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Hosting Camp Corral for Military Kids

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NOVA 4-H Pool: Where Leaders and Community Grow Together

The following was written by Max R. in preparation for his interview for Pool Management for the 2014 season. We were all very, very impressed. 

True leadership exists through combined and coordinated actions and attitudes which bring a group of people towards their common goal with an exchange of specific skills and resources. Types of leaders and groups are found in an infinite variety of combinations, and no leadership situation is identical to another. For me, being a leader means more than simply moving a target group from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible; a leader must also take part in the journey as the group progresses towards the goal.

            In the case of 4-H, the goal specified for the sake of this interview is simply to “build our community at the pool.” To a person unfamiliar with the pool, that may sound like a broad but straightforward task. This goal may sound as though the primary objective is business by nature and to increase the population of patrons who frequent the pool. After my past summer of working at the 4-H pool, I realize that this seemingly ambiguous goal, “to build our community,” does have importance in building a loyal customer base, but is much more than what the words, “to build our community,” mean in a dictionary.

            Within the 4-H pool, a very unique community is found. Things don't function like a machine: the same way every day. While this may be true of any enterprise, anyone who has worked at the 4-H pool can tell you that it is a singular and unique environment found amongst the staff and the leaders of the 4-H pool. The 4-H motto, “To make the best BETTER,” has implications for not just the pool building, but also the employees, the patrons, and especially those who lead by maintaining this motto in their everyday life. From my perspective, the leadership of the 4-H pool are required to live that motto in their everyday life. Through what I witnessed in the past summer of working at the 4-H pool, the 4-H pool motto defines what a 4-H leader is. “To make the best better” describes a work ethic which will take the community of the 4-H pool on a trajectory that can only benefit everyone involved directly or indirectly by the existence of the 4-H pool.

            The strategy and skills I would bring to the 4-H pool can be quoted almost verbatim from the 4-H pledge, for the sake of building our community at the pool, I would bring this work ethic of pledging my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living for our club, our community, our country, and our world.

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New: NOVA Adventure Day Camps

What is it?

Our Adventure Day Camp Series programs for youth ages 9—15 will be led by trained, caring 4-H Youth Education Professionals who desire to share their passion for the outdoors and love of adventure and learning with youth. Come spend time exploring , discovering, leading, and making friends in nature’s classroom!

June 20th—Hiking at White Oak Canyon
Drop-off: 8:00 am
Pick-up: 4:30 pm
$15/person, Ages: 9—15
Registration deadline: June 13th
One of the best waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park; join us for a day of exploration and sight-seeing.

June 27th— Beginner Horseback Riding
Drop-off: 8:30 am
Pick– up: 4:30 pm
$50/person, Ages: 9—15
Registration deadline: June 20th
Learn horse behavior, proper mounting and dismounting, steering, and safety!  Don’t forget to bring your bathing suit for a dip in our pool.

July 11th—Kayaking on the Shenandoah
Drop-off: 8 am
Pick-up: 4:00 pm
$37/person, Ages: 9—15
Registration deadline: June 27th
An 11 mile excursion on the mighty  Shenandoah. Participants will be taught basic paddling strokes and kayak maneuvering.

July 18th—Tubing on the Shenandoah River
Drop-off: 8 am
Pick-up: 4:00 pm
$20/person, Ages: 9—15
Registration deadline: July 3rd
An 11 mile excursion on the mighty Shenandoah, this time in a tube!   

July 25th—Challenge Course Adventure
Drop-off: 8 am
Pick-up: 4:00 pm
$23/person, Ages: 9—15
Registration deadline: July 18th
Teambuilding, Leadership Development, Zip Line, Climbing Wall, Spiders Web, Leap of Faith ...need we say more?

August 1st—Hiking Old Rag Mountain
Drop-off: 8 am
Pick-up: 5:30 pm
$12/person, Ages: 9—15
Registration deadline: July 25th
The most popular hike in Shenandoah National Park—see amazing views from the summit. Not for the faint of heart, this hike is challenging!!!

 *Schedule subject to change.  All drop-off/pick-up  locations will be at the 4-H Center.

Visit our website to download a registration form (it is located on teh right hand side).

4-H is America’s largest out-of-school  educational based program for youth. Our mission is to develop youth to realize their full potential: becoming effective, contributing citizens through their participation in research-based,  informal, hands-on educational experiences.  We call it experiential learning

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The Art & Science of Experiential Group Facilitation

Brief Synopsis from a workshop at the ACCT Conference: 

The art of facilitation is about creatively using metaphors to assist participants in their own self-directed learning experience;   metaphorical reflection provides the scaffolding to help participants translate the meaning gleaned from an activity and apply life lessons to future learning opportunities.  The practice of using objects like shells, postcards, quotes, keyboard keys, or natural items allow participants to associate a memory (learning) with a meaningful physical object through both tactile and visual pathways. Activities where questions are posed to the group in a game-like format  allows participants to demonstrate understanding with their kinesthetic involvement and makes sure information is orally reviewed multiple times and by multiple participants.  The interactive nature of experiential initiatives also often creates spontaneous discussion about the topic at hand in a setting that participants have hopefully worked to make safe for all to share their ideas.

