'Predator and Prey' game at 4-H camp teaches survival skills


July 29, 1996|By Lois Szymanski | Lois Szymanski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ON JULY 22, about 70 children ages 8 to 11 got together at Camp Hashawha near Union Mills to participate in a weeklong 4-H-sponsored camp. It was the second session offered this year for 4-H'ers and others who wanted to experience fun, friendship, nature and education.

With the theme "Out of This World," groups took their names from the names of the planets. Throughout the week each group would work as a team, learning songs and skits to present to the others, taking part in campfires and competitions.

Educational activities were conducted throughout the week. For the game "Predator and Prey," campers took on the role of various animals.

"It's a game where the kids learn about survival of the fittest. They learn what it takes to survive in the wild," said Rita Zimmerman, assistant extension agent for Carroll County. She and Peggy Roland are the camp's adult directors.

The camp included a "Survival Swim." Under the direction of a lifeguard, campers entered the pool fully clothed "with their bathing suits on underneath," Zimmerman said. "They take their clothes off in the pool and learn how to use the clothing as a flotation device," she said. "If they were ever in a boating accident they would know how to react and to survive."

For more than 20 years, Hashawha's 4-H camp has offered more than the usual camp activities. This year offered an opportunity to learn line dancing, take night hikes to learn about nocturnal life and enjoy evening campfires and songs.

Crafts included tie-dyeing, stained-glass art and making Indian-style name tags with leather, beads and embossing. Pool activities featured swimming in small groups, water games and relays. Meals were served family-style by the Camp Hashawha staff.

Youth directors at this year's 4-H camp are Ginger Hull of Westminster and Sarah McGinley of Mount Airy. Hull is in her last year of 4-H. She is a sophomore at David Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn. With 12 years of 4-H experience, this former Miss 4-H is giving her camp experiences back to county youths.

McGinley also shares her 4-H experiences with the campers. When not at camp, she is a sophomore at Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg.

"This week, we have a younger group," Hull said. "Last time, we had the older kids, and we had a lot of return campers."

"This is my first time here," said 9-year-old Todd Dutton, a member of the Mount Airy Clovers 4-H Club. "I like it. I like it a lot."

Ten-year-old Amy Andrews said it was her third year at camp. "I like staying in the cabins. It's a different experience."

Amy's mother, Kathy Andrews, is the camp nurse.

Activities for both sessions of camp were cooked up by McGinley and Hull, with the help of adult directors and assistant directors Jeff Bonita, Becky Gist and Chris Morris.

At each session of camp, a group of counselors age 14 and up, and Counselors-In-Training (CITs), ages 12 and 13, assist staff members and directors.

They received community service credit for their efforts, but many weren't at camp for the hours. They are former campers returning because they enjoyed and learned from previous camps, and because helping others is what 4-H is about.

"We're getting community service hours," said Hull's 14-year-old brother Lucas, a crafts counselor. "But that's not why I came. 4-H camp is fun."

Helping after the storm

The tornado that hit the Gamber area July 19 was devastating, but it brought out a flood of kindness, showing us what Carroll countians are made of.

Boy Scouts from Troop 395 in Finksburg and Troop 381 in Westminster worked to clear wreckage and gather personal belonging of victims in the area.

A long list of merchants, local clubs, organizations and individuals donated time, effort and money.

At the Westminster Sheetz store, worker Lois Browne couldn't stop thinking about the two boys, Christian and Ethan March, who were thrown from their cribs in their second-story bedroom to the lawn below.

Even though their injuries were superficial, Browne wanted to help. She consulted with a store manager B. J. Kelison and was granted permission to put a collection can on the counter.

"Within just three hours we had collected $130," Kelison said. "We drove to the Gamber firehouse with it and gave it to the firemen. They said they would give it to the Red Cross." The Red Cross will see that the money goes to local tornado victims.

The can will remain on the counter in the Westminster Sheetz store as long as the victims are in need.

Carroll countians can be counted on in difficult times.

Lois Szymanski's Central Neighbors column appears every Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 7/29/96

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