While many were spending their spring break at the beach taking it easy and soaking in the sun, there was a group of 4-H’ers that spent their break at Camp Jekyll. It’s one of Georgia’s premiere 4-H camps that is situated on Jekyll Island. The camp is open year-round with summer camp being held in the summer months and environmental camps being held in the offseason.

There were 52 4-H’ers, volunteers and agents that attended Camp Jekyll, April 3-5. The counties attending were: Caldwell, Christian, Crittenden, Hancock, Hopkins, Livingston, Lyon, Meade and Muhlenberg. There were two youth from Lyon County who attended, including Claire Shrewsbury and Jackie Hall, along with 4-H Agent, Mary Beth Riley.

Camp Jekyll focuses on educating youth about marine ecosystems, marine conservation and the marine environment. The classes our 4-H’ers took part in were: Beach Ecology, Maritime Forest, Salt Marsh Ecology, Fish Dissection, Slough Study, Environmental Issues, Herpetology and North & South End Beach Studies, all of which were hands-on and engaging. In addition to the classes, they had time for a night walk on the beach and campfire.

The trip also included a day and an overnight stay in Savannah, Georgia, one of America’s oldest cities. Participants had the opportunity to explore the city’s historic structures and gorgeous parks and learn about the history of Savannah along the way. The group ate dinner at The Pirates House, which is located on one of the most historic spots in Georgia. It was first opened in 1753 as an inn for seafarers, and fast became a meeting point for pirates and sailors from the seven seas.

This trip was open to youth in grades 6-9 throughout western Kentucky. The original cost was $725 until a grant was secured through the Kentucky 4-H Foundation, which reduced the price to $400 per camper.

This was the first out-of-state venture this group had planned, and after seeing how successful it was, they plan to visit Camp Jekyll and Savannah again in the future. Participants were exposed to many new experiences and opportunities that they will remember for a lifetime. Some had never been to the ocean before, stayed in a hotel or had the chance to explore a large city. Camp Jekyll also offered opportunities for career exploration and allowed them to see first-hand why conservation is necessary. Visiting Savannah allowed them to see a whole new world.

For more information about Environmental Education opportunities through 4-H or other 4-H opportunities, contact Riley at the Lyon County Extension Office at 270-388-2341.