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4-H day camps provide hands-on training in life skills

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By Emily Banks Wooten
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Editor’s Note: This is the second of a multi-part series exploring the variety of services offered by the Polk County Extension Office and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Program and the impactful contributions made through these programs.)

4-H day camps were one of two things on which Polk County Extension Agent for 4-H Youth Development Alyssa Kimbrough focused during the 2022-2023 year.

Youth programming is an important part of the county-based 4-H program and becomes a way to introduce youth to projects in Polk County. Positive youth development, project skill development and enhancing the 4-H program are all important components of a well-rounded extension program.

Kimbrough provided a variety of day camps throughout the year for both 4-H members and non-members, including floral design, grilling, baking, crafts and college readiness.

“Our programs are grounded in the belief that our youth learn best by doing. Hands-on projects in areas such as science, health, agriculture and civic engagement lead to a positive environment where guidance from adult mentors encourage them to take on leadership roles. Regardless of any interest in a 4-H project, our program focuses on career readiness, life skills and innovation,” Kimbrough said, adding that her target audience is Polk County youth from grades third through twelfth.

Fifteen local youth participated in the holiday baking food show workshop in which they learned how to bake holiday treats using everyday kitchen items. Four local youth participated in the homemade arts and crafts workshop in which they learned about expressing their creativity through painting, woodworking and Christmas decor. Fifty-eight local youth participated in the backyard grilling and outdoor cooking workshop in which they explored the beef industry and cuts of meat along with learning to use outdoor charcoal grills. Six local youth participated in the floral design workshop in which they focused on creating their own business by arranging flowers and crafts.

“Overall, the youth that participated in any of the camps or workshops enjoyed their lessons. 4-H has the unique opportunity to gauge our local youth in activities they may not get at home or school. We will continue to foster their imaginations and hopefully direct them to better life skills, job skills and to become well-rounded, productive citizens for Polk County,” Kimbrough said.

“We will continue to provide youth the opportunities with programming related to science and engineering, art and humanities and in business. These opportunities play a part in all aspects of our program,” Kimbrough said, adding that livestock, robotics, food nutrition and outdoor skills are all available for the 2023-2024 year.

For additional information, contact Kimbrough at 936-327-6828 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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