Marshall County mini-4-Hers embarked on an unforgettable half-day adventure at Potawatomi Wildlife Park, immersing themselves in a day brimming with camaraderie and hands-on learning.

The day commenced with icebreakers fostering new friendships, followed by an engaging activity where campers explored the essence of the 4-H pledge, unraveling its meaning of head, heart, hands, and health.

The highlight of the camp was the “Fire + Marshmallows = Smores” session, where young participants learned essential fire-building skills, emphasizing safety and technique. Under expert guidance, they ignited fires and celebrated with delicious s’mores, mastering the art of campfire cooking.

Next, campers eagerly delved into the art of fishing during the “Gone Fishing” activity, assembling their own fishing poles and practicing their casting skills by the serene waters of the park.

In the “Forestry and Nature Painting” workshop, campers honed their naturalist skills by identifying local leaves and creating stunning leaf imprints on canvas, a project they can continue in their regular 4-H activities.

For lunch, campers enjoyed a delightful spread of pizza, chips, cookies, and popsicles.

The day culminated with the “Otter Hunt Club,” an exhilarating exercise in trail navigation and map reading. Armed with newfound skills, campers embarked on a quest through the park, discovering hidden boxes and earning flashlights to continue their outdoor explorations.

With the generous support of the Marshall County 4-H Council, all activities, supplies, and meals were provided free of charge to campers. Heartfelt appreciation also goes out to Marshall County Jr. Leaders, who dedicatedly assisted campers throughout every activity as the park manager led the educational programming.

Reflecting on the day, participants and parents alike expressed their enthusiasm. “My son said it was the best day of his life,” shared Kris Langel Fishburn, while Krystyna Hyrczyk’s said, “My son wanted to know what time he was going back tomorrow needless to say he was disappointed that it was just for today!”

Potawatomi Wildlife Park Manager added, “We were excited to have collaborated with Marshall County 4-H Council on this camp. Connecting youth with nature and community is at the heart of our mission.”

For more information about Marshall County 4-H, visit extension.purdue.edu/county/marshall or follow them on Facebook at “Marshall County 4-H – Purdue Extension.”

To discover Potawatomi Wildlife Park’s programs and initiatives, visit potawatomiwildlifepark.com or find them on Facebook at facebook.com/potawatomiwildlifepark.