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Over the past 20 years, Kentucky 4-H youth development agents and volunteers have helped thousands of youths learn responsibility, life skills and the safe use of firearms through the Shooting Sports Education Program. Opportunities abound for young people to get involved with this program. Once such opportunity is the statewide camp opened to young people ages 9 through 13. This year’s camp is April 2nd through 5th at Lake Cumberland 4-H Camp.
Responsible, safe use of firearms is the No. 1 priority not only of the program, but of the camp. Campers will learn proper firearms safety and techniques in each of the program’s six disciplines from a certified instructor. Disciplines include rifle, trap, archery, black powder, hunter challenge and pistol. Other camp activities include night hikes, heritage foods, animal tracts, survival skills, nature events, campfires, crafts and wild animals. There will also be an opportunity for youths who do not have their “Orange” Hunter Safety Card to earn it.
Safety is of the utmost importance at the camp. Classes are small so each young person receives proper instruction. To ensure everyone has a safe, fun time, adult volunteers will accompany campers throughout the camp. Each county is required to have one adult in attendance for every five young people who attend. These adults must stay on the campground, sleep in the cabins and attend class rotation with 4-H members from their county.
The camp will provide all ammunition, guns and archery equipment; 4-H’ers should not bring their own. However, they should bring ear and eye protection, a sleeping bag, blankets, personal items, toiletries, rain gear and warm casual clothes.
Camps slots are limited to the first 120 4-H’ers who apply. The deadline is Feb. 24. A waiting list will be formed if the limit is reached. Contact extension agent Jessi Williams at 484-5703 for registration cost and more information, or stop by the extension office.
Jessi Williams is the Owen County extension agent for 4-H youth development