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Meet the 2018 4-H Camp Timpoochee Staff!

2018 4-H Camp Timpoochee Staff: from left to right – Savannah, Jessie, Mason, Zach, Miles, Teagan, Jesse, Jack

Your 2018 4-H Camp Staff has just finished a week of training where they learned all the skills they need to make your camp week the best ever!  Ms. Ariel, 4-H Camp Timpoochee’s Director, interviewed the staff so you could find out a little bit more about them.  She asked them their favorite song, favorite camp activity and had them finish this sentence:  “I wanted to be camp staff because….”

Jesse J. is from LaGrange, GA, and is a 3rd year staffer.  Her favorite song is What Can Make a Hippo Smile.  Her favorite camp activities are archery and outdoor skills.  Jessie says, “I have always enjoyed leading people and helping them grow in their own way. By becoming staff I can really impact children by being a positive staff.”

Teagan is from Madison, FL, and is a 2nd year camp staff member.  Her favorite camp song is Herman the Worm and her favorite camp activity is OMC – Organized Mass Chaos!  Teagan says, “I wanted to be that person I looked up to at camp.”

Jack is all the way from Swansea, Whales, so you’ll notice his accent is quite different from ours!  He’s a 2nd year staffer who loves to sing Baby Shark and dance.  Jack says, “Waking up and loving what I do-it doesn’t feel like a job. I get to impact others in positive ways and help children grow.”

Zach is from Bonifay, FL and is a 1st time staff member.  His favorite song is Princess Pat and his favorite camp activity is kayaking.  Zach says “I wanted to impact kids in a positive way.”

Miles is from the west coast – Santa Rosa, CA – and this is his 1st year as a camp staff member.  His favorite song is Yogi Bear, and his favorite camp activity is kayaking.  Miles says “I wanted to be camp staff to help guide kids to be leaders.”

Matt, a 1st time staff member from Pensacola, FL, loves to sing The Coconut Song and play Capture the Flag most of all.  Matt says he wanted to become camp staff “to offer kids the same experience I had as a kid.”

Jessie M., a 1st time staff member, is from Chipley, FL.  Her favorite camp song is Tarzan.  If you’re looking for her on camp and can’t find her, she’ll probably be in the Arts and Crafts room because that’s her favorite camp activity.  Jessie says, “I wanted to help give kids a sense of belonging.”

Mason is from Cottondale, FL, and it’s his 1st time being camp staff.  His favorite song is Five Little Muffins, and his favorite camp activity is kayaking.  Mason says, “I wanted to positively impact youth.”

Savannah, from Trenton, FL, is a 1st time staff member.  Her favorite song is Pink Pajamas.  She’ll probably get you to sign it lots of times during her favorite camp activity – campfire.  Savannah says, “I wanted to help make a positive impact.”

Thanks to 4-H Camp Timpoochee’s Resident Director, Ariel Blanton, for interviewing her staff for us.  Next week, we’ll learn about Ms. Neva’s staff at 4-H Camp Cherry Lake.  If you’d like to learn more about 4-H Camp and its positive impacts, contact your 4-H Agent:

Meet the 2018 4-H Camp Cherry Lake Staff!

2018 4-H Camp Cherry Lake Staff from left to right: Linda, Ashley, Jordan, Shelbie, Maddie, Ben, Daniel, Sam, Josh

Can you believe the first week of 4-H Camp is right around the corner?  Your 4-H Camp Cherry Lake staff has been training hard getting ready to make your camp week the best ever.  Ms. Neva Baltzell, 4-H Camp Cherry Lake’s Resident Director, is proud to introduce you to her camp staff.

Sam, in his 4th year staffing 4-H Camp, is from Christmas, FL.  His favorite song is Princess Pat, and you’ll find him on the waterfront doing his favorite camp activity – kayaking.  Sam says, “I wanted to make a difference bigger than just myself.”

Linda is from Douglas, GA, and this is her 3rd year being a staffer.  Her favorite camp song is 5 Little Muffins.  Her favorite camp activity is Marshmallow Paint War!  Linda says, “I wanted to make a positive impact on youth at camp this summer.”

Shelbie, from Cairo, GA, is a 1st time staff member.  Her favorite camp song is Rattling Bog and she enjoys shooting sports the most at camp.  Shelbie says, “I wanted to be able to make a difference and give the kids an opportunity to embrace themselves.”

Josh is from Trenton, FL, and is a 1st time staffer.  Josh’s favorite camp song is Linger, and his favorite camp activity is Marshmallow Paint War!  Josh says, “I want to impact kids in a way I’ve been impacted before.”

Maddie, a first time staffer, comes all the way from Chelmsford, England!  Her favorite camp song is Baby Shark, and her favorite camp activity is healthy lifestyles.  Maddie says, “I wanted to be camp staff to gain experience before I train to go into teachig and to learn how to promote positive development.”

Ashley is from Lake City, FL and is a 1st year staffer.  She loves to sing Long Johns and her favorite camp activity is Stand.  Ashley says, “I choose to come to camp in search of gaining a new experience in life.”

