Gulf County 4-H has been going full force this summer with day camps, district and regional competitions and residential camp. 4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization. Over 230,000 members in the state of Florida help to make up the community of more than 6.5 million young people across America. 4-H is a non-formal, practical educational program for youth. Florida 4-H is the youth development program of Florida Cooperative Extension, a part of the University of Florida IFAS department.

4-H Tailgating Day Camp

During June 18-20, two Gulf County youth participated in a dual county (Gulf and Bay) 4-H Tailgating (grilling) Day Camp. Kayla Roberts and Tristan Doran learned how to make meat selections, marinades and incorporate them into the meat, fire building, use a meat thermometer, cooking and food safety and how to use grilling equipment. After a final day of competition at the day camp, judged by restaurant/grilling professionals, Tristan won first place in the beef category, which provided him an opportunity to participate in the Northwest District 4-H Tailgating Contest in Chipley on June 30. He represented Gulf County well in the beef category grilling a well-seasoned and very tasty ribeye.

4-H Camp Timpoochee

The annual week of 4-H Camp Timpoochee for Gulf County, July 9-13, was held in Niceville. A total of 125 youth from Gulf, Bay, Franklin and Wakulla Counties attended the 5-day, 4-night residential camp. The successful week of camp offered a variety of classes, such as outdoor survival skills, archery, air riflery, leadership/team building, fishing, kayaking, swimming, arts and crafts, snorkeling, marine biology and science. Some of the life skills youth learned at camp were independence, responsibility, caring, decision-making and communication skills. Campers ranged from ages 8-13 and teen counselors (trained in-depth before the camp week) were ages 14-18 years old. The week was hot, but also a fantastic time spent outdoors and “unplugged” for the week. The campers left with a better understanding of teamwork, friendship and outdoor fun. “Thank You” to the Gulf County adult volunteer, Ben Ranie for your assistance throughout the week. Without the help of adult volunteers, 4-H camp would not be possible. Gulf County 4-H would also like to say “Thank You” to Career Source Gulf Coast Workforce Board and Executive Director Kim Bodine for the camp scholarship donations that made camp participation possible for so many Gulf County youth.


4-H Sewing Day Camp

During the week of July 16-20, Gulf County 4-H Extension Agent Melanie Taylor and Corinne Costin Gibson Memorial Public Library Assistant Joanne Whitley collaborated to offer a Beginner Level Sewing Day Camp for youth ages 8-13. Twelve youth from Gulf County attended and learned the basics of hand stitching and embroidery and the basic use and parts of a sewing machine. They completed four projects: hand sewn sea creatures, pincushions, pillowcases and a “mug rug” to keep their mug or bowl warm and toasty on a cold day. Three adult volunteers, Ms. Patty Crooke, Ms. Sandy Bailey and Ms. Barbara Mundell, helped to make this class a huge success. This class would not have been possible without the help of these volunteers; their sewing expertise and teaching skills with youth were fantastic. An “extra-special Thank You” goes to Ms. Patty for coordinating the projects and taking the lead on this class! “Thank You” to all of the volunteers for your time and service!


New 4-H Year

This 4-H year ends Aug. 31 and the new 4-H year begins Sept. 1. The Gulf County Extension Office would like to see more 4-H clubs (community, project, in school, afterschool, etc.) available to the youth in all of Gulf County. This expansion of clubs and programs will only be possible with the assistance of trained 4-H adult volunteers. Please contact Melanie Taylor at the Gulf County Extension Office: 639-3200 if you are interested in joining 4-H as a youth member or adult volunteer leader. Help us to “MAKE THE BEST BETTER.”