Last updated: May 21. 2014 2:43PM - 451 Views
By Chase Jordan cjordan@civitasmedia.com

Courtesy photoA group of children participate in a 4-H activity during last summer's workshops.
Courtesy photoA group of children participate in a 4-H activity during last summer's workshops.
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With summer around the corner, local 4-H leader Amanda Bradshaw is looking forward to youth having fun and building friendships while learning life skills in the process.

Registration for the Sampson County 4-H Summer Workshops will begin May 27 and will continue through May 30. The workshops include a variety of activities for children and teenagers and are tailored for different age groups.

“We’re looking forward to a great summer,” Bradshaw stressed. “This is a tradition and something that we do every year.”

Bradshaw, an agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, said the appointment process for registration is already under way, giving all those involved a chance to sit down with families and figure out where each participants interests are focused.

“That’s important to us — to make sure they’re in something they want to be in,” Bradshaw said.

Some of the workshops include crafts, etiquette, livestock and sewing.

A few of the new workshops include cheese making, learning about Geographic Information Systems, baking, spoken word and viewing butterflies at the Cape Fear Botanical Gardens. Popular workshops such as Girls Rock are also returning.

“We try to have a good variety for everybody,” she said.

Bradshaw said the overall purpose is to teach life skills.

“That’s what they all come down to,” Bradshaw said. “A workshop may teach one life skill, but through the process of introducing them to other children, you’re creating social skills.”

As an example, Bradshaw said students may learn more than just fixing a button in a sewing class. She said math, social skills and mechanics are also involved.

“You’re teaching multiple skills,” she pointed out. “We’re hoping that students get a whole big basket of skills. The most important thing is that they walk away with something they didn’t learn before.”

She enjoys observing the children meet new friends, an added bonus for those participating in any of the worshops.

“You start out with a group of kids who really don’t know each other and by the end of the workshop, they have friends for life,” she attested.

Bradshaw indicated that she hopes the camp will spark an interest in other 4-H activities.

“We look at summer workshops as an opportunity for kids to come in and be a part of us in the summertime,” Bradshaw said. “But it’s really an opening door to other events we have throughout the year.”

The workshop is available for local youths or anyone visiting the area for the summer. Parents or legal guardians are required to fill out paper work through the local Extension office.

“We have some kids that stay with grandparents only during the summertime, so that’s the only chance we get to see them,” she said. “But they come back year after year. We’re happy to see them when they do come back.”

Funding from the United Way of Sampson County covers the cost of the program, which will allow families to pay a low commitment fee for the activities.

“We’re so thankful for our volunteers and businesses that choose to help us because without them, we couldn’t do this by ourselves, by no means.”

For more information or to register, call 910-592-7161 or visit http://sampson.ces.ncsu.edu

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