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First 4-H Camp-Out at HBNMP a Success

Horseshoe Bend National Military Park and the Tallapoosa County 4-H program partnered for the first-ever camp out for children at the park last weekend.

“It was great,” Jennifer Stroud said of her and her daughter Jania’s experience. “It was our first time camping ever. We loved it. We walked the trails and threw horseshoes.”

“It was great,” HBNMP’s Heather Tassin said. “It is the first time ever that we have done a campout with kids.”

Tassin said the park’s mission and that of 4-H worked out well for the event.

“The history and interpretative program of the park went well with the outdoor programs of 4-H,” Tassin said. “We had a 1814 militia encampment set up and 4-H had archery and other things.”

Christy and Michael Champion accompanied their three children to the park this past weekend for the campout.

“We really enjoyed it,” Christy said. “The kids really enjoyed the astronomy program.”

The Champions have been around 4-H for a couple years.

“We started with our daughter in the fourth grade and she is now in sixth grade,” Christy said. “We have taken part in speech contests, photography contests, cook-offs and the cookie contest.”

Stroud is happy that Jania has been taking part in 4-H activities for the last year.

“She has done kayaking,” Stroud said. “She loved camping. At the park we tried archery and horseshoe throwing. I would not trade Shane for the world.”

Tallapoosa County 4-H Agent Assistant Trent Carboni was happy that everything went off without a hitch.

“I think everything went very well for a first-time event,” Carboni said. “We look forward to expanding and doing more of these types of events in the future.”

Tallapoosa County Commissioner John McKelvey grilled hamburgers and hotdogs but brought out wild game also to give back to a program that he grew up in.

“We had a ball,” McKelvey said. “We cooked up some deer steak, deer rollup with peppers and onions, quail and I gave them some summer sausage that I make.

“Some tried the wild game and liked it.”

McKelvey is no stranger to 4-H having been part of the program as a kid and is happy to help out with 4-H programs.

“It is part of the youth programs that we (county commission) help sponsor,” McKelvey said. “It is something you got to do with the youth. You have to start with them there as youth to develop them because it is hard when they get to be 20 or so.”

-Article written and posted in the Alexander City Outlook on April 6, 2017 by Cliff Williams.