2024 Darke County 4-H Camp a success

Campers and Counselors playing a camp game, Ships & Sailors. (GraceLynn Harter photo)

DARKE COUNTY – Darke County 4-H Camp was a success for both campers and counselors
this year. Counselors worked very hard to ensure campers had the best experience they could.

Darke County 4-H Camp took place June 9th – 13th at Indian Hills 4-H Camp, Inc. and was
packed full of different activities and programming that the counselors came up with throughout the year. The 2024 camp theme was Camp Outback and the plan was to tie in Australian culture in different ways throughout the camp.

“During meetings, we usually start off with some icebreaker activities we can use for camp,” explained Camp Counselor, Andrew Wuebker. “After that, we go through the logistics of camp and start the planning process.”

Each counselor needs a total of 24 hours of training before coming to camp. There were about 12 meetings but there were also other ways to make up hours including online training, different camps, Ohio 4-H Conference, and other workdays in the office. There were a total of 18 active counselors this year for camp.

Nicole Keller, Mental Health Counselor came in to talk with counselors earlier this year to help inform them about the different disabilities and behavioral differences they may experience at camp. She shared tips on how they can navigate those differences at camp and how to best prepare.

Counselors expressed why they are camp counselors and their favorite part about being one.

“Giving the other kids the experience I had as a counselor,” said Trey Rammel. “Keeping camp running.”

“Just making it a memorable experience is important,” said Wuebker.

There was a lot to do at 4-H Camp this year and there was a full, very busy schedule.
Counselors planned to facilitate different workshops including making stress balls, fishing,
bracelet making, campfire cooking, and learning different dances. They also planned to have time for singing camp songs, having dances, a talent show, doing water games and pool time.

Counselor, Hank Smith taught campers about bees and bee safety for a workshop. (GraceLynn Harter photo)

“You get new experiences,’ William Aultman said. “You can meet new people that you might
keep as friends throughout your life.”

Counselors expressed that they are super excited leading up to camp and hope that the
campers had fun and enjoyed everything that they have planned for them this year. They also explained that camp is a welcoming place and hope that all campers come back next year and bring a friend.

“4-H Camp allows kids to express who they are,” said Waylon Keller. “They get to meet others who are different from them and they learn about that diversity.”

4-H Youth Development Educator, Mercedes McFarland shared that planning for camp was
super rewarding and exciting for her as it was her first year in this new position. She has put countless hours into ensuring that all the ideas from the camp counselors were implemented into camp this year.

“We have a great group of counselors this year,” exclaimed McFarland. “I think they were a
fantastic staff and put on a wonderful camp. I’m very excited for the future of the camp and I’m proud of them for all that they have accomplished this year.”

Camp was a huge success for this wonderful group of mainly, first-year counselors and they
hope to grow their numbers in the future and see new faces at camp in 2025.

Camp Counselor, Evan Addis shared his experience of Leadership Camp during the Counselor in Training workshop. (GraceLynn Harter photo)

The 2024 Darke County 4-H Camp Counselors want to thank everyone who made camp
possible including the parents who allowed their kids to come to camp, the campers for coming to camp and being great participants and campers, the adult staff who helped throughout the week, Mercedes for all she did leading up to camp and during camp, Nurse Lucus for looking after everyone, and last but not least all of the sponsors who made camp possible through their monetary donations.

If you are interested in becoming a Camp Counselor, counselor applications for the 2025 4-H Camp will be posted on the Ohio State – Darke County 4-H Facebook page and website in the fall.