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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Friday, July 9, 2004


Campers find more at camp

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," Kimball said.

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.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.