Friday, April 25, 2014

4-H Spring Break: NYC with OMK and STEM Camping Trip

2014 OMK Spring Break Trip to New York City with D.C. National Guard

Over spring break this year, the District of Columbia's "Operation Military Kids" (OMK) hosted a successful and educational trip to New York City for 29 D.C. National Guard military youth. The trip included lots of exercise with tons of walking! 4-H’s Feifei Sun fills us in:

During the four day visit, we began our trip by taking the ferry to Manhattan. Everyone was excited to see the Statue of Liberty and breathtaking view! We then walked down to Wall Street and the Financial District, past the New York Stock Exchange and the Charging Bull statue. After that, we visited the Museum of the American Indian followed by the World Trade Center Ground Zero, where our heroes dedicated their lives on Sept. 11, 2001. Our busy day ended at the New York City Hall.

The next day was even more exciting. An early rise was worth being on the NBC Today Show! After browsing Rockefeller Plaza, we headed to Sony Technology Lab where the kids had a great time leaning all the new technology and being involved in activities exploring the high-tech world.

We then walked to Bryant Park and got to see the magnificent Empire State Building, before visiting Times Square! Eventually, we ended our New York City trip with a tour of Central Park. It was a great spring break and everyone had a great time in the "Big Apple!"

Continue reading for an overview of the 4-H STEM camping trip!

014 Spring Break Growing 4-H Science STEM Camp

From April 14-16 under the supervision of Ms. Rachel Perry, 20 4-Her’s camped out at the UDC Muirkirk Research Farm in Beltsville, Maryland. They enjoyed: learning how to pitch a tent, building and launching rockets, using a compass to locate people and items, archery, understanding how to set a safe outdoor fire for camping, archery, beekeeping, aquaponics, GPS technology, outdoor cooking/managing food when outdoors to avoid attracting critters, forestry, camp fire stories and a host of  STEM related activities. A big topic of conversation was weather and climate change, as the youth were camping during a particularly rainy week!

The camp was organized with youth involved in the 4-H STEM programs. STEM volunteer and college student Sean McKenzie led the workshop, Introduction to Beekeeping and taught about the importance of beekeeping. The 4-Hers participated in activities such as timing themselves putting on protective beekeeping gear and got the chance to see a real beehive, learning how to manipulate the components inside.

At the end of camp, a ceremony was held and volunteer leader and science teacher, Mr. Joseph Price gave participants were certificates from 4-H and the Center for Youth Development. Many of the youth were from Mr. Price’s class.
Special thanks to Mr. Price, the Alice Ferguson Foundation who led a watershed activity, Peter James who demonstrated aquaponics, Mr. Audi Willingham for archery and fires help, to Dr. Zendehel from the Center for Sustainable Development and to all of the 4-H staff!

The day following the trip, Mr. Price and Rachel discussed the camping experience on CAUSES TV with Dean Sabine O'Hara, so stay tuned for that episode! 

Great job, Feifei and Rachel! For more information on D.C.'s 4-H program, visit UDC's Center for 4-H and Youth Development or contact Rebecca Bankhead at (202) 274-7081. 

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