10 EX­CUSES NOT to go to camp an­swered

The Covington News - - SPORTS - TERRI KIM­BLE FULLER­TON COLUM­NIST

We’re down to the last days of camp reg­is­tra­tion, and lucky for you there are still a few spa­ces avail­able! Are your ready for your child to have the most amaz­ing week of ad­ven­ture?

If you have con­cerns or ques­tions, I bet you’re not the only one. Keep read­ing to see why I think you should send your 9 year old to ris­ing sev­enth grader to camp with me this sum­mer.

Terri Kim­ble Fuller­ton is a New­ton County 4-H Agent through UGA Co­op­er­a­tive Ex­ten­sion. She can be reached at tkim­ble@uga.edu.

My child has never spent the night

1. away from home.

It has to hap­pen one day, right? I’ve rarely had a child go home for be­ing home­sick.

The vast ma­jor­ity of kids meet new friends, maybe get a lit­tle sad the first night, and by Tues­day they’re ready to live at camp for­ever.

Sorry, par­ents, but they re­ally aren’t think­ing about you much by Tues­day. But there are snakes

2. in the wilder­ness!

Guess what? There are snakes in New­ton County!

I’ll also let you in on a lit­tle se­cret—the snakes re­ally don’t like chil­dren, ei­ther. They won’t be roast­ing s’mores by the camp­fire or lin­ing up at the din­ing hall.

Just re­mind your child not to pick up any wildlife at camp un­less it’s in the learn­ing lab.

3. What if my child doesn’t know any­one?

Great! He’ll be the first to make new friends in­stead of just try­ing to spend time only with the one kid he al­ready knows.

With about 185 New­ton, Rock­dale and Ir­win County youth, there are a lot of new friends to meet at Camp Wah­sega.

4. I can’t get to the of­fice dur­ing busi­ness hours to make a pay­ment.

We ac­cept most ma­jor credit and debit cards over the phone.

5. I know kids can go to camp if they turned at least 9 by De­cem­ber 31, 2013, but my child is only a ris­ing fourth grader.

Okay, this is a tough one. Some kids are ready in the third or fourth grade and some aren’t. But my cousin Aley just fin­ished third grade at Flint Hill and is headed to camp this sum­mer, and she’d love to meet you’re your child.

6. My child isn’t a 4-H mem­ber!

It only takes a minute to fill out the en­roll­ment card-- and join­ing 4-H is free!

We hope 4-H camp will be just the first of many fun and ed­u­ca­tional 4-H ad­ven­tures for your child.

7. How do I know I can trust the chap­er­ones?

All adult lead­ers, paid and vol­un­teer, and camp staff are back­ground checked and trained through the Univer­sity of Ge­or­gia.

Teen lead­ers are youth we know well through their ex­ten­sive 4-H par­tic­i­pa­tion, and they are also trained.

Coun­selors are trained in CPR, first aid, life guard­ing, ropes cour­ses, youth de­vel­op­ment and en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion.

8. I watched the camp video at wah­sega4h.org, and some of those ac­tiv­i­ties look dan­ger­ous. Are you sure my child won’t get hurt at camp?

You’re rais­ing a child, so of course you al­ready know life doesn’t come with any guar­an­tees. Yes, some­times kids catch strep throat or twist an an­kle.

I can’t make any guar­an­tees your child won’t get hurt or sick at camp, but there is noth­ing in­her­ently un­safe about camp ac­tiv­i­ties.

Trained life­guards are on duty dur­ing swim time, ropes cour­ses are in­spected and op­er­ated by trained staff, and we wear life vests dur­ing the tub­ing trip.

Ge­or­gia 4-H camps more than 10,000 chil­dren each sum­mer, and we hope the big­gest risk your child takes this sum­mer is de­cid­ing whether or not to use all his spend­ing money by Wed­nes­day or step­ping out and try­ing some­thing new at camp.

9. My child has food al­ler­gies or other spe­cial needs.

The cafe­te­ria staff at Wah­sega are ex­perts at pro­vid­ing spe­cial foods-- just ask my dad, who can’t have de­hy­drated onions in the spaghetti sauce. He’s camped there ev­ery sum­mer for at least 10 years with­out any trou­ble.

We also rou­tinely take chil­dren who need other med­i­cal care, such as daily med­i­ca­tions, breath­ing treat­ments for Cys­tic Fi­bro­sis, or daily in­sulin shots.

10. I’m out of ex­cuses, when is camp?

Camp Wah­sega is June 2327. Call 770-784-2010 or visit us at 1113 Usher Street, Suite 202, to make your $310 pay­ment and pick up a pack­ing list!

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