Connie Burns
WVU Extension

Eighty-four youth attended Pocahontas County 4-H Camp in Camp Thornwood during the week of June 18-22. 

Chiefs and Sagamores of the tribes were as follows: Cherokee Tribe – Austin Sharp, Justin Jackson; Delaware Tribe – Logan Burks, Kevin Bennett; Mingo Tribe – Sage McLaughlin, Hannah Carper; Seneca Tribe – Kolton Alderman, Bill Hardesty; Big Feet – Kathy Irvine, Garima Agarwal.

Campers were welcomed with the “Go for the Gold with 4-H” theme as they arrived Monday evening. Tuesday afternoon they showcased their talents of singing, dancing, gymnastics, instrument playing and standup comedy in a camp talent show.That evening campers learned about Monarch butterfly migration from the camp’s STEM Ambassador Garima Agarwal as they made milkweed “bombs” and played games. On Wednesday, campers learned about various reptiles and porcupines from a Luray Zoo presentation. The fun continued that evening as campers used stencils on wooden plaques in an art project provided by WVU Art Professor Dylan Collins. On Thursday afternoon two West Virginia Highland Dancers, Gabby and Elias Pealer, entertained the camp with Scottish dances to the sound of Extension Agent Don Dransfield’s bagpipes.  Don also provided a history on Scottish and Irish heritage. That night campers snacked on homemade pizza as they danced to music provided by DJ Nicholas Irvine. On Friday, campers enjoyed a slideshow, Olympic games and received tribal colored T-shirts for the annual camp photos. Each evening concluded with Council Circle.

The campers participated in a variety of morning classes. These included Air Rifles, Archery, Basic Sewing, Basketball, Black Powder Basics, Bottle Rockets, Bubble Bubble Toil and Trouble, Charting/Pre-Charting, Coding at Camp, Colorful Crafts, Council Circle Blankets, Crypto Club, Fabric Photobooks, Fishing, Folk Dancing, Gold Medal Recipes, Jigsaw Puzzles, Melted Crayon Art, Metal/Leather Stamping, Nature Walking, Outdoor Cooking, Photography, Rock Painting, Shotgun, Softball, Spa Time, Tie-Dye Party, Yarn Wreathes, Woodburning and Yoga/Zumba.

Camp awards were presented to the 4-Hers during the final council circle on Friday night. Allie Luikart was selected as this year’s “Spirit of Camp” and was presented the spirit stick, which was carved by each of the tribes during camp. The following campers were chosen as those best representing the four Hs of 4-H at camp: Head H – Sage McLaughlin; Heart H – Logan Burks; Hands H – Justin Jackson; Health H – Kevin Bennett.

Victoria Rose received her 4-H Pin as a result of her successful completion of the 4-H Charting project and classes.

Outstanding first year camper scholarships were presented to Riyan Gladwell and Chase Green. The Cool Camper Scholarship was presented to Robert Jordan. Conner Spencer received the Harold Carpenter Scholarship. The Bee Gladwell Scholarship was presented to Scout Tankersley. Eden Lester, Caitlin Mallow and Declan Gravely received the Shooting Sports Scholarships.

The seven first year campers receiving “Lucky Penny” awards were Morgan Beverage, Riyan Gladwell, Chase Green, Ramona Hardy, Eden Lester, Jordan Nutter and Abigail McClure. 

Tribes were judged throughout the week on camp spirit, sportsmanship, attitude and how they exhibited the four Hs.  The Mingo Tribe was selected as the overall winning tribe.  

Camp staff and class instructors for the week were: Greg Hamons and Connie Burns (Extension Staff); Karlee Edmonds, Zach Phillips (ECIs); Garima Agarwal (STEM Ambassador), Kathy Irvine, Pam McLaughlin, Cathy Mitchell, Heather Simmons, Kristie Smith, Becky Spencer, Susan Wilkins, Gray Beverage, J. W. Cheek, Randy Irvine, Aaron Pugh, Josh Shinaberry, Michael Simmons, Sherman Taylor, Arlene Cheek, Matthew Barkley, Lauren Bennett and Bob Simmons. Kitchen staff included Doris Arthur, Kay Blackshire, Loretta Irvine and Dawn Workman. Carl Greathouse served as Camp Caretaker.

Cherokee Tribe: Front row, l to r: Mallori McCoy, Andrea Alderman, Ramona Hardy, Ronnie Simmons, Chase Green, Kynlee Wilfong and Jersey Simmons. Second row: Justin Jackson, Elizabeth Friel, Kya Barb, Eden Lester, Jennalee Meck, Hannah Buly, Peyton Coleman, Alex Buly and Austin Sharp. Back row: Scout Tankersley, Garrett Coleman, Allie Luikart, Haylee Smith-Hayhurst, Sienna Bircher and Ty Cochran. Not pictured: Jesse Kelly.
Delaware Tribe: Front row, l to r: Wade Taylor, Talisa Arbogast, Luke Gainer, Trenton Brock and Amanda Burns. Second row: Rachel Davis, Hunter Cheek, Sydney Puffenbarger, Emma Riffe, Kelsi Taylor, Kinley Taylor and Rachel Burns. Back row: Kevin Bennett, Emily Casto, Amelia Rose, Haley Spencer, Conner Spencer, Victoria Rose and Logan Burks.
Mingo Tribe: Front row, l to r: Riyan Gladwell, Morgan Beverage, Gary Warner, Rachel Felton, Colton Cover, Abigail McClure, Eden Smith and Kirsten Friel. Second row: Joslyn Simmons, Sean Beverage, Grace Beverage, Autumn Lane, Jayden Cover, Kaitlyn Simmons, Melinda Beverage and Declan Gravely. Back row: Hannah Carper, Keaton Baldwin, Dalton Hendrick, Robert Jordan, Hunter Curran, McKenna Woody, Caitlin Mallow and Sage McLaughlin.
Seneca Tribe: Front row, l to r: Addisyn Waddell, Adelyn Warner, Hannah Burks, Caleb Ritter and Mya Workman. Second row: Maybelle Warner, Jaryd Friel, Breanna Sharp, Chloe Hardesty, Rayna Smith, Allyson Alderman and Tessa Kiner. Back row: Kolton Alderman, Macaden Taylor, Cassidy Hardesty, Jordan Nutter and Bill Hardesty. Not pictured, Lexie McClure.
Big Feet Tribe: Front row, l to r: Karlee Edmonds, Gray Beverage, Josh Shinaberry, Michael Simmons and Zach Phillips. Second row: Sherman Taylor, Connie Burns, Susan Wilkins, Kathy Irvine and Greg Hamons.
Third row: Heather Simmons, Cathy Mitchell, Kristie Smith and Becky Spencer. Back row: Pam McLaughlin, Randy Irvine, Arlene Cheek and J.W. Cheek.