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Coffee County 4-H has been busy this summer.
On June 5, thirty-three fifth and sixth graders traveled to Jekyll 4-H Center for a fun week of Cloverleaf Camp.They enjoyed five days of fun at the beach, environmental education, and exploring island and marsh life. The days were spent participating in a variety of outdoor activities such as beach swimming, biking, canoeing, hiking, competing in relay races, seining, dancing, hunting for sand dollars, hermit crabs, and periwinkle snails, and of course eating lots of snow cones and Icees.
On June 21, “Cloverbuds Agventure Days” kicked off. This event was held in partnership with Coffee County Farm Bureau and was created to provide a fun summer learning opportunity for kids ages four to seven years old. Each day of this four-day event focused on a different topic. Every day students read books, participated in hands-on activities, and created various crafts. The first two days were all about agriculture. The kids learned about dairy, plants, and pollinators. They made their own ice cream and a seed throw and grow, planted wildflower seeds, and pretended to be bees in a fun pollinator activity.
The last two days were about nature and wildlife. Kids learned about forests and ocean ecosystems. They were able to hear from Ranger Chris Adams from the General Coffee State Park about our local environment. Ranger Adams even brought a couple of friends that students were able to pet - a gopher tortoise and a corn snake! On the last day, the kids compared with live worms with gummy worms and practiced fishing techniques. The last two days ended with a scavenger hunt for woodland animals and sea creatures as well!
On June 26, Coffee County Farm Bureau partnered with Coffee County 4-H and the Boys and Girls Club of Coffee County to have a fun hands-on class all about gardens, plants, and pollinators. After reading "Right This Very Minute: A Table to Farm Book," students were able to look at the vegetable plants already growing in their own raised garden beds outside as well as getting to plant zucchini seeds. Next, the children became bees that buzzed around re-enacting the pollination off a flower garden. Then, students got messy by making "Throw and Grows" filled with soil and seeds to take home to make their own wildflower garden. To wrap it up, the kids constructed their own dirt pudding to snack on while reading " Up in the Garden, Down in the Dirt." We would like to thank both Coffee County Farm Bureau and the Boys and Girls Club of Coffee County for working with us to bring these educational events to the youth of our community!
On June 28, six Coffee 4-H’ers visited DNR Coastal Resources in Brunswick. Coffee 4-H’ers joined Bacon and McIntosh 4-H Programs to spend the day fishing, seining, participating in various marine science classes, and hiking through the marsh. Students caught a variety of things such as jellyfish, croakers, a toad fish, and a sting ray. Then, 4-H’ers learned about differences and similarities of various fish and why those particular traits and adaptations exist as well as created a food web demonstrating life in the marsh ecosystem. In the marsh, a scavenger hunt ensued where students looked for marsh birds, sea pickles, periwinkle snails, and fiddler crabs.
During the week of July 3-7 five Junior and Senior 4-H’ers spent the week at camp. While Senior 4-H’ers stayed at Rock Eagle, Junior 4-H’ers stayed at Fortson 4-H Center and visited the Atlanta Motor Speedway and Stone Mountain to partake in some Fourth of July fun. Both groups were able to spend their days enjoying lots of fun in the sun doing various outdoor activities as well as participating in a rotation of hands-on STEM classes.
From July 18-21, Georgia 4-H celebrated excellence during the 80th Annual 4-H State Congress as top 4-H’ers from around the state gathered in Atlanta. State Congress includes the state-level Project Achievement as well as recognition of youth development professionals, supporters, and public officials for their contributions to the success of 4-H in Georgia. This essential Georgia 4-H program element empowers young people with leadership, creativity, public speaking, and record keeping skills that will last a lifetime.
At the high school level, students choose a project of interest from a list of areas that include agriculture, human development, performing arts, communication, engineering, and workforce preparation. They subsequently research the topic, create a detailed presentation, and participate in related community service and civic engagement activities. State Congress competition also includes individual interviews with qualified professionals who engage with 4-H’ers about their project work.
Coffee County Senior 4-H’er Jake Grantham had the opportunity to compete in the Outdoor Recreation project area at State Congress where he spoke about bass fishing. While he enjoyed the competition, he said that his favorite part of going was being able to meet different people around the state and make new friends.
For the last summer activity, Coffee County 4-H and Atkinson County 4-H joined forces to enjoy a day at General Coffee State Park. We started the day with building our own cane poles and going fishing. Then, students got to experience the garden and trying their hand at cleaning out the garden to prepare for new plots to be grown. Thanks to a friend of General Coffee State Park volunteer students were able to learn about a variety of snakes native to South Georgia as well as the importance of tortoises.
After a picnic lunch, Ranger Chris Adams led a tour around this historic farm teaching about the methods pioneers would use to cultivate the land. Tremendous thanks to all the folks at General Coffee State Park who allowed 4-H’ers to visit and learn about nature and historic agriculture.