Did you know that 4-H is the largest nonformal youth educational organization in the U.S., reaching over 6.5 million youth every year? In Idaho alone, over 32,000 youth ages 8-18 are enrolled in 4-H. They are supervised by 4,200 volunteers.
And did you know that 4-H is healthy and active and offering affordable summer programs for Blaine County youth?
The Blaine County branch of University of Idaho Extension Service wants you to know that 4-H means summer fun for local kids. 4-H summer programs adhere to the organization's motto of "making the best better," by using your head, heart and hands for overall health.
4-H summer camps offer experiences that give young people growth in four areas—positive identity, social skills, physical and thinking skills, positive values and spirituality.
Take your pick of day camps or full-week camp programs.
Many young 4-H members will be hard at work on their projects for the Blaine County Fair from Aug. 10-13 in Carey. But you don't have to be a 4-H member to join and take advantage of the camps.
Here's a sampling of the 4-H summer for 2011. Call 788-5585 weekdays and pick up the comprehensive booklet of summer offerings and applications.
Teen counselors ages 15-19 are also an important part of the 4-H summer program. They provide positive role models and bring fresh approaches.
4-H summer camps
This year, two multi-day outdoor camps are offered for kids ages 8-13 (grades 3-8) at the Central Idaho 4-H camp 18 miles north of Ketchum.
June's camp is a three-day gathering from June 20-22 mainly for southern Idaho kids. July's five-day camp is more likely to be attended by many Blaine and Camas County children.
June Summer Camp for ages 8-12 on June 20-22 features hiking, campfires, a scavenger hunt, fishing, talent show and karaoke, and fun workshops. All youth from the state are invited. Cost is $135 for non-4-H members by May 20, $145 by June 3 or $155 before June 17.
4-H July Summer Camp is an outdoor experience for youth ages 8-13 who have fun as campers while older kids 13-18 serve as counselors and assistant counselors.
From dawn to dusk, kids are kept busy with hiking, cooking, water games, volleyball, first aid and more. The campers do service projects on Thursday morning, and there are campfire activities each evening.
Dates are Monday through Friday, July 11-15. Early-bird fees by June 10 are $175 for campers ($225 late fee through June 24) and $60 for counselors. Attending adults are free.
Pick up application forms at the Blaine County extension office, across the street from the Blaine County Sheriff's Office, or register directly with Camas County Extension at 208-764-2230.
Young people don't have to be 4-H members to attend.
Idaho Teen Conference in Moscow
Travel to an entirely different part of Idaho and learn leadership skills during the 2011 Teen Conference June 13-17 on the University of Idaho campus in Moscow.
You'll participate in educational, recreational and social events, while touring the campus and meeting tons of new friends.
Invited are youth who have finished grades 8-12, with adults as chaperones. Packed full of fun workshops, new skills, games and great ideas, the conference is a five-day adventure that can open many doors for the future.
Cost is $250 for youths and $175 for adults who register and pay before the entry deadline of June 10. Visit www.4h.uidaho.edu for details. Or call Claudine Zender at 208-885-7700 or Monika Riegel at 208-885-6498.
Day Camp focuses on birds
There has been a trend in recent years toward offering day camps in 4-H Youth Development programs.
Get the summer off on the right foot by attending the 4-H Wildlife Day Camp on Saturday, June 4, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lake Walcott State Park and Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge near Rupert.
You'll learn a lot about birds. This year's topic is "Wildlife Refuge." Morning classes and afternoon stations include talks on molting, migration, nesting, habitat, bird comparison, photography and wildlife observation.
Wildlife Day Camp is for youth 8-13, but kids 5-7 may also attend. Adults must accompany younger kids. You don't have to be a 4-H member to attend. Parents and families are encouraged to join in
Pick up your registration form at the Blaine County Extension Office in Hailey and register by May 16 (early bird $12) or May 23 (late $20) with Jerome County Extension. Adults pay $12 and will be provided with orientation that day.
Another day camp that might interest Blaine youth is Entomology Project-in-a-Day Camp on Tuesday, June 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds in Shoshone.
It's for kids ages 8-14 and, that's right, it's all about bugs. Sign up by June 7 for $15 per person, or $20 on site. Call Lincoln County at 208-886-2406.
Idaho Military Family Camp
For the sixth year, University of Idaho Extension and Operation Military Kids are offering a weekend Military Family Camp from July 22-24 at the Central Idaho 4-H Camp.
The camp tries to meet the needs of Idaho's National Guard and Reserve personnel (individuals and families) from all branches. It offers two nights lodging, facilities use, materials, instructors, six meals, snacks and child care.
All children must be accompanied by an adult. Kids are free. Adults pay the registration fee of $40.
Enjoy wagon rides, campfires, fishing, family competitions, shooting sports, archery, arts and crafts, cooking, flag ceremonies and skits. Priority goes to military families.
Visit www.operationmilitarykids.org or www.4h.uidaho.edu or call 208-334-2328.