Youth enjoy ‘Mystery Madness: Mysteries, Mazes and Magic’ at Tri-County 4-H Camp | KWBG AM1590 and 101.5 FM | Boon, Iowa


BOONE, Iowa—Forty-seven 4-H through 6th-grade youth and eight teen counselors from Boone, Grundy, Hardin, Marshall, and Story counties attended the 18th annual Tri-County 4-H Camp from 10-12 August held at Y Camp near Boone. Campers participated in “Mystery Madness: Mysteries, Mazes and Magic” themed activities led by teen counselors, camp activities led by Y Camp staff, and special camp traditions.

Research shows that being outdoors provides a great classroom and health benefits. The American Camping Association explains how camping is an essential complement to what young people do in school. This includes experiential learning, discovery and active learning, character education, cooperative learning and teamwork. Health benefits include exercise and stress relief. Tri-County 4-H Camp offers opportunities for all of these.

Tri-County 4-H campers began their camp experiences with familiarization activities and team building elements on the low ropes course to develop a sense of belonging and community. Other Camp Y activities led by trained camp staff provided physical exercise in the form of canoeing, archery, rock climbing/rock walling, zip lining, ax throwing and swimming. Campers indicated in the closing survey that they had acquired or improved skills in these areas, whether it was their first time at camp or if they were returning campers.

Teen counselors, 4-H staff and 4-H volunteers involved the youth in a creek walk, night hike and lots of walking. The creek walk provided an opportunity to explore wildlife and the effects of water on the environment of the creek. The annual duck race encouraged sportsmanship and encouraged their ducks in the pool. An extension and outreach student assistant from Iowa State University taught the importance of Unlock Ag Innovations on new technologies in the use of agriculture and the escape-room type challenge. The youngsters learned the nocturnal sounds, adapting to the darkness and the sparkle of wintergreen mints while hiking at night.

The tradition of preparing a campfire meal taught campers how to use pie irons to make sandwiches and the challenge of managing the temperature in a wood fire. Roasting marshmallows for S’mores revealed preferences for golden and burnt marshmallows. During the Thursday night celebration, campers completed challenges and solved clues to find their teams’ Scooby Doo mascots. Then they create mazes with a variety of objects to change their hexagonal bugs to go through their maze.

Campers shared on their evaluations the most important things they learned, what they learned about themselves and what they will use in the future. Frequent responses included that they had learned not to be afraid to try new things, to develop teamwork skills, to trust others, to develop new friendships and to have fun. They were excited to discover skills they are good at, such as archery, canoeing and rock climbing. Many had the pleasure of overcoming their fear of heights on the rock face and the zip line. They shared the skills they learned and will use in the future. Ninety-one percent of eligible campers want to attend camp again next year. About thirty campers want to be monitors when they are old enough.

The camp ended with family members joining the campers for a barbecue meal, camper recognition and a closing campfire with S’mores. Campers, counselors and adults each received a certificate of recognition for something unique related to an observed quality or achievement at camp.

Eight teen counselors participated in a training day and used their leadership, communication and civic engagement skills throughout the camp to ensure a safe and fun environment

for campers. Taylor Beck, Julia Brooks, Lily Joseph, Lane Longhorn, Mirrka Taylor, Johnny Sparks and Emily White of Boone County and Austin Babcock of Story County volunteered as teen counselors.

The Boone County campers were Janie Baker, Stella Bickelhaupt, Cecilia Fulton, Allyana Harnss, Drew Hedlund, Reese Howie, Mae Loecke, Gideon Moody, Glenda Moody, Hayden Nerem, Ella Skinner, Emily Skinner, Maeve Stevenson and Hudson White. The Grundy County campers were Wyatt Lubbert and Levi Sieh. The Hardin County camper was Layla Follett. The Marshall County campers were Eliza Bell, Hannah Klaas, Zechariah Klaas and Brooklyn Smith. Story County campers were Barrett Breer, Hope Casey, Adalyn Colebrooke, Kensie Dorhout, Celia Forbes, Adam Graves, Hailey Gruhn, Brynlee Hill, Madelyn Janes, Callie Jedlicka, Colt Jedlicka, Ava Kellen, Zoe Kellen, Sydney Longren, Ady Muhlbauer, Aubrey Olson, Oscar Senske, Lucia Simpson, Elizabeth Soupir, Coralyn Stokes, Addison Thomas, Chase Unruh, Miles Unruh, Joshua Weber, Danika Williams and Charli Wirtz.

Annette Brown and Katie Lubbert, 4-H Youth Development Specialists from ISU Extension and Outreach, coordinated the camp. In addition to the leadership of Brown, Lubbert, and teen counselors, other adult 4-H volunteers contributing to the success of the camp included volunteers Carissa Brown from Coralville, Kelley Kellen from Ames, Kenton Reece from Churdan, and Colton Zalesak from Madrid. . They all have fond memories of being campers and counselors when they were young. They want to help other young people have camping memories like them. Natalie Hedlund of Boone County and Jess Soderstrum of Story County also contributed to the success of the camp. Volunteers Susan Heck, Kathy Hartwick and David Brown helped prepare the closing family barbecue for 170 people. We look forward to hosting the 19th Annual Tri-County 4-H Camp in 2023.

Tri-County 4-H camp funding in addition to camper registrations included the Lowrey Charitable Foundation, Iowa 4-H Foundation, and county discounts for 4-H club members from their 4- respective county Hs in Boone, Story, Marshall, and Hardin counties.

The 2022-2023 4-H program year begins in September. Information on becoming a 4-H member or volunteer is available at the Iowa State University Outreach and Outreach office in each county. Visit your county’s webpage to learn more

Forty-seven youth in grades 4-6 and eight teen counselors from Boone, Grundy, Hardin, Marshall and Story counties participated in the 18th Annual Tri-County 4-H Camp August 10-12 held at Camp Y near Boone. The theme was “Mystery Madness: Mysteries, Mazes and Magic”.

Forty-seven youth in grades 4-6 and eight teen counselors from Boone, Grundy, Hardin, Marshall and Story counties participated in the 18th Annual Tri-County 4-H Camp August 10-12 held at Camp Y near Boone. Campers created hexagonal bug mazes as part of the “Mystery Madness: Mysteries, Mazes and Magic” theme.

(press release provided)


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