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Bradford Woods at 2018 California 4-H Camping Conference

April 13, 2018 by Amran Ahmad

Pigeon Point Lighthouse, California

This year the California 4-H Camping Conference was held at Camp Redwood Glen in the coastal mountains of Northern California.The California State 4-H Camping Advisory Committee has run a state camping conference for the last 16 years and thanks to Marianne Bird, I have had the opportunity to present workshops at 6 of the 8 biannual conferences. This year there were 23 of 25 counties represented during the conference with about 130 participants attending. These participants were training to be camp counselors in California 4-H camps this summer.   As co-chair of the California 4-H Camping Advisory Committee, Marianne Bird leads the 4-H community in developing rich, safe and fun learning experiences at camp. This work includes overseeing statewide 4-H camp studies and conducting educational conferences for staff, volunteers and youth.

Camp Redwood Glen: Path to Smith Hall and cabins

As co-chair of the California 4-H Camping Advisory Committee, Marianne Bird leads the 4-H community in developing rich, safe and fun learning experiences at camp. This work includes overseeing statewide 4-H camp studies and conducting educational conferences for staff, volunteers and youth.

Emil Schaffner, a youth 4-H Camping Advisory member ,and I worked together to plan and open the conference with icebreakers and get acquainted activities to build excitement for the conference.

Key note speaker, John Jorgison “Jorgi”, President of the International Camping Fellowship and director of Camp Tawingo, a resident camp north of Toronto, Canada; spoke on information on camping around the world and programs that build community.

 My first workshop was on ICE BREAKERS and OPENING ACTIVITIES. In this workshop, participants not only learned new activities to facilitate interaction and dialogue, they learned why this is important to do for new groups.  They learned when they might want to lead ice breaker activities, and how to facilitate an atmosphere of fun, comfort and sharing that serves as the basis for positive group experiences at camp.

Ice Breakers and Opening Activities workshop

 My second workshop was about TOOLS FOR REFLECTION. Activities that keep one busy is not the purpose of camp…learning and growing is the purpose!  Most adult and teen volunteer staff would say that they practice Experiential Learning, but too often the reflection component is left undone.  In this workshop, participants were presented the importance of reflection at camp along with take away tools that will help them facilitate and debrief experiences at camp in the future.

My final workshop topic is about HIKING WITH PURPOSE.  This quick, short session talks about how to make a hike more than a walk in the woods.

 Many of the students and leaders had been to 4-H conferences before.  It was nice to renew and build on past experiences. Overall sharing my experiences from Bradford Woods, attending and presenting workshops at California 4-H Camping Conference is always a rewarding opportunity.

 

 

 

One response to “Bradford Woods at 2018 California 4-H Camping Conference”

  1. You bring so much to the California Camping Conference, Amran. Your sessions are always engaging, and this year’s evaluations show that your workshop Tools for Reflection was especially well-received. Thank you for accepting the invitation to present.

    Great post!

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