Wakefield’s Airfield Center prepares for 4-H camp

Published 9:48 am Wednesday, May 9, 2012

by Terry Patterson

OK, Southampton County and Isle of Wight County. How many of you attended 4-H Camp as a youngster?

Camping at the Airfield 4-H Educational Camp and Conference Center in Wakefield has been a tradition for many years. I would love to hear your stories of 4-H camp and the difference it made in your childhood.

Since 1981, the 218 acres of the Airfield Center has been transformed into a home away from home for 9- to 14-year-olds.

The Isle of Wight/Southampton County 4-H Camp week is Monday, June 25, through Friday, June 29. All camping spaces have been filled; there is a waiting list.

Other opportunities for camping are from Friday, July 20, through Sunday, July 22, for the Cloverbud Weekend Camp for 5- to 8-year-olds; and Monday, Aug. 13, through Friday, Aug. 17, at Southeast 4-H District Camp for 9- to -14-year-olds.

This year’s theme is “Super Heroes” and several activities are being planned around this theme. This spring, we have been training some 40 young adults to work 4-H Camp. Volunteers receive more than 24 hours of camp-related training.

We are very pleased with the caliber of young people who we have working with the program and the plans that are progressing for camp. All teens and counselors working with the camping program are excited about the possibility of beginning a local 4-H Teen Club in Southampton and Isle of Wight.

You will be impressed with these teens. They are excited about making a difference in the community. A local 4-H club will just bring it all together throughout the year.

Now, back to camping. While at the 4-H Center, youth will learn life skills including communication, cooperation, problem solving, self-discipline, teamwork and leadership. The campers ranging from 9 to 14 will participate in the performing arts, canoeing, working with rifle and shotguns, leather craft, the challenge course, swimming, archery, foods, animal science, robotics, multimedia, gardening, forensics and marine science. Part of this week will include Character Counts curriculum in the areas of trustworthiness, fairness, respect, responsibility, caring and citizenship.

Lodging, meals, insurance, supervision and supplies are covered in the registration fee, which is reasonable.

We would like to thank the Southampton County Department of Social Services and the American Legion Auxiliary for scholarships for qualifying individuals.

If interested in sponsoring a youngster, or learning more about camping opportunities, call 653-2572.

Terry Patterson is the coordinator for 4-H programs in Southampton and Isle of Wight counties and can be reached at tpatters@vt.edu