Challenge Camp helps 4-H’ers cope with obstacles

(03/08/21) CROWLEY, La. — About 150 4-H Club members in south Louisiana learned skills to help them deal with the challenges of growing up during a one-day Challenge Camp held March 5.

The seventh- and eighth-grade students met in their individual parishes, and they were connected with other parishes by the internet. Ordinarily, the camp would be a two-day event at Camp Grant Walker, but the virtual setting was used because of COVID-19 restrictions that would have complicated transportation and other arrangements at the camp, according to Lanette Hebert, 4-H coordinator for the Southwest Region.

She said the goal of the session is to help the students develop confidence and self-esteem with exercises in decision-making, problem solving and critical thinking.

Hebert said students have had to deal with a lot of hurdles that include COVID-19 and last year’s hurricanes.

“They’ve been dealing with a lot of trauma in their lives,” she said.

For some, she said, it may be one of the few chances they’ve had to mingle with other students

depending on how their school systems have dealt with the pandemic.

One exercise required students to draw themselves, and Hebert noticed that everyone drew a smile on their faces. “They were happy to be together.”

For problem solving, club members had to make kites and then attempt to fly them, even if the wind didn’t cooperate.

Moriah Istre Hargrave, a health coach and dance instructor from Lafayette, talked with students about their goals and career possibilities. Students detailed goals such as travel, becoming a singer and joining the Marines.

She talked with them about how to prepare themselves mentally and physically by meeting the needs of their bodies and minds by getting proper rest, engaging in physical activity, stress management and adequate nutrition.

“If you’re not developing what you need to get your body tuned, it’s going to be harder to do

that,” she advised before leading the students through a series of exercises with Zydeco music.

The camp was sponsored by the national 4-H program, Health Rocks!, and the Louisiana 4-H Foundation.

Woman showing dance moves to students.

Moriah Istre Hargrave leads 4-H’ers through an exercise routine during the recent Challenge Camp for the LSU AgCenter Southwest Region. Photo by Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter

Kite adjustment.

Students make adjustments to a kite. A lack of adequate wind prevented the kite from becoming airborne, but students learned about teamwork and problem-solving at the 4-H Challenge Camp held in southwest Louisiana. Photo by Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter

3/8/2021 6:12:35 PM
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