4-H leaders are looking forward to hosting a three-day camp to help youths make smart choices and to reject drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
Registration is underway for the Health Rocks Day Camp, scheduled for June 27 -29. Sampson County Cooperative Extension is collaborating with the Duplin Center to teach 9 to 13-year-olds about good decision making and the effects of harmful substances.
“It’s a very awesome program,” said Daniel Collins, extension agent for 4-H Youth Development at the Sampson County Center. “It’s something that would be very beneficial in Sampson County, if we can get it rolling.”
Health Rocks is part of the Sampson County 4-H Summer Adventure Series, which provides several educational workshops for youths when they’re away from school. Some of the topics include science, environmental education, horticulture, live stock and crafts.
“A lot of people think that if you teach kids about it, you’re going to want to do it,” Collins said. “But what we’re doing is talking about the effects of it and what it can do to the body, their stress levels and their decision making skills.”
During the program, Collins hopes to raise social awareness too, especially with parents.
“There’s some parents that don’t realize all the stuff that going on in social circles,” Collins said.
The first day (Monday, June 27) of Health Rocks will include activities focusing on role playing and experiencing what the body feels like under the influence and how it can harm the overall health of someone under 18. One highlight is the “Take a Deep Breath,” activity to simulate breathing problems of a longtime smoker. Materials such as straws and stopwatch aid the learning experience.
“It’s giving them the effects of it, without the harmful effects,” Collins said in reference to chemicals and toxins in cigarettes. “There’s a lot of stuff that comes out of that activity. It’s very eye opening.”
The second day (Tuesday, June 28) will consist of stress relief yoga. According to 4-H officials, the activities are designed to clear the mind of stress and improve communication with other people. It will be conducted by a guest instructor from North Carolina State University.
For the last day (Wednesday, June 29), participants will travel to the Poe Health Education Resource Center in Raleigh. The nonprofit organization’s goal is to have a positive impact on the lives of youths through health education.
“Everything they got going on up there is wonderful,” Collins said.
Sessions will take place at the Duplin County Extension Center in Kenansville. Transportation from Sampson County will be provided. The cost of the program is $10 and space is limited with 12 slots. Participants will receive a T-shirt and other surprise gifts. 4-H membership is not required to participate in the camp.
“This whole curriculum is very hands-on and knowledge based,” Collins said about the learning model used throughout the three-day activity.
For more information about Health Rocks or to sign up, contact Collins at the Sampson County Extension Office at 910-592-7161 or by email at [email protected]