The science of facilitation is about experiential education creating fresh neurological pathways in the brain that is brought about by the reflective process after the activity has occurred.  For example, if a participant has just launched themselves from the Leap of Faith high ropes element (the action), allowing time after the activity for the participant to “pair and share” with a teammate, journal about the experience, or answer guided questions from the facilitator (the reflection) allows for the formation and strengthening of those neoro-pathways and the future application of the skills/lessons that have become illuminated. Experiential education is inherently utilizing multiple pathways of learning, such as visual, auditory, kinesthetic, social, which is further charged by the emotional buy-in of the participants. 

The primary-recency effect, simply defined, is that humans typically remember the first thing they see/experience in a new setting as well as the last or most recent thing they see/experience. As facilitators, it is our job to create many “primary-recency effect” moments for optimal learning. By using metaphors at the beginning and ending of an activity (book-ending), being aware of the flow of a program (allowing for natural “breaks”  or “Sy-NAP-ses” for the brain to absorb and process information), and being cognizant of the reflective process, challenge course facilitators are filling a key role in creating educational spaces for action, reflection, and meaning. 

By: Lorilei Dreibelbis, NOVA Challenge Course Facilitator, and Avery Born, Program Manager 

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24th Annual ACCT Conference

This year’s international Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) conference – held in a not-so sunny Orlando – was exciting, inspiring, provoking, and highly engaging. With over 900 attendees, over 100 workshops, 10 pre-conference sessions, 3 post-conference sessions, and a full exhibit hall with ACCT professional vendor members, it is difficult to put into words the vast opportunity for growth and development in every moment during this yearly gathering of industry professionals. As a representative of the Organization of Virginia 4-H Centers, I was able to attend workshops that will help promote not only best practices and leadership development programs at NOVA, but at all six 4-H Centers throughout Virginia, an opportunity I take seriously and that excites me very much every time I think about it. This year I feel especially fortunate to have attended the conference as our yearly State Staff Training – a week-long event in which all 4-H Summer Staffers throughout Virginia attend training to hone in on their skills as youth education professionals – will be held at the NOVA 4-H Center this spring.

The Association for Challenge Course Technology promotes and establishes best ethical practices and facilitator training guidelines as well as develops, refines, and publishes standards for challenge course design, inspection, operation, and certification. The organization is known for their depth of professional knowledge, reliability of quality services, and their advocacy for promoting the industry. I am so proud to work for an organization that sends its employees to conferences for them to learn, grow, and exemplify Virginia 4-H nation-wide. Only two other states – Washington and Arkansas – sent members as representatives of their 4-H organizations. Virginia is doing a remarkable job in keeping itself on the leading edge of challenge course/leadership programming the nature of which has the potential to profoundly impact the lives of those we serve. We are truly making a difference in the lives of the youth and adults we work with and we will only continue to grow stronger for those we serve as we collaborate, educate, and develop ourselves. 

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"Grandma Betsy" Campfire Circle Project

It all started with the desire to honor a long time 4-H volunteer...

"Grandma" Betsy Massey Orrock was raised in Spotsylvania and graduated from Spotsylvania High School in June, 1974.  She married Robert D. Orrock, Sr. and moved to the Orrock Farm in Caroline County.  Betsy and Bobby had 3 children, Robert Jr., Lila, and Welford.

4-H was a big part of the Orrock family.  Betsy became involved in 4-H when her children became old enough to join.  She worked year-round in the local Extension Office and served as a 4-H Camp Adult Volunteer.  All three Orrock children attended camp at the Northern Virginia Educational Center in Front Royal every summer and continued on as summer staff members for several years.  Betsy and her children were in the 4-H Fashion Revue and Share-the-Fun shows and were members of the Teen Club in Spotsylvania County. 

Betsy was told she had ovarian cancer in 1997.  She fought bravely for almost 4 years.  Throughout that period, she always had a positive outlook and lived every day to its fullest.  She also continued to serve as a 4-H volunteer at camp.

Betsy graduated from the University of Mary Washington in 1989 with a degree in Elementary Education. She taught Special Education at Bowling Green Elementary from 1989 to 2000 and then at Battlefield Elementary in Spotsylvania from 2000 until her death.

In February 2014, the NOVA 4-H Center will be placing an order for walkway bricks. A 4x8 walkway brick, custom engraved with words of your choice, is only $35 to include installation at the 4-H Center campfire circle.  Please consider supporting the campfire circle project - you can make a difference.

