The goal of Okeechobee County Extension and 4-H is to promote development of life skills in our youth by using a "learn by doing" approach. In year round 4-H programming we offer many opportunities to enhance and develop life skills through exposure to several different project areas: animal science, jr. master gardener, food and nutrition, shooting sports and natural resources, photography, and leadership are some examples of project areas available in our county. No matter the project area, the goals are the same. We strive to develop a sense of belonging (community), share the importance of service to the community, impart the responsibilities of stewardship to our environment, and instill the importance of ethical standards in all areas of our youth programs.
Our summer camps operate with the same goals and standards in mind but in a week-long day camp environment. In this summer's "H2 O Encounter" Environmental Education Day Camp (H 2 O Camp), we will offer a variety of opportunities for campers to do/reflect/apply what they learn:
- A field trip to River Woods Field Lab for hands-on learning about the importance of our water supply in relation to not only aquatic plants and animals and ourselves, but our entire local ecosystem. Campers will also have an opportunity to fish and learn basic archery skills!
- Orlando Science Museum will offer campers hands-on STEM opportunities to learn about our planet, its nature, and its natural history
- A trip to the St. Lucie Aquarium followed by a boat tour of the Indian River Lagoon will educate campers about the concerns for our local estuaries, and how we are all working together to preserve these areas for future generations to continue to enjoy
These are just a few of the activities that we are offering H2 O Camp participants this year. In addition, we are hosting a "Culinary Capers" Cooking Day Camp that will focus on food safety, preparation, and nutrition, and "Blast To the Past" History Day Camp that will explore Florida history with statewide field trips planned daily.