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Alabama 4-H centers are open and running this summer for Alabama kids to attend summer camps, day camps, and other community events.

Alabama 4-H offers overnight and day camp opportunities at the Alabama 4-H Center in Columbiana, Alabama. However, these are not the only options available for youth in Alabama. Many county Extension offices offer summer camp and summer programs. Autauga County is one of many that provides summer programming for both rural and urban areas.

Alabama 4-H  is a youth development program through the  Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES); it exists in all 67 Alabama counties and is also the largest youth development program in Alabama

Darrue Stewart, Autauga County Extension coordinator, said their summer programming offers children of all ages the opportunity to learn and thrive in a fun environment.

“We provide summer day camps for 4-H youth, as well as a new community initiative program for children of all ages in Billingsley,” Stewart said.

Day camp activities in Autauga County have taken place on Tuesdays throughout the summer. Topics and activities range from rocketry and archery to smoothies and yoga.

“The opportunity to learn a useful skill like cooking in a fun environment was something I don’t think the kids will forget any time soon,” said Kacey Powell, 4-H Foundation regional agent in Autauga County. “This 4-H day camp was really a community partnership. I am thrilled to see local businesses supporting local children as they learn and grow.”

While 4-H members enjoy programming at the local YMCA and day camps, Autauga County 4-H Agent Assistant Kim Johnson is conducting programming at a rural library. These library programs are reaching children ages two to 18. However, the programming has been exciting enough also to attract several grandparents.

“The opportunity to meet with children and parents in Billingsley is so rewarding,” Johnson said. “I enjoy the children and sharing the program materials. I hope that we are building a relationship between our office and these children that will last a lifetime.”

Stewart said the need for the library partnership came from a discussion at the 2021 grassroots meeting.

“We are so pleased to have a partnership with the Billingsley Community Library,” Stewart said. “This program has been such a success this summer that we hope to partner with rural libraries in Autaugaville and Marbury next summer.”

There are opportunities to engage in Extension and 4-H programming in each Alabama county. The ACES website contains calendar events.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email craig.monger@1819news.com.

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