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Junior 4-H'ers have fun in the sun

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POSTED: August 19, 2010 11:45 a.m.
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Richmond Hill Middle School student Kaitlyn Grant shows off her catch.

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Bryan County Junior 4-H’ers departed for Jekyll Island 4-H Center for a week of 4-H Summer Camp on July 5. Twenty-two upcoming 8th and 9th graders spent the week learning about Georgia’s coastline and how to protect and preserve it. Camp counselors at Jekyll mixed learning with fun  to make an exciting, unforgettable week of summertime fun. Day excursions included a scenic bike ride through the Jekyll Island Historic District, a trip to the Sea-Turtle Center, canoeing, a dolphin tour and walk around Raccoon Island, and an afternoon shopping on St. Simon’s Island
The group of bicyclers winded down shaded pathways through the mini-golf course, down the beach-view sidewalk, all the way to antique homesites on the opposite side of the island to the Jekyll Island Historic District. Before heading back, the 4-H’ers were given a walking tour of several homes and stopped to refresh at the Ice Cream Station. Most said the ice cream was well worth the tired legs from pedaling.
The Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island is a trip you will never forget. Sick and injured sea turtles are brought here from the southeastern coast to heal before being released back into their environment. Campers saw many stages of the healing process and were taught how the sea turtle is released and monitored after leaving the center. The sea turtles are housed in small vinyl pools throughout their recovery. Many of the 4-H’ers want to make a donation of a small pool in honor of the program after seeing the wonderful job the center is doing for this endangered species.
Campers got a first-hand look at many slithering creatures from the local habitat. Snakes, turtles, shrimp, crabs, and fish were some of the interesting forms of life 4-H’ers were able to touch and/or see nose-to-nose. Campers took a night-time guided tour trying to catch a turtle egg hatching and went seining for water-life during ocean ecology classes . The dolphin tour was a huge success with not only viewing a school of dolphin, but two manatees, as well. The captain of the boat dropped the nets on the way to Raccoon Island. A large horse-shoe crab was the catch, but after a brief look from the passengers, the captain released him back into the water. The walk around Raccoon Island, a privately owned island with handmade ponds for raising shrimp, is a new addition to the 4-H camp agenda. Campers enjoyed looking for shells in an area where few step. It simply is breath-taking to see the native plants and wild-life without fences to spoil the view.
What better way to cool off at the beach than a nice dip in the wave pool at Summer Waves? 4-H’ers never tire of a waterpark and Dip ‘n Dots! Another favorite spot would have to be the big tipping bucket.
A delightful picnic on St. Simon’s Island was the perfect final retreat of the week. Campers dined fried chicken, corn on the cob, green beans, and rolls while enjoying the ocean-view and breeze under a beautiful Live Oak tree. And for those that could still move, the local retailers welcomed them into their quaint shops for a few hours of shopping. The ice cream shop, as usual, was among their favorite stops.
Jekyll Island 4-H campers included Molly Berland, Kate Bosen, Grant Christian, Jordan Crosby, Jabari Fields, Hannah Flaherty, Kaitlyn Grant, Stephanie Hahn, Elizabeth Hawkins, Coby Herndon, Sinamen Magee, Josh Neagley, Hanna Panch, Helena Parsons, Katelyn Robertson, Devan Sharpe, Tamara Snyder, Kristen Sparks, Jasmine Tapper, Kourtlyn Taylor, and Kendall Thomas.
If you are interested in becoming a Bryan County 4-H’er, please contact the 4-H office at (912) 653-2231. You can find out more information about 4-H at www.bryanextension.org or www.georgia4H.org.
 

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