4-H and service learning after camp

Participate in service learning through 4-H after a summer camp.

Each summer, a number of youth attend camp when the school year is over. They may attend camp for different reasons and camps can be a benefit for the youth who participate in them. Camps can come in the form of a day-camp or an overnight residential camp. They provide the environment for youth to learn skills to carry with them in their daily lives and into their school and community. Along with the learning activities, youth participate in recreational activities to have fun and learn at the same time. After the summer camp is over, youth have memories of having fun, meeting new friends and learning new things. There are ways to keep the experience going from the summer camp throughout the school year.

One idea to follow up from the camp experience is to create a service learning opportunity. Was there a skill or talent that was discovered or developed during camp? If there was, that skill could be used to volunteer for a local service organization. Youth can take the time to find a service organization that utilizes youth as volunteers. 4-H is a great option for youth who would like to join other youth to be involved in community service. In Michigan, youth can contact their county Michigan State University Extension office and ask about joining 4-H to carry out a service project. Other options are finding an after-school program or another type of out-of-school time program and teaching the skill to youth. 4-H still has opportunities through 4-H Clubs to serve youth in those settings.

If it wasn’t a skill, camps provide other experiences that youth can use to give back through service. For example, if there was a game or a team-building exercise they participated in, they can use that experience for recreation in the 4-H club or 4-H program. During a 4-H Club meeting or program, youth participants can facilitate the game or team building exercise to their peers or younger youth.

Michigan 4-H Youth Development provides opportunities for youth to grow in community service and service learning and leadership, citizenship, and service. The camp experience can be continued throughout the school year with different activities and settings through 4-H.

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