For the week of June 17th – 21st, the Patrick County Extension Office hosted the Kids on the Move Day Camp. The kids that attended were between the ages of 5 and 12 years old. This camp was a great opportunity for both the kids and myself. The kids got to experience awesome and fun things like visiting a farm, touring a private airport, going bowling, and attending the Farmers Market. This camp is an awesome experience for both the kids and myself because these are things that we are not use to seeing in our everyday lives. Some of these experiences could even inspire the kids for their future professions like being a pilot or even a farmer. But most of all, I had fun being around the kids and learning more about being involved in the development of the youth.
On the first day of the camp, we met at DeHart Park. We spent the entire day there as we had to make sure every camper there had a white shirt that they could tie dye. We did this so that on Friday when we walked to the Farmers Market, we could easily see which kids were in our group. Out of four groups, we worked each group around so that they could personally tie dye their own shirt. As each group worked on their shirts, the other three groups got to go around different stations and play fun games like Badminton, Frisbee, Checkers, and Dominoes. After every group made their shirts, we went to lunch from 12:00 to 1:00. Then, it was time for the pool! At 1:00 everyday of the week, the kids and the adults too got to get in the pool.
On Tuesday, we went to the Blue Ridge Airport that is located in Spencer, VA. We met at DeHart Park to start things off and let the kids eat breakfast. We then boarded a school bus and headed to the airport. Once we got there, the receptionist went over the rules of the airport and showed everyone around the terminal and lobby area. We then headed out onto the runway to tour the AirCare and AirLife helicopters which are two helicopters that are used to transport patients to hospitals in critical condition. We were then shown a single engine airplane. It was very interesting to see because they were working there way up showing us bigger airplanes and telling us how far each one could travel which correlated to how much fuel it could hold. We then were shown a bigger and cooler two engine jet that could travel probably ten times as far as the first airplane. This airplane could carry close to 600 gallons of fuel as is the other smaller one could only carry close to 75 gallons.
After that, it was our time to leave. But when leaving, the receptionist and a worker at the airport informed us that a jet that was twice the size of the previous jet was landing in almost ten minutes. So we couldn’t say no to such a cool experience. We waited for the jet to land and the kids thought it was awesome. This jet held close to 10,000 gallons of fuel and could travel from that airport in Spencer all the way to Hawaii without refiling! After watching the big jet land, we left and went back to eat lunch and swim at DeHart Park.
On Wednesday, our field trip was to go bowling! After all the kids arrived and ate their breakfast, we went to Tin Pen Bowling Alley in Stuart, VA. We spent almost two hours at the center and the kids had a blast. Most of the adults played their own game and let the kids play with kids of similar age. We were able to get two good games of bowling in with about 6 or 7 people playing at each alley. Again, we left the bowling alley and went to DeHart park to regroup and eat lunch. The kids were then released to go to swim until 3:00.
Thursday was my favorite day out of all the others. This is the day that we took a field trip to the Pendleton Farm. As usual, we met at DeHart Park and at Breakfast and then loaded the bus. We then went south towards North Carolina which is where the farm was located. We arrived at the farm and April Pendleton greeted us. She then split the kids into four groups as there were four stations for them to visit. The first station was a lesson about wool from a sheep and what can be made from it like pillows and blankets and other neat items.
The second station was all about a cattle. They used a show steer as a “prop” to help teach the kids about the species. He taught the kids about about what cattle should be called like a bull, heifer, steer, or cow. He also taught them about the different breeds of cattle like Angus, Charolais, Herefords, and Simmentals. After that, he talked about the diet and tendencies of cattle and what makes them so unique.
The third station was about sheep. They showed each group how to sheer the sheep and the kids got to actually sheer a sheep themselves.
The last station was about honeybees. They taught us about how a colony of bees work and what caste system the bees fall in. They also taught us how bees make there honey which grossed out a couple of the kids because honey is regurgitated from a bees mouth, which technically means honey is bee spit. We ended the day like usual. We went back to DeHart, ate lunch, and finished with swimming.
After a long and exciting week, it had to come to an end. The day was Friday and our last field trip was a trip to the Farmers Market. Like usual, we met at DeHart for breakfast. But this time we weren’t riding a bus, we were going to walk since the farmers market was right in town. I brought the Extension Office drone with me that way I could get some aerial shots of the kids walking to the market and some of the farmers market itself. Once they got to the market, several groups were allowed to peruse the items for sale and were even able to buy some things if they were $2.00 or less. But while some of the groups were browsing the items for sale, the other groups were at a store across the street crafting wind chimes out of nothing but a plastic cup, some yarn, and some beads. Once all the kids got through making their wind chimes and buying what they wanted from the Farmers Market, we began the trek back to the park. As usual, we got back to the park and ate lunch. Since this was the last day, I too got in the pool and swam for the entire time. This was a big mistake as I have no tanning past my elbow and I did not apply sunscreen, so you could only imagine how red I got. But even though I was sun burnt across my back, shoulders, and chest I had a great time while at the pool with the kids.
This week was an amazing experience for both the kids and myself. I gained valuable time and experience around the youth and got to to see new and exciting things while doing so.