sewing hats, kids assemble
jars filled with ingredients to make cookies. The cookie kits are given to the
Advocates in Hailey.
Campers also build both bat and bluebird
houses. The camp gives the bat houses to the Forest Service for use in
surrounding areas. The bluebird houses are given to those interested in helping
perpetuate the bluebird population.
The all-encompassing activities keep the
kids returning year after year.