Jordan, from McClenny, FL is a 1st time staff member.  Her favorite camp song is Osh Kosh Nooga, and you’ll find her teaching the latest moves in dancing.  Jordan says, “I wanted the opportunity to make an impact on kid’s lives by creating a loving and supportive environment for the kids to grow in. I also wanted an opportunity for my own personal growth.”

Thanks to 4-H Camp Timpoochee’s Resident Director, Ariel Blanton, for interviewing 4-H Camp Cherry Lake’s staff.  We can’t wait to meet them in person!  If you’d like to learn more about becoming a 4-H Camp Staff member during next year’s camping season, contact your 4-H Agent:

Meet A Graduating Senior: Max Scott

Max (far left) along with other graduating seniors at camp last year. Congratulations to all of our grads in the district!!!!

It’s graduation season, and for many 4-H agents, this is a bittersweet time.  On the one hand we are seeing our senior 4-H’ers accomplish big goals and reach out to take hold of their dreams for the future.  On the other hand, it can feel like we’re losing them – or at least in their current roles – the best always seem to boomerang back.

One such 4-H’er that I’ve had the pleasure of working with, and who will be missed terribly this summer is Max Scott.  He has developed all 4 H’s (head, heart, hands, and health), and even the sometimes joked about “5th H”…hustle.  But by far, Max will be known for putting his heart into everything he does.

Max is a student in Calhoun County.  He volunteers with 4-H every summer as a Camp Counselor at Camp Timpoochee, a five day residential camp in Niceville, FL.  When I asked Max to share is 4-H story, this is what he said:

“4-H has helped to teach and reinforce many positive qualities in my life such as honesty, hard work, and patience.

I first got involved with 4-H by winning the countywide 4-H Tropicana speech competition in fifth grade. One of the rewards for winning was a free trip to 4-H Camp Timpoochee. I soon learned that one of my best friends was planning on going to camp also, so I went, and there began my 4-H journey.

After several years of attending as a camper, I was finally able to go as a counselor.
The part I enjoy most about being a camp counselor is being given the honor of playing a positive role in a younger kid’s life.”

Max has indeed done just that.  He quickly became the most requested cabin counselor among my young 4-H boys, and just this week an excited camper came in my office to sign up for camp.  He shared with me that last year was his favorite year of camp yet.  I found that interesting since this camper has been for a number of years and it rained all day every day last summer, so I asked him why that was.  His reply? “Because Max was my counselor.  He’s the best.”  I couldn’t help but grin.

As I sat through a rather lengthy graduation ceremony last night for no other reason than to support this young man, I was reminded of just how much he has grown since I first met him as a cautious, shy, 11 year old boy.  Since then, he has been elected to several offices in school organizations, serves on the executive board of the local republican party, has paged at the capital in Tallahassee, earned the honor of being his class valedictorian, and was voted most likely to succeed by both his peers and faculty at his High School.

With his sights now set on law school and perhaps political aspirations, I know that Max is in for a bright and glorious future.  I’m so proud of him and all that he has accomplished.  Surely he will be missed this summer, but I know I will not be surprised to find another young Max in the crowd at camp this year, eager to find his footing and become just as great a counselor as Max was.

To leave you with a few words from the man of the hour, “If I could offer just one piece of advice to other students who are thinking about volunteering with 4-H it would be to just go for it. You don’t have to start out volunteering for a 5 day camp, you can start small by volunteering at a one day camp and if you like it then move on to the longer camps.”

As you can see, Max is always thinking of others and how they can leave a positive influence on the lives of others.

For more information on how you, like Max, can make a positive difference in the lives of youth in our community, contact your local UF IFAS Extension Office.

Stretch your child this summer

There are only 11 days before my boys will be home all day, luxuriating in the A/C, gaming, sleeping and eating everything in the pantry.  Or so they think.  I just can’t stand the thought of them doing that, so I’ve booked them for a couple of day camps, overnight camp and lined them up to work for my parents.  Now don’t get me wrong; I believe in down-time, me-time and quiet-time, but I also believe in making sure they’re brains don’t turn to mush, they love learning, develop a strong work ethic and experience some new things.

Because your 4-H Agents are youth development professionals, (folks who know how to provide programs and experiences that help youth reach their full potential), you can bet that 4-H day and overnight camping programs will benefit your child.  Activities and experiences are tailored to meet the developmental needs of your child while they experience success but are also challenged to think.  Don’t be afraid to give them a little push to try new things.

Take a look at this excerpt from an article by the American Camping Association:

“In recent years camps have put a greater emphasis on what leaders in the child development field have been saying about the needs of children today. Camp activities and group living in a natural environment are the tools used to create camp communities that provide for successful, healthy development and a place where having fun is a daily criterion. In such a structured environment, children interact with positive role models who have time to listen, talk, relax, and reflect. They learn to work together, make choices, take responsibility, develop creative skills, build independence and self-reliance, and gain confidence. All are necessary steps on a child’s path to a healthy, productive life.”

Read the full article here:

In the Northwest Extension District spanning from Escambia to Jefferson counties, we have several district-wide programs that may be offered in your county.  Each county may also offer more camps in addition to these.

To find out about summer programs in your county, visit