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An annual tradition is in the books for this year, as Jefferson County concludes its yearly 4-H Camp Cherry Lake.
This year, over 120 children from Jefferson and Baker Counties gathered on the banks of Cherry Lake, which is located in the northern portion of Madison County, to savor a week of summer fun and adventures.
“As always, 4-H Camp Cherry Lake was a huge success thanks to the wonderful campers, counselors, volunteers and sponsors,” writes Jefferson County Extension Office 4-H Agent John Lilly.
The tradition of spending a summer week on Cherry Lake is a custom that spans generations, with countless of area natives retaining fond memories of their summer sleep-away camp on Cherry Lake.
During the 4-H camp, youth are encouraged to try new activities and pick up new hobbies through the camp's provided activities, such as swimming, archery, recreational dancing and outdoor skills.
At Camp Cherry Lake, kids learn to thrive, enjoy an adventure and make new friends, with this year's theme for Camp Cherry Lake supporting that mission: “Adventure is Out There!”
In addition to the encouragement to try a new skill, campers were able to take part in traditional “camp activities” such as marshmallow toasting, paint wars and campfire ceremonies.
The youth campers, the adult organizers and camp counselors also went on a road trip to the Fun Station in Tallahassee for a night out and attended a camp dance the following night.
Despite all the fun to be had during sleep-away camp, the kids were also required to participate in one of the camp's daily educational classes that focuses on a variety of topics.
Whether learning about healthy lifestyles, science in the aquatic world, nature exploration, outdoor skills/GPS and orienteering, sports fishing/angler education, creative dramatics or computer coding, there were plenty of opportunities for youth to expand their minds and learn something new.
“4-H summer camps are an excellent way for youth to learn about their environment while having fun and making friends that last a lifetime,” writes Lilly. “For some, they may refer to these moments at camp as a time they were living their best life.”
Jefferson County 4-H would like to thank their generous and faithful donors who made this year's camp successful: Gramling Electric, Camellia Garden Club, Mitchell L McElroy, Nick and Elaine Prine, Mack and Betsy Barfield, Tri-County Electric Cooperative - H. Julius Hackett, Shirley A. Washington Foundation Inc., Jacqueline L Dupont, C. Rebecca Clayton, Brenda and William Nelson, American Legion Otto M. Walker Post 49, Edward Carraway, Larry and Marilyn Halsey, Ron Cichon, Katheryn Cox, Avalon Plantation, Peter D. Kantor - Lloyd Nursery, Monticello Woman's Club, Edward Carraway, Youth Inc., Founders Circle Garden Club, Monticello Garden Club, Altrusa Club of Monticello, James Muchovej, Kenneth Lee King, Jefferson SWCD, Phyllis Kennedy, W.B. and Dorothy Barnhart, All God’s Children Outreach Ministry, Buck and Buelah Bird, Mr. and Mrs. Kirksey, Jane and Michael Harlin, American Legion Unit 49 Auxiliary, Simpson Nurseries, Monticello Rotary Club, Jay and Bonnie Littlefield, John Lilly, Willie Wilson, Ann Reddick and Rev. Kass Brooks.
For more information about 4-H activities and other Extension programs, call or visit the Jefferson County Extension Office. The office is located at 2729 W, Washington Hwy., just west of Monticello, and can be reached at (850) 342-0187.