BCCC summer camps use hands-on learning

Published 6:01 pm Monday, April 11, 2016

Students in Beaufort County have a chance to return to their roots, as part of a summer-long camp schedule, Follow Me to the Farm.

The camp, designed for third- through fifth-graders and sixth- through ninth-graders, is set up in weekly blocks and will run Mondays through Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., starting in June. Beaufort County Community College, Raised in a Barn Farm and Beaufort County 4-H Club are sponsoring it.

The camp is part of a larger set of College for Kids programs sponsored by BCCC every summer. This year, the college is hosting 29 camps, on and off campus, all of which fall under the theme, “Exploring Future Possibilities.”

Follow Me to the Farm is the first camp of its kind through BCCC and a way to reach out to more students.

Justin Rose, director of occupational extension at the college, said he hopes going to the offsite location at Raised in a Barn Farm will appeal to residents on the south side of the county, as well as get students out of the classroom for more experiential learning.

“It’s something that kids of all ages can really enjoy,” Rose said. “Just trying to do some things where they can get out of the classroom and they can experience it.”

Participants will be able to experience “farm to table” education, including planting seeds, harvesting vegetables and learning how to make healthy meals, according to the BCCC Continuing Education site.

Rose also said one of the main goals of the camp is to emphasize healthy living.

“Beaufort County is ranked in one of the lower counties as far as health goes,” he said. “Kids really get captivated when you can show them something.”

Rose said the weeklong camp groups are divided up into two age ranges, so the activities can be tailored to fit the interests of younger and older students alike.

“It can reach a family on so many levels doing it like that,” he said. “You’re actually able to meet them where they are.”

The hope is that participants will take what they have learned and not only apply it to their own lives, but also pass it on to other family members, Rose said.

“Really, everybody learns how to live a healthy lifestyle, not just ‘my vegetables come from the grocery store,’” he said. “They’re learning, but they’re learning through interacting.”

For more information about Follow Me to the Farm, or other summer camps, visit sites.google.com/site/conedbccc/college-for-kids. Registration is under way for Follow Me to the Farm and costs $65.