Through a Department of Defense grant and in partnership with Purdue University, 4-H Camps Nationwide are offering unique adventure camp opportunities for youth of military families at a minimal cost. Bryant Pond, Tanglewood and Blueberry Cove are part of this program now in its second year.
Archive for the ‘News’ Category
The University of Maine 4-H Shooting Sports Training weekend has been scheduled for June 8 – 10th at the Bryant Pond 4-H Camp & Learning Center. More details here.
We have finalized our summer camp program offerings for this year. Please follow this link to see the new offerings. Registrations are being taken daily.
Join us for a weeklong winter adventure learning survival skills and wilderness travel by snowshoes and dogsled. You will learn about winter survival including shelter building, ice fishing, outdoor cooking and primitive living while exploring the amazing world of winter in Maine…. find out more.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension has received renewed funding for a 4-H program that has introduced hundreds of middle and high school students to sustainable lifestyle practices and inspired them to positively influence their schools and communities through service-learning activities.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture recently allocated $140,000, the third installment of a five-year, $660,000 grant-funded 4-H project. The grant focuses on “at risk” youth in schools and school districts with high eligibility rates for the National School Lunch program, according to Bryant Pond program director Ryder Scott. The program introduces entire middle and high school classes to service-learning, sustainability and, ultimately, leadership toward those ends.
Since the Maine Sustainable Communities project started three years ago, more than 35 middle and high school classes from throughout Maine have participated at either Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center in Western Maine or Tanglewood 4-H Camp and Learning Center in Lincolnville.
Scott has been impressed with the results.
In 2009, Buckfield Middle School students left the five-day residential experience to go home and start a school garden. The students last year decided to raise honeybees to improve garden pollination, Scott says, and the garden won a statewide award this year from Maine Agriculture in the Classroom.
“We teach principles of ecology, environmental studies and principles of sustainability, conservation, recycling and reuse and ecology, and combined with that — and this is the unique part — we have combined it with a service-learning curriculum,” Scott says. “Our intent is to spark an interest in change — making communities and schools more environmentally and ecologically sustainable.”
Students learn, for instance, about organic foods and composting by hauling kitchen and meal scraps to a compost site after camp meals as part of that sustainability package, Scott says. The Maine Sustainable Communities Project civically engages youngsters, who often feel powerless to effect change in an adult world, he says.
During the typical two- to three-day camp experience, 4-H staff and teachers guide students though a facilitated process where they’re asked how they would make life better in their community. Then they create an action plan.
Both Bryant Pond and Tanglewood “have supported lots of successful programs that the students have conceived during their experiences at the 4-H camps,” Scott says.
“I’ve been an outdoor educator for 15 years, and for me, the service-learning component is the biggest success story for us. By integrating service-learning and sustainability into a program, it’s more than a knowledge transfer lesson,” he says.
“The implicit message is we’re all connected and action matters. Student participation is important. You’re exposing them. You’re giving them a true sense of empowerment. I have to believe it’s a life-long lesson.”
The program is one of several overseen by Extension professor Cathy Elliott, a founding member of the National Network for Sustainable Living Education who teaches and conducts research and presentations on sustainability. She and Kristy Ouellette, Extension educator for 4-H Youth and Family Development, in the Lisbon Falls office, are the principal investigators for the grant.
Contact: Ryder Scott, (207) 665-2935; Cathy Elliott, (207) 581-2902
ORONO — The Maine 4-H Foundation is inviting area businesses to participate in the Maine Clover Promotion Oct. 1-31 as part of its 4-H Month fundraising campaign.
The project raises money for 25,000 youths involved in Maine 4-H. 4-H is the youth development program of University of Maine Cooperative Extension. The foundation calls the campaign a great way for all to contribute to the youth in our state and to identify local businesses as a youth supporter in their communities.
The Maine Clover Promotion enables business customers to buy a “clover” for $1. Some businesses have hung the clovers in their stores and some have chosen to give them to customers making the donation. Seventy percent of the contributions go directly to local county 4-H programs and thirty percent goes to statewide programs such as summer camps and trips.
Last year, more than 50 businesses participated and more than 6,000 people purchased clovers. The Maine 4-H Foundation invites all businesses to help make the 2011 campaign successful one. Contact the Maine 4-H Foundation directly at (207) 356-5904 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Governor’s wife stopped by for a visit on Wednesday. Here’s the news clip.
The University of Maine 4-H Camp and Learning Center in Bryant Pond has installed a major solar system in its first year-round building that will help it become a net-zero user, or perhaps a positive generator, of electricity. Read more
Looking for all of those that are interested in the Wilderness First Aid (SOLO) Training on June 11th-12th. If you took it in 2009, you’ll need to re-cert as well. Please let us know this week so that we can order manuals. Click here for more info, or give us a call ! Thanks!
Contact: Jon Prichard, Springvale, (207) 324-2814
ORONO — Whether it’s kayaking down a river, backpacking through the forest or racing high-adventure style, military family teens with a thirst for adventure will have a greater number of options this summer thanks to an expanded federal summer camps program run by the country’s university Cooperative Extension System.
The U.S. Defense of Department, with the U.S. Agriculture Department and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, in addition to Extension offices at 11 other land-grant universities, have teamed up to offer military teens low-cost, high-adventure camps at 50 locations, including one in Alaska and two in Europe, in addition to Maine.
The USDA, land-grant universities and the Cooperative Extension System will work with local communities to offer the camps. Military teens ages 14 to 18 can pick their adventure — from a five-day kayaking trip through Washington’s San Juan Islands to a four-day adventure racing course in the Northeast to a one-week backpacking trip through Alaska’s Denali Forest.
The DoD and USDA, through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), has awarded 12 grants for the program, which expands and broadens existing summer camp opportunities for military family children that has been administered in Maine and other states by Cooperative Extension offices for about five years, according to Jon Prichard of the Extension office in Springvale. Prichard and Extension Director John Rebar in Orono say at least 272 Maine youths will benefit. Nationally, the combined 12 projects approved by the NFIA will make camp opportunities available for more than 2,800 youth.
The camps will offer military youth experiences not readily available through traditional programs, according to the American Forces Press Services. Due to frequent moves, military parents and youth may be unaware of local opportunities; the camps are intended to fill that gap. Previously, youths attended camps in their respective states.
“Now it’s a national program,” Prichard says. “We will be attracting kids from around the country. The kids can go any place from Alaska to Arkansas. Hopefully, we’ll have a mix of Maine kids and kids from around the country.”
The Maine Military Adventure Camps will occur at Extension’s 4-H Camp and Learning Centers at Bryant Pond and Tanglewood/Blueberry Cove.
“The opportunity for children in military families to experience the outdoors in this way is fantastic,” says Doug Babkirk, Extension’s associate director.
Purdue University, designated to make selections on behalf of the DoD and USDA, received 25 applications and approved projects at the universities of Alaska, Arkansas, California – Davis, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire and Colorado, Ohio and Washington State universities.
“This is a great opportunity for our military youth to leave their comfort zones and challenge themselves in a variety of ways,” Robert L. Gordon III, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy, says. “The skills they learn through these camps will remain with them for the rest of their lives.”
The Cooperative Extension website for Maine 4-H Camp and Learning Centers has additional information.