Four-H is more than a club. It’s a family you join and are part of for the rest of your life. That sense of family was never felt more by the Pocahontas County 4-H clubs than on March 22 during West Virginia University’s Day of Giving.
All organizations associated with WVU participated collected donations all day for specific projects through the help of social media posts. WVU Extension Agent Luci Mosesso posted donation suggestions and monitored those that came in and was astonished by the amount of support Pocahontas County 4-H received.
“We were blown away,” she said. “I was hoping we would make about five thousand dollars that day. We actually had one donor who gave us a ten-thousand dollar donation.”
At the end of the day, the total came to more than $19,000.
“A lot of our donors are 4-H alumni who grew up in Pocahontas County and moved all over the country,” Mosesso said. “When I look at the list of where all these donations were coming from, it literally spanned the United States. There were donations from California that went into our account. So being able to reach that huge audience was incredible.”
So incredible, in fact, the Pocahontas County 4-H program had the third highest number of donors of the day. For that accomplishment, the program was awarded an additional $6,000, which brought to total to $25,000.
“I just think it speaks volumes for the number of people who have that love of Pocahontas County 4-H Camp and have some connection to it,” Mosesso said. “They really wanted to do it for our kids and our veterans. We have the Project Healing Waters fly fishing group. They definitely were a very active part of that day. They were getting their donors in there, as well.”
The project Pocahontas County 4-H was collecting for was to replace the mattresses at Camp Thornwood. Mosesso said she can’t find any record of the last time mattresses were purchased but knows that she and her mom both slept on the current mattresses when they were 4-H campers.
“We’re really, really excited to have new mattresses for all the campers,” she said. “More comfortable, easier to clean, all of those things are a big deal.”
With a camp that will be 80 years old in 2024, there are always projects and upgrades that need to be made, and Mosesso said she was thrilled that the funding not only covered the purchase of all new mattresses, but will also go toward a new dishwasher for the kitchen.
“Last year we had a pretty difficult time with the dishwasher,” she said. “So we are going to get a new dishwasher for the kitchen that will auto-feed and take a lot of work off folks.”
With two major projects down, there is always more on the plate that needs to be prioritized. After a recent wind storm, a tree fell onto the pump house, but David Smith is already in the process of repairing that.
The next large project will be getting connected to the public water line through the Public Service District.
“We’re working on a water infrastructure project and the Public Service District is going to bring us water, so we’ll be on the public line moving forward, but right now, we’re still on our own water system,” Mosesso explained. “Once they bring the water to us, we are going to replace all of the old plumbing infrastructure at camp because it was galvanized lines and there’s a lot of rust and things. We’re looking for that to be finished in 2025.”
After that project, Moses-so said there are future plans to fix and replace the bathhouses.
“It would be nice to clean them up a little,” she said.
In the meantime, the camp is getting ready for a busy summer. First up is the Project Healing Waters fly fishing weekend which will be the first weekend in June.
Next up is 4-H camp, with a team leader overnight on June 11 and camp taking place June 12-16.
“It is a Mystery in the Mountains, so a 4-H mystery,” Mosesso said. “We have some great partners getting lined up. We’re working with the FBI Center out of Pittsburgh to come in and do some CSI type investigation. We have the observatory coming to do some mysteries of the universe. West Virginia cryptids will be featured one day and a magician will be at camp one day.
“So all different types of mysteries for the week,” she added.
Directly after 4-H camp is the return of the National Youth Science Camp which will be here in June and July. It is the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic that the camp will be held in person.
Mosesso said she is hoping that Pocahontas County High School band camp will return this year.
“We’re excited for a full summer.”
The 4-H camp is open to everyone, ages nine through 21 and registration will be May 1 through 14 online at 4h.zsuite.org
Those interested can create a profile on the website and click on Pocahontas County 4-H Camp to get registered.