To download an orderform, please click HERE

 

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Memorial at NOVA 4-H Center for Ms. Laura Davis

Laura Davis Memorial Bird Garden

On November 2, 2013 the Northern Virginia 4-H Center held a volunteer workday to start work on the Laura Davis Memorial Bird Garden. Ms. Davis was a lover of nature, education, and was an inspiration to all who knew her. We had over 30 amazing volunteers out over the course of the day. Among the volunteers were Riverfront Christian School students, friends and family of Ms. Davis, community members, and 4-H Center staff members. These volunteers were able to get an amazing amount of work done. Together we were able to put in 3 bluebird nesting boxes, a basic nesting box and a purple martin condo, put together a pergola, build 4 benches, assemble 4 fishing line recycling tubes and place the posts to mount them on, removed several overgrown evergreen bushes in preparation for spring planting, and winterize our vegetable garden.

It is the hope of both the 4-H Center and the Davis Family to make this an ongoing project. We want to add to and improve the area each year. Another work day will be scheduled for the spring. During this time we will continue work on the Memorial Bird Garden by adding native flowers and trees known to attract birds, placing our benches and putting out our line recycling tubes. Stay tuned for an update on this day if you are interested in coming out to volunteer.

The Memorial Bird Garden is a great place to eat lunch, sit with friends, watch nature or just take a quiet moment to yourself. It is located next to the campfire circle across from Fairfax shelter. As you drive in look to your right and you can’t miss it. 

-Submitted by Laura Braithwaite, NOVA 4-H Intern

Friends and Family of Ms. Laura Davis and the new pergola!

 

 

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Teen Leadership Retreat

Mark your calendars and spread the word for the First 4-H Teen Leadership Retreat held at the Northern VA 4-H Educational Center in Front Royal Friday, November 8th – Sunday, November 10th.  This year’s theme, Igniting Your Fire, will focus on leadership basics, characteristics of effective leaders, and motivating yourself and others.

 The activities begin at 6:30 pm on Friday, November 8th with a motivational assembly and guest speaker, campfire, and organized meet-and-greet. Saturday’s program involves workshops, teambuilding sessions, a service project, and the formation of a teen leadership committee for those interested, followed by an evening dance, and campfire. The weekend retreat concludes after breakfast with a final ceremony and guest speaker.

 The Leadership Retreat fee of $95.00 includes meals, snacks, lodging, workshops, and a retreat T-shirt. Additionally, we are asking for a donation of 2 (or more!) canned food items from each retreat participant that will be donated to the Warren County Food Bank. The Retreat is open to non-4-H members.

For more information, or to register, please contact Win Iden (ciden@vt.edu) or Avery Born (aaborn@vt.edu) at 540-635-7171.

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Fantastic Fishing

 In this photo the campers are learning how to cast in fishing class. At camp we learn many new skills that we can take and apply ourselfs to. This week has been great! We enjoyed taking pictures of the many different classes. Multi media has been a lot of fun! 

 

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Fun on the Eagle Walk

The multimedia class went to the high ropes class to take pictures. Campers were doing the eagle walk to the zipline. This takes alot of concentration to make it to the other side. Max from the multimedia class took this photo. High ropes adds lots of fun to the week!

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Canoeing with Ducks!!!

 This picture was taken by the multimedia class, the class was conoeing for the first time this week. it was so much fun going to visit the class. This week has flown by! It has been great. We made lots of new friends and did alot of fun new things!

 

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Steps to Success

At 4-H camp we learn so much! Also we meet many friends! 4-H camp is a great place to build your character and knowledge, with a healthy and fun environment.  The steps to succeeding are found here!

 

 

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Tye-Dye

 

In tye-dye, the kids made 2 shirts and 1 pillowcase. They all turned out amazing, thanks to the amazing counslers who helped teach it. This is a picture of the beautiful shirts hanging on the wire fence.

 

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Shelly the Turtle!

 

 

 

We like Multimedia class because we like taking photos.  We took this picture of a turtle, which we named Shelly, because it was adorable! 

 

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Multimedia Photography

Pandora having fun teaching Multimedia Photography! A really fun way to take to pics for 4-H camp :)

                                                                

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Action Archer

 In Multimedia class, we went down to Archery to take pictures for our camp's slideshow. We took this picture, right before she released the arrow. It was tough to pick just one picture that projected camp 4-H spirit. We chose this one because it represented everyone's individual skill and strength. We also chose this picture because of the beautiful scenery, and right behind her is another girl starting to prepare to shoot too.

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Up in the Trees

 

Tarzan up in the trees (a.k.a. High ropes.)Helping campers have  a safe and fun time zip lining.I picked this photo to show what you do in high ropes and how high up they have to go.Why i like this photo  because  there is a beautiful background and a a really cool , funny, and nice person!!!!

 

 

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High Ropes, High on the Dynasty

Multimedia served as photograpghers at the Orange-Madison 2013 Camp. Learning skills viable to todays society in the arts of technology we learn modes such as panarama, Continus shooting as well as paniting modes. This week campers have been taking pictures of different classes for a project at the end of camp. In this picture,tarzan helping a camper on the obstacle course trying to get to the end

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