Summer vacation is a wonderful time for our Richmond County kids. Students are excited to be out of school and take on the heat with days at the pool or beach, taking it easy in the AC or visiting with friends and family.
This year, several decided to spend some of their free time with 4-H activities, such as camping at Millstone 4-H Camp and Betsy Jeff Penn 4-H Educational Center, state presentations and Congress in Raleigh, and Summer Fun classes at the N.C. Cooperative Extension Office.
4-H Summer Fun classes kicked off with a week of arts and crafts. 4-H’ers were able to paint, draw, color, design and create several types of art.
We visited STARworks, a glass-blowing business in Star, and the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte.
We also received a painting lesson from Richmond County’s own Susan Perkins.
We stirred up the second week of 4-H Summer Fun with a cooking class that focused on reading recipes, grocery shopping and, of course, cooking!
We learned about healthy eating choices and took our skills to the kitchen to make breakfasts, smoothies, a vegetable stir fry, and baked alternatives to chicken nuggets and fries.
Thanks to some of our volunteers, we learned knife skills and visited the Sandhills AGInnovation Center in Ellerbe to learn proper food handling and processing skills under the supervision of manager Davon Goodwin.
We ended the busy week cooking a spaghetti lunch for campers and their favorite guests.
“Birds, Bees and Pollinators, Please,” a week devoted to learning about honeybees, native bees and other pollinators in our area, kept campers busy with several hands-on activities.
Members from the Richmond County Beekeepers Association played a big part in teaching students about bees, how they make honey and their valuable ability to pollinate.
We built bird houses, planted our own pollinator gardens and made lip balm from beeswax.
We took a field trip to Hitchcock Creek, where we listened to and identified several types of birds and butterflies with expert bird watcher Terry Sharpe.
Students also visited the Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge to learn about native and migratory birds that call this sanctuary their home.
Our final week of class was “sew” much fun!
Led by sewing instructor Valeria Lunceford, students learned the basics of sewing, how to use sewing machines, how to thread a needle and how to pin fabrics together.
They also were able to practice their math skills through measuring and making straight lines.
Students made pillows and designed shirts, but their greatest accomplishment was making their very own quilt from start to finish.
Though summer is coming to an end, 4-H activities never stop.
The 4-H Farm Credit Showmanship Circuit is in full swing.
Several members from our Richmond County 4-H Livestock Club are practicing for and participating in competitions where they will demonstrate their showmanship skills and market animals.
The Richmond County 4-H Goat Show will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Dale Dewitt Farm in Ellerbe. The show is open to the public and free to attend.
4-H clubs are another great way to become involved. Clubs generally meet once a month and participate in service projects and field trips throughout the year. Joining is free and easy.
For year-round fun and more information about 4-H, call 910-997-8255. When you are ready to join, visit nc.4honline.com.
For the latest information and pictures, check out the Richmond County 4-H Facebook page at RichmondCounty4H.
We would love you to be a part of our clover family!
Catherine Shelley is regional STEM education coordinator and coordinator of 4-H youth development for the Richmond County Cooperative Extension.