Extension council looks for new kids' camp ideas

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Nevada Daily Mail

The Vernon County MU Extension Council held its first full meeting with newly elected members Monday evening. The first line of business the updated council discussed regarded the Extension's annual youth camp.

The camp, which is held primarily for at-risk youth, allows children to have a camping experience for several nights for a minimal fee. Kids can participate in the two-night camp for $2.

Chris Mosbrucker, 4-H Youth Program Associate, asked the council to consider new ideas for hosting the camp, which has seen declining participation. Mosbrucker said the timing of the camp, which is normally set in June, before summer heat is unbearable, often conflicts with summer school and Bushwhacker Days.

Last summer, the camp was canceled due to limited signups -- only two children planned to attend the event.

Mosbrucker asked the council to consider transforming the camp into an activity that would appeal to a larger group of children.

Mosbrucker asked the council for considerations on how to make the camp activity a viable project, whether continuing on with the Camp McGuiness tradition or transforming the camp into something new.

Council member Darrell Hickman said the changes in what interests children has shifted since the camp project began. "Maybe, we need new ideas," he said.

But the overnight camping experience was encouraged to remain. "I think kids enjoy the overnight part as much as anything," Hickman said.

The council will begin looking into new options and locations for the summer activity.

Additionally, the council voted on nominations for the State Fair Family Farm. Each year, extension councils statewide nominate families from their respective counties to represent the area at the State Fair, in Sedalia. Nominated families are actively involved in agriculture, the community and leadership, among other factors.

The council was briefed on the process of recruiting new resource specialists to the region. Pat Miller, extension agronomy specialist, said new food and nutrition program specialist Melissia Butler will join Vernon County. She will teach healthy eating and other nutrition skills in area schools and at Women, Infants and Children programing.

Interviews will be held this week for a family financial specialist.

The extension council will next meet at 7 p.m., May 12, at the Vernon County Senior Center.

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