PLEASANT HILL — More than 150 youths converged at Indian Hills 4-H Camp from June 4 – 9 for a getaway.
Some 116 campers between the ages of 8 and 14, and 35 teen counselors ages 14 to 18, took on the campm experience with guidance from Preble County 4H educator Christy Millhouse. Campers spent the five days living in cabins, with an assigned counselor in each cabin, and boys on one side of the property and girls on the other. Activities and games included a “Water Olympics,” archery, indoor and outdoor cooking, ultimate frisbee, and football.
Each year’s camp session has a theme, and this year’s was “Where Heroes Are Made,” with many activities involving superheroes and many campers sporting superhero shirts or dressed in costumes. Focus was also placed on everyday heroes, and campers met with Anna police chief Scott Evans, local military, a service dog trainer, a National Guard member, and firefighters.
One of the speakers was Montana Cox, a 16-year-old counselor at the camp who also serves as a cadet with the Lewisburg fire department.
“My brother and sister were both counselors,” Cox said, “and I was a camper. When I got too old to enroll, I didn’t want to leave, so I came back as a counselor. I watch over the kids and make sure they’re safe, and plan their activities and do things with them. They make it so fun. It’s like nothing else. You can plan all you want, but when you get here, it’s totally different and the kids make it such a great time.”
Ten-year-old Logan Littrell, of Eaton, enjoyed the experience. “It’s fun getting away from my family,” he said, “and being able to come and have fun with my friends. Some of them aren’t in my school or community, or are in higher grades than I am, so I like getting to see them.”
Littrell will show two hogs at this summer’s county fair, though Millhouse reminds everyone that 4-H is about more than just the fair.
“A lot of people associate 4-H with the fair, but that’s really a separate thing, an opportunity to exhibit and compete,” she said. “One thing we try to do overall as an organization is prepare kids for life through life skill, whether it’s through projects at the fair or activities like here at camp. Here, they’re learning things like how to live with other people, how to be independent. For some of them, this is the first time they’ve been away from home, so they’re learning to make sure they shower and get clean clothes on and things like that. My counselors are learning leadership skills, and they have to apply and interview for their positions, so they’re learning workforce prep skills too.”
Reach Duante Beddingfield at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @duanteb_RH.