ELLERBE — Millstone 4-H Camp will offer its second annual Pickin’ in the Pines event Oct. 20, to raise money to send children to camp next summer. All proceeds will go to scholarships.
The event is adults only and fairly fancy, considering most participants take their own lawn chairs. Tickets go for $50 apiece, which covers heavy hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine, and an opportunity to participate in a live auction. Three bands also will make sure the event lives up to the “Pickin’” part of its name: Flatt Lonesome, an International Bluegrass Music Association award winner, Lauren & Lane and Long Gone Bluegrass.
“The goal is to get more children exposed to the outdoors,” camp director Keith Russell said Tuesday. “We want children to learn more about themselves and the natural world they live in, communication skills, learning to get along with one another and being productive members of society.”
At 4-H camp, children can participate in activities including canoeing and kayaking, crafts, swimming, hiking, field games, ropes courses and shooting sports.
Last year, the fundraiser took in enough money to provide 28 children from 16 counties with full or partial scholarships. This year, organizers expect 200 attendees, which should generate $10,000 in scholarship for families who might not otherwise be able to afford camp.
“Our advisory council for the camp wanted to do something to help raise money with the ultimate goal to not deter kids away from attending camp because of the cost,” Russell said.
A portion of the money collected will go to 4-H offices in different counties, Russell said. The rest will stay at Millstone so families can contact the camp directly to apply for assistance. Once a child has been awarded a scholarship and applied to camp, the money will be set aside for his or her application.
Last year’s partial scholarships averaged around $100; full scholarships covered the entire cost of attendance and credit toward the camp store.
Russell described the atmosphere at last year’s Pickin’ in the Pines as friendly and relaxed.
“In the fall/late October, it’s very comfortable,” he said. “Everybody brings their own lawn chairs, and we set up in the ballfield.”
The event is adults only because alcohol will be served. A live auction also will offer pottery, a package from a camping supply store, a handmade hall tree and other small items.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for folks to give back to the community and to be outdoors,” Russell said.
Reach Jasmine Hager at 910-817-2675 or [email protected]