ColumbiaMagazine.com
Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  
 
























 
Carol Perkins: Fond memories - I love 4-H

'All in all, 4-H Camp gave us an early opportunity to learn to take care of ourselves and our things, as well as social skills and tolerance of others. I didn't realize I was learning at the time, but I now know how important these summers were to my development. I didn't win any blue ribbons for my camping skills, but I won a lifetime of memories. Camp isn't for everyone, but it was certainly for me. If your child wants to go, I would say "pack his bags." - CAROL PERKINS
Next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: A day late and a dollar short

By Carol Perkins

Although adventurous in other ways, I'm not a "go camping" kind of woman. I have never, nor will I ever, sleep in a tent under the stars with no facilities within steps of my urgencies. Heading to the lake on the weekends is far down my list of fun things to do and I am not interested in boating or sailing. That doesn't mean I don't envy those who like to do those things because I do. I wish I loved the water, the outdoors, and that laid-back outdoor lifestyle, but I don't.


The only time I was near a lake as a girl was when my parents would drive over to Dale Hollow on a Sunday afternoon or take me along when they went fishing, but by then I was a teenager.

With this in mind, one would hardly think I would have counted down the days until 4-H Camp when I was a girl, but I did. I love 4-H. I loved the camp. I loved the lake.

Camp Bingham. Some of my happiest memories took place at this camp where I didn't mind roughin' it for a week because the rewards were worth the sacrifices.

The cabins were rustic. The bathrooms were across the path in the shower rooms. Bunk beds lined the cabin. Most girls wanted the top bunk, probably because bunk beds were a rarity for us. The girl on the bottom often pushed the springs of the top bunk with her feet, causing the person on top to bounce when she least expected it. I was so skinny, I feared sailing off and crashing through the window.

I loved the activities of camp. I still have some of the crafts, including a jewelry box with a tiled top. Those tiny tiles, glued with white paste, were uneven, but a prize to me. I found mine masterpiece the other day and placed it in my kitchen window. I don't know why, but I can see myself around the table gluing on those tiles while others did the same.

Canoeing was great fun because we glided up and down the river each day in what I remember to be more of a stream than a river. I don't remember life jackets, but if the canoe tipped over the water was probably only knee deep. The new feeling of freedom was in that canoe and I embraced it.

Specifically, archery class was the most difficult for me and the least favorite of all activities simply because I was not good at it and hurt myself. Having never shot a bow and arrow except for toy ones bought at the dime store when my brother and I played cowboys and Indians, I was clueless on technique. After a few tries, my right arm hurt and stayed red for hours after because I continuously stung myself when I fired at my target. The arrow often took a nose dive into the ground.

Swimming was everyone's favorite because we had access to a pool every day, which was a new experience. That is where I learned to swim and dive. I found diving painful because my head felt like it was going to explode when I hit the water. I won no ribbons for diving but I came home with a good tan. The memory of the pool is as clear as if I had been there last week.

The highlight of each day was the night. We cleaned up in our communal showers (with curtains for privacy), put on our best cute little outfits, and sat around a bonfire singing "Kum Ba Yah," danced "Sally Down the Alley" with boys and told tall tales. Even at the young age of 10 or 12, we girls scouted for boys to be our pen pals when we came back home, to brag about to our non-attending friends, or to pine over knowing we would not see that person for another year. We fell in and out of love at 4-H camp.

All in all, 4-H Camp gave us an early opportunity to learn to take care of ourselves and our things, as well as social skills and tolerance of others. I didn't realize I was learning at the time, but I now know how important these summers were to my development. I didn't win any blue ribbons for my camping skills, but I won a lifetime of memories.

Camp isn't for everyone, but it was certainly for me. If your child wants to go, I would say "pack his bags." Today we're so afraid to let a kid out of our sight, but he is well protected at 4-H Camp. I just hope campers still sing camp songs and play "Sally Down the Alley."


This story was posted on 2015-10-15 02:58:28
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.


 

To sponsor news and features on ColumbiaMagazine, please use our contact form.

 

























 
 
Quick Links to Popular Features


 

ColumbiaMagazine.com content is available as an RSS/XML feed for your RSS reader or other news aggregator.
Use the following link: http://www.columbiamagazine.com/columbiamagazinerss.php.

Contact us: Columbia Magazine and columbiamagazine.com are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270-250-2730 Fax: 270-751-0401


Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to webmaster@columbiamagazine.com. All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.