Chesapeake Energy sponsors 4-H camp scholarships

Mary Ann Van Osdell, Eskew, Eric A.  |  1/4/2011 1:12:30 AM

News Release Distributed 06/16/10

POLLOCK, La – Scholarships from Chesapeake Energy are assisting 60 young people from underprivileged households with attending 4-H summer camp at the LSU AgCenter’s Grant Walker 4-H Educational Center, said Eric Eskew, executive director of the Louisiana 4-H Foundation.

Chesapeake Energy provided the same number of scholarships last year for recipients from Caddo, Sabine, Red River, Webster, DeSoto and Bossier parishes. The company also has sponsored the Discovering Tomorrow’s Leaders awards in Caddo, Bossier, DeSoto, Sabine and Red River parishes, recognizing 38 4-H’ers at banquets where 10 received laptop computers through a random drawing.

Each summer, approximately 5,000 youth in fourth through sixth grades from all 64 Louisiana parishes attend 4-H camp, an educational program of the LSU AgCenter that strives to develop a variety of life skills related to head, heart, hands and health during a one-week program.

Eskew said a major part of camp is for 4-H’ers to learn to appreciate cultures from all over the state.

Chesapeake’s Katie McCullin and Jennifer Voisin toured the camp on June 10 when 425 campers were there. The visitors learned about educational tracks that included archery, canoeing, ATV safety, arts and crafts, drama, swimming, tubing, fishing, shooting skills, food and nutrition, gardening, dancing, and science, engineering and technology.

During the visit, they saw campers making boats out of natural materials and learning about wetlands. The 4-H’ers were learning what insects eat and studying the praying mantis. Others put on a Goldilocks play and had made masks and fake blood in a drama class the previous day.

Demestria Huglon, in her first year at camp, said she enjoyed the Greek theater, meal call and the talent show. She celebrated her 12th birthday at camp June 9. “I made a lot of new friends,” Huglon said. “I got to go swimming, tubing and do archery.”

Huglon has completed fifth grade at Atkins Elementary in Shreveport and served as a photographer in her 4-H Club. “We can be president, reporter or treasurer,” she said. “We go to different schools and places.”

Briana Davis of Caddo Parish was showing off her white band that means she can go in the deep end of the pool. “I learned how to swim and passed the test,” she said.

“We embrace opportunities to devote resources to organizations that positively impact the education and character of children residing in the Haynesville Shale area,” said Kevin McCotter, Chesapeake Energy’s senior director of corporate development, Haynesville Shale. “At Chesapeake, our sense of corporate responsibility runs deeply through the communities in which we invest, work and live. We are especially pleased to assist 4-H’s Camp Grant Walker, which does a remarkable job offering children throughout the state a multifaceted educational experience in a traditional summer camp setting.”

Individuals or businesses interested in making a difference for 4-H’ers can contact the Louisiana 4-H Foundation at 225-578-1172 or www.la4hfoundation.org.

Mary Ann Van Osdell

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