Local youth gain valuable experiences at summer camps.

Stafford County 4-Hers are gearing up for the Stafford County Fair. Besides fair preparations, many 4-Hers have participated in camps earlier this spring.
From May 29-31, six Stafford County 4-Hers took part in 4-H Discovery Days at Kansas State University in Manhattan.
Over 500 4-H and non 4-H members gather on the K-State campus and experience the college setting as they stay in residence halls and take meals in the dining center, said Amanda Staub, Stafford County Extension agriculture and natural resources and 4-H agent.
Classes were held all over campus as part of the event was students navigating the campus themselves. There were a wide variety of “classes” including rock climbing, leadership, college preparedness and others, Staub said.
“It’s a good growing experience. They met new people, made new friends and had a lot of fun,” Staub said.
Next for the 4-Hers was a three day 4-H Camp at Rock Springs 4-H Center, south of Junction City on June 12-14. Some 22 campers and four camp counselors from Stafford County took part in the camp. There is a lot of fun activities at 4-H Camp but this is more than a vacation. This is a chance for the 4-Hers to just kick back and be kids. They get to experience nature and the outdoors while making new friends and learning life skills.
Activities at 4-H Camp included canoeing, riding horses, swimming, archery, wall climbing, nature centers, crafts, fishing, robotics, a compass course and much more, Staub said.
“Campers learned self-confidence, cooperation with others and how to live in different communities. Camp also teaches life lessons that also come with great memories,” Staub said.
Camp gives 4-Hers hands on experiences that they can’t get at home. Its a big change for some of them, Staub said.
From June 23-26, Rock Springs 4-H Center was host to 4-H Campference for ages 12-14. Six Stafford County 4-Hers attended the camp that combines conferences with the other camp activities Rock Springs has to offer. Its a great transitional time for the “tweens” as they transition from being a camper to attending leadership conferences.
“They get a lot of self confidence. They meet friends from across the state and get to put life skills into practice,” Staub said. “Those that attend gain so much from this experience and often credit it for making them great leaders.”