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4-H character campaign termed success

News Release Distributed 10/22/14

BATON ROUGE, La. – “Welcome to 4-H Camp. Unpack a positive attitude, and you will see the endless possibilities.”

This was the slogan for the character campaign this summer at Camp Grant Walker.

The 4-H’ers were shown how exhibiting good character daily makes you a better person, said 4-H camp director Christine Bergeron.

Students attending 4-H camp were shown how practicing good character traits such as honesty, respect, responsibility, kindness and courage can become life-long habits.

“Good character is supported by a positive attitude,” Bergeron said. “A positive attitude means concentrating on good things now and in the future. Think good thoughts. Smile and encourage others daily.”

Kimberly Jones, instructor in LSU AgCenter 4-H Youth and Family Development, said the lessons began by first determining how much the 4-H members already knew about character.

“What is character? That is one of the initial questions we ask,” Jones said. “The definition of character is the ethical and moral qualities found in an individual. Good character is the foundation of 4-H.”

The character development campaign was designed to encourage accountability and emphasize the need for good character throughout the duration of summer camp, Bergeron said.

“Of the six pillars of character, we chose three to showcase during 4-H summer camp,” Bergeron said. “We selected kindness, fairness and respect.”

Haley Freeman, the camp’s food and fitness instructor, took the lead in coordinating the campaign and handed out the character awards each evening, Bergeron said.

“Not only did she explain to our campers each morning at our general assembly the meaning of the character word for the day, she also gave them examples of how to use the character word throughout the day,” Bergeron said.

Freeman also demonstrated to the campers the symbols and gestures that could be used for each character word.

For example:

– Kindness – Be kind to others. Choose kind words. Choose to praise others for doing nice things. Small acts of kindness are important. Kind actions cause kind reactions! Befriend someone new today. Symbol/gesture: High-fives.

– Fairness – Be fair in your camp activities. Give others the opportunity to share their ideas. Try new things. Don’t blame carelessly. Symbol/gesture: handshakes/thumbs up.

– Respect – Respect is priceless. It must be earned. Respect yourself; you are special. Respect others by being kind. Respect adults to make camp a fun, safe place. Respect the camp grounds by picking up after yourself. Leave a location cleaner than it was when you found it. Symbol/gesture: fist bumps.

Each day, 12 to 16 campers received a character award, Jones said. “Our campers enjoyed participating in the campaign and were equally excited to be recognized on stage to receive their award.”

The summer staff at camp also enjoyed participating in this campaign and selecting campers from their sessions to receive these awards, Bergeron said.

“At the end of the summer, we compiled all the winners of the character awards and drew one name for the grand prize,” Bergeron said.

Sarah Juneau of Avoyelles Parish was the 2014 grand prize winner, receiving a 4-H belt buckle donated by Montana Silversmith and a digital camera.

Jones and Bergeron said they thank all the 4-H members for the hard work this summer in representing themselves with good moral character at Camp Grant Walker.

 Johnny Morgan
Last Updated: 10/23/2014 6:37:01 AM

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