Camp Helps Youth Learn Creativity Hone Leadership Skills

Tanya Giroir, Faul, Terril D., Chaney, John A., Crnkovic, Jeannie  |  4/28/2005 1:27:48 AM

News Release Distributed 01/28/05

POLLOCK – Young people from across Louisiana gathered for a fun-filled weekend to learn sewing skills, develop creative talents and practice leadership skills during fashion camp at the Grant Walker 4-H Education Center Jan. 21-23.

"Fashion camp provides an opportunity for 4-H youth to develop their skills and abilities in a fun way," said LSU AgCenter 4-H agent and fashion camp coordinator Jeannie Crnkovic from Bossier Parish. "And this year we expanded the number of youth eligible to participate from 40 to 50."

The camp is designed to teach young people how to hone their skills, as well as share what they learn with others back home.

"I had a lot of fun, and now that I know how to sew, I can make presents for my friends instead of buying them," said Erika Burtch, a 4-H member from Livingston Parish.

The keynote speaker was Tavie Bult of the LSU AgCenter’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program in Calcasieu Parish, who talked to the campers and engaged them in exercises to help them develop poise and confidence.

"This camp has given my daughter a chance to ‘come out of her shell.’ She modeled in front of a crowd, volunteered to model for the ‘Two Bit’ Fashion Show and can't wait to apply for the Fashion Board," said Rachael Schexnayder, a volunteer from St. James Parish.

This camp and a variety of other camps held throughout the year as part of the 4-H youth development program have similar goals – helping young people gain valuable skills, knowledge and experiences while also having fun.

"We want to try to make the best better with the activities we offer in 4-H," said Terril Faul, who serves as leader of the Louisiana 4-H program for the LSU AgCenter. "Our goal is to provide young people with a wide range of experiences and knowledge, so they can grow into better adults and serve as our future community, state and national leaders."

The fashion camp was planned and conducted by the 4-H Fashion Board, which is comprised of older 4-H members selected from throughout the state. These board members work with younger members at camp to enhance the learning experience and assist them to complete their projects in a timely manner during camp.

"The camp provides an opportunity for younger 4-H members to gain fashion skills and older members to practice teaching and leadership skills," said Tanya Walker, LSU AgCenter adviser for the fashion camp.

"The Fashion Board works beautifully together. They are varied in personalities, but gel together into a wonderful, productive unit. They really seem to care about their campers," said Jayne Jason, a volunteer leader from West Baton Rouge Parish.

Campers ranged in age from 10 to 13 years old.

To further the educational outreach of the camp, project leaders invited campers to bring supplies to be sent to Louisiana troops serving in Iraq. In addition to the enormous response in the form of supplies, participants also wrote letters to servicemen and servicewomen that will be delivered with the supplies.

This fun-filled weekend was a learning experience for both youth and adults.

"The program was a wonderful surprise. I didn't know what to expect, and now I leave with a different appreciation for 4-H and its programs," said Lynette Burtch, a volunteer adult 4-H leader from Livingston Parish.

For more information about this camp and other fashion-related activities in 4-H, contact Tanya Walker at (225) 578-2400 or twalker@agcenter.lsu.edu. Or to learn about the broad range of activities on topics ranging from computers to livestock offered by the LSU AgCenter through the state’s 4-H program, visit www.lsuagcenter.com and click on the 4-H button.

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Contacts:    Tanya Walker at (225) 578-2400 or twalker@lsu.edu
                    Jeannie Crnkovic at (318) 965-2326 or mcrnkovic@agcenter.lsu.edu
                    Terril Faul at (225) 578-2196 or tfaul@agcenter.lsu.edu
Writers:       John Chaney at (318) 473-6589 or  jchaney@agcenter.lsu.edu 
                    Dawn Jason, 4-H Fashion Board Publicity Chair

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