Friday, 22 July 2016

Agriculture Youth Camp 2016 Highlights

By Hope Thomas, UVICES Summer Intern under the direction of DaraMonifah Cooper, UVICES Communications Agent
(Please note that an updated version will be uploaded by Wednesday 7/25/2016)

From June 27 to July 22, the 4-week Agriculture Enrichment Summer Camp taught children about the importance of agriculture in many fun ways. The program was designed for children ages 13 to 17 to help them understand the importance of the agriculture industry and how they impact us. By participating in different activities, guest presentations, and going on field trips, these youth were taught a lot. They also learned social skills through games and other activities. 
A major component of the camp was the inclusion of students from the Department of Human Services Vocational Rehabilitation Program. With these students involved, another special and important factor was added where both sets of student were able to learn how to socially interact with each other. Some of the student from the DHS had a variety of different and special abilities which Dr. Karen Brown from the VIUCEDD program helped with by offering a sensitivity training on the first day of camp.
On Wednesday, July 13, 2016 some of the campers were on the radio at WUVI explaining what they have learned so far and how much fun they are having at the camp.
All of the campers that were in the radio station that day said that they have all had a positive experience. They are learning the importance of the industry. On camper said “Agriculture isn’t just about farmers. There are other careers that you can pursue in the agriculture department, like a zoologist, irrigation engineer, a greenhouse manager and many more.” Just from hearing this I can see that these children are actually learning. They explain how they have learned how to till soil, weed plants, and build a hydroponic system. They also said that they learned the secret of what goes on behind the scenes of what we eat. Clemont Lewis a junior counselor said that he was glad to see the beginning and end of what happens. Even though “stuff happens” said Naim Berry, a camper, she likes going through the experiment with her peers. Shaudae Prince, another junior counselor, said that it is a great opportunity to learn more about her plants because she has a little garden at home. She is also having fun with the children at the camp.
The assistant director of CES, Dr. Louis Petersen, had many other tasks to get to but he stayed and supported the youth. He said that he loves to be in their presents and that the campers realizing how important Agriculture is made him very happy. I can see that the cooperation, a very important word to the camp, of the campers has brought them to learn many, many things and also have fun at the same time. They are glad that they were lucky to be able to come to this camp. I know that the staff, DaraMonifah Cooper, Albion “Chico George, Ashley George, and many others are happy that the campers are happy and has learned many things. I hope that at the end of the program everyone will say thank you and would like to come back again.

AGRICULTURE COMMUNICATIONS

The Agriculture Enrichment Summer Camp has had many different experiences and people who came in to talk to them. This time, however, they got to do a Skype call with both Tresel Benjamin and Lucas LaPlace. Both Ms. Benjamin and Mr. LaPlace are Virgin Islanders who are away at school and going into the Agriculture industry. The difference between them is that Ms. Benjamin is still in school and Mr. LaPlace has already finished school.
While talking to the youth they both had much to say and similar advice to give. While working with agriculture there are many different opportunities, like traveling. Mr. LaPlace has been to the island of Gwam, Wisconsin, Colorado, Mississippi, and Georgia. He says “If you have the opportunity to do something take it. Don’t take it for granted. Ms. Benjamin told the campers to be responsible, stay focused, and never get discouraged. She is currently attending Alcorn University. She got many scholarships from having FFA on her resume. She choose the USDA scholarship out of all the scholarships that she got.

SUMMARY                                                                

From June 27 to July 22, this 4 week program has been teaching children about the importance of agriculture in many fun ways. This Agriculture Enrichment Summer Camp is designed for children ages 13 to 17 to help them understand the importance of the agriculture industry and how it impacts us. By hands on activities, watching presentations, and going on field trips these youths are being taught. They are also learning social skills though games and other activities. On Wednesday, July 13, 2016 some of the campers were on the radio at WUVI explaining what they have learned so far and how much fun they are having at the camp.
All of the campers that were in the radio station that day said that they have all had a positive experience. They are learning the importance of the industry. On camper said “Agriculture isn’t just about farmers. There are other careers that you can pursue in the agriculture department, like a zoologist, irrigation engineer, a greenhouse manager and many more.” Just from hearing this I can see that these children are actually learning. They explain how they have learned how to till soil, weed plants, and build a hydroponic system. They also said that they learned the secret of what goes on behind the scenes of what we eat. Clemont Lewis a junior counselor said that he was glad to see the beginning and end of what happens. Even though “stuff happens” said Naim Berry, a camper, she likes going through the experiment with her peers. Shaudae Prince, another junior counselor, said that it is a great opportunity to learn more about her plants because she has a little garden at home. She is also having fun with the children at the camp.
The assistant director of CES, Mr. Louis Petersen, had many other tasks to get to but he stayed and supported the youth. He said that he loves to be in their presents and that the campers realizing how important Agriculture is made him very happy. I can see that the cooperation, a very important word to the camp, of the campers has brought them to learn many, many things and also have fun at the same time. They are glad that they were lucky to be able to come to this camp. I know that the staff, Dara Monifah Cooper, Albion “Chico George, Ashly George, and many others are happy that the campers are happy and has learned many things. I hope that at the end of the program everyone will say thank you and would like to come back again

"Cooperation" Lessons Learned; Things Noticed

Ag isn’t just about farmers.   There are other careers that a person can pursue in the Ag. Dept. like a zoologist, irrigation engineer, greenhouse manager and many more.

-         Great opportunity to learn more about her plants at home, transplant plants and have fun with kids.

Field Trip to Abattoir was Favorite
-          Leaned the secret of what goes on behind the scene of what goes on with what we eat
-          Glad he got to see how it starts and ends

Dr. Petersen had millions of things to do, but stayed behind to be in kids’ presence.  The kids realizing how important Ag is made him happy.

“Stuff Happens”

Ag communications bringing the knowledge of local food availability from local farmers to the community through new media is an important job.


The Agriculture Enrichment Summer Camp has been in progress since June 27, 2016. Ever since the camp started they have had many experiences. They went on field trips and had many guest speakers that came to talk to them. But most importantly, they were having fun. They didn’t just sit down in a classroom all day. They went outside and got to experience what they was learning. What’s better than getting to do it than looking at someone else do it? 

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