4-H youth attend Southern Area 4-H camp at Lake Tahoe

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Four counselors and five campers from Northeast Clark County attended the 2017 Southern Area 4-H Camp at Lake Tahoe July 23-28.

A total of 40 youth from 3 locations in the Southern Area of Nevada participated in the annual camp. In addition, 11 teenage youth who were trained to be camp counselors, provided leadership during camp.

Those attended from Northeast Clark County were: Joey Herring, Trey Houston, Shane Pulsipher, Whitney Wickersham, Emma Houston, Savannah Allum, Asher Commeau, Alex Dreyfus, and Abby Dreyfus, along with 2 adult chaperones: Tricia Wickersham and Lacey Sproul-Tom.

Nevada 4-H conducts overnight camps at the Nevada State 4-H Camp right on South Lake Tahoe. At camp, youth learn a variety of life skills including team-building, empathy, leadership, while learning how to accept differences. There are many activities that are designed to develop greater awareness, understanding and appreciate of nature and our relationship to it.

There were many presenters that came to the 4-H camp to present on a variety of topics. There were presentations with hands on activities from the University of Nevada, Reno’s National Women in Science Club where youth learned about garbology, engineering, DNA extraction, solar cars, and more. The favorite was the solar car activity. Many youth explained that they liked the competition aspect and it was fun to learn how the sun could power such tiny engines. Other presenters included CoCoRaHS Regional Coordinator for Nevada, Heather Angeloff from Yerington, NV. This presentation was well liked and the youth learned about precipitation and rainfall in Nevada, while playing a fun water game. Nevada FFA Presenter, Kaylie Machutta the National FFA Officer Candidate for Nevada did an excellent workshop on breaking past barriers and being more than a label. Nevada Department of Wildlife had a very exciting presentation about animal adaptations in the Lake Tahoe area. The presenters also brought bones, paw prints, and predator hides for the youth to see up close and personal.

Traditions are a large part of 4-H camp. Many whole camp activities were interactive and there wasn’t much downtime. The campers competed in the annual 4-H Tahoe Extreme where each camper did some sort of challenge or activity. Shane Pulsipher, 4-H Counselor assisted with the archery competition. Other traditions of the camp included a much anticipated duct tape fashion show and talent show. Many other traditions of the camp were carried on this year which included the “Polar Bear Plunge” which involves the campers to head to the lake at 6:00 AM and jump in the water. 4-H Counselor, Whitney Wickersham said, “The worst part of the Polar Bear Plunge is the walk back. The sand feels like knives on frozen feet but the kids do it every year and they love that they have.”

For the second year, campers were able to attend hikes outside of the 4-H campsites. These included an educational hike around the Taylor Creek Visitor’s Center and a field trip to the Van Sickle Bi-State Park. Each camper had the chance to decide the level of challenge for the hikes. The Van Sickle Hike included a tough hike to a beautiful water fall and amazing sights, although it was a challenging hike, it was the most anticipated. New traditions were added this year as well. The newest was the addition of yoga at camp by 4-H Leader and Yoga Instructor, Yogini Thomas from the Sandy Valley area. This included a morning session for waking up and an evening session for relaxation. There were times during the camp that included whole camp yoga sessions. These sessions were a huge hit with very dedicated youth attending every session.

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