Thanks to an outpouring of community support, 22 local kids attended 4H Camp Timpoochee this year, more than four times the usual number.

“This is a record for our county,” said Michelle Huber, administrative assistant to County Extension Agent Erik Lovestrand. “We usually have three to five campers participate. We have heard nothing but good reviews from the campers that attended.”

Those that attended camp the week of July 18-22 were Arryonna Cargill, Taylor Pendleton, Jordon Olson, Mark Willis, Krista Kelley, Breanna Fleming, Gabby Register, Meredith Alford, Leah Willow Lewis, Emily Mioton, Carson Davis, John Michael Thompson, Ashton Eskew, Hannah Grace Abel, Josh Dykes, Kalahn Kent and Kylah Ross

Camille Williams and Becca Willis served as counselors in training, during the week with Bay County kids. Maxwell Davis, also a counselor in training, stayed on an additional week to assist.

“We would like to send out a sincere thank you to our community and our donors/sponsors,” said Huber. “With the help of 17 sponsors, and donations totaling more than $3,422, we were able to send 22 campers to camp.”

Community sponsors included Susan Bachrach, Water Street Seafood, Sportsman’s Lodge Motel & Marina, Sanders & Duncan P.A., JV Gander Distributors, Inc., Hole in the Wall, Piggly Wiggly, Gunn Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., Shaun S. Donahoe, Commissioner Rick Watson, Caroline T. Weiler, Centennial Bank, ACE Hardware, Gulfside IGA, Earl Duggar Construction Inc., Florida Seafood Festival Inc., and Mr. and Mrs. Stacy Kirvin.

Camp Timpoochee, established in Florida in 1926, .was one of the first 4-H residential camps in the nation. Among the four 4-H camps in use in Florida today, Timpoochee is unique because of its facilities for horses and its location on the bay, which provides an excellent area for marine study.

Campers at Camp Timpoochee had the opportunity to swim, kayak and snorkel, learn archery and how to handle air rifles and shotguns, enjoy movies, recreation and team sports, create with arts and crafts, socialize at the camp fire and dances, and take part in everything from “Marshmallow Paint War,” to “Skit Night” and “Organized Mass Chaos.”

Among the specialized activities were the polar bear swim first thing in the morning, fishing throughout the day, exploring the aquatic world with the help of dip nets and seine nets, and engaging in a series of hands-on activities involving science inquiry.

Lovestrand said he is the process of working on creation of a 4H club for the county, which as of now would require the bringing in of a 4H agent from Wakulla County. An organzational meeting is scheduled for the program in the fall. For more information, call the extension office at 653-9337.

He said the next 4H event within the county will be Ag Adventures, an educational program designed to teach students about the science of agriculture, this year focusing on cotton, corn, soil, pollination, pumpkins and peanuts. Ag Adventures will take place Sept. a9 and 20 in Franklin County.

“Our mission for this program is to provide a quality, hands-on educational experience for youth to learn what agriculture is, what it means to Franklin County, and to foster an appreciation for how the science of agriculture touches their everyday lives,” said Lovestrand.