What if I told you that I know of a place where your child could go to help build self-confidence and self-esteem? Would you guess the answer is camp?

The American Camp Association reported that parents said the camp experience helped their child feel good about themselves, gain more self-confidence/self-esteem, increased their independence, show more leadership skills, feel more socially comfortable and increased both their friendship skills and their willingness to try new things.

4-H Camp is a great place for children to experience things they may not have the opportunity to otherwise. This year we are offering two very different types of camp for two different age groups: 4-H Resident Camp for students finishing grades 4-6 and 4-H Cloverbud One-Day Camp for ages 5-8 as of September 1, 2018.

4-H Resident Camp is a long-standing tradition in our county. Campers will spend time with caring and responsible adults and teens. Our camp counselors go through rigorous training and are committed to putting the campers’ needs first. Youth build a positive relationship between themselves, caring adults and the teen staff. 4-H Resident Camp will be the week of June 18-21 at Camp Myrtlewood. You do not have to be a 4-H member to attend.

Campers also get to spend time outdoors. Our camp theme this year is “Outdoor Adventure.” In today’s society, where so much of our time is spent indoors, just being outside for an extended period of time can help build a connection and appreciation of nature. They also get unplugged.

At camp, kids are away from cell phones, electronic games, TVs and computers. When was the last time your child spent a week without those devices? I doubt if any camper ever misses those devices while at camp, they’re too busy having fun.

Children will get to try things they may never have tried before and as they try new things they learn to face their fears and gain confidence. At camp, we offer a variety of activities like archery, swimming, hiking, crafts and sitting around a campfire.

Campfire. How many of you that went to camp still remember the camp songs you learned? We spend our evenings around a campfire singing, telling stories, performing skits and having fun.

Our Cloverbud day camp will be Tuesday, July 16 at the Discovery Garden. There will be trained counselors and adult staff to help the campers navigate through the day of fun, learning and discovery. Activities will include growing things, science experiments and arts and crafts, just to name a few. This opportunity will allow younger children to get a taste of camp without the overnight component.

Registration for Camp Myrtlewood is open and we are offering a discount for early-bird registration. Information for Cloverbud Day Camp registration will be posted on our website when it is open.

Teresa Middleton is the 4-H Program Coordinator at OSU Extension Service of Douglas County. Teresa can be reached by email teresa.middleton@oregonstate.edu or phone at 541-672-4461.

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