West Virginia University
12 Jul

Happy 30th Birthday Alpha!

Marsha | July 12th, 2010

The Alpha camps will be celebrating their 30th Birthday this year and we would like to invite you to come and join in the celebration. We figure that about 18,000 4-H’ers have camped at Alpha I or Alpha II during those thirty years and it’s never too late to come back to the Mill and enjoy a day as a camper once again.

We will begin the celebration with registration for our guests beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday of each week. (That will be July 13 and July 20.) Our returning campers will be put back into their tribes and for the next 24 hours they will once again be an Alpha camper. The camp will begin with an assembly and our guest speaker. This will be followed by grow groups which may be a new animal for some of our Alpha alumni. We will assign you to a group of folks your age and you will have time during the afternoon to catch up with each other and to share those wonderful Alpha memories.

Tuesday evening at Alpha is time for the All Star Consecration; followed by our “all age” council circle. Some years back we hosted an alumni reunion at OMC and that night in council circle, one of the tribes challenged a brave to stand on their head, the only limit was they had to be 60 or older. Much to my surprise, all five tribes had a brave that did it. So get ready for a rockin” council circle.
Wednesday will begin with morning classes and we will have some things planned for you. We also will share some reports of our successes and challenges with Alpha and the 4-H program. We then will be asking all of you to share with our campers. We hope that each of you will come prepared to teach a LEO. In Alpha speak, that is a Leisure Education Opportunity. You will share a hobby, an interest, a collection, or any way you enjoy spending your free time. The campers will be free to roam around and visit what you are doing. We will wrap up the camp with a last meal in the dining hall.

We will have three levels of housing: in the cottage, guest rooms, and the lodge. There will be a charge for your three meals, lodging, and a registration fee. We are hoping to have a July 1st registration deadline and you will be able to register on line at: www.peopleware.net/2633a

If you have any questions about any part of this celebration, feel free to contact Jeffrey Orndorff at jdorndorff@mail.wvu.edu or by phone at 304/293-8153

13 Jul

Prime time for bike riding

Catherine | July 13th, 2009

Summer is prime time for 4-H activities in West Virginia. On Sunday, July 12, 4-H’ers from the Hi-Fi 4-H Club in Randolph County participated in a bike ride along the trail at Gilman. Pictured left to right in the photo are Megan Broschart, Jeyna Collett, Ashton Hendon and leader of the Club, Frank Mams. The club members rode over 4 miles and talked about the importance of wearing bike helmets. After the ride members enjoyed some outdoor cooking as they roasted hotdogs and made s’mores.
Members of the Hi-Fi 4-H Club pose at a bike ride.

The Hi-Fi 4-H Club is one of the oldest 4-H Clubs in Randolph County. The name was chosen by members back when high fidelity stereo was a new technology. Past leaders included Marguerite (Peg) Widney, Violet Snedegar and Polly Mams.

8 Jul

Hello, Canada

Jeffrey | July 8th, 2009

Ten West Virginia 4-H members and three adult chaperones flew to Alberta, Canada to Edmonton on Tuesday, July 7, 2009 for a ten day exchange with Canadian 4-H’ers who live in St. Paul. Last summer the Canadians came to West Virginia.

Activities include lake swimming, boating, visiting a Ukrainian Village, shopping at the second largest Mall in the World in Edmonton, hiking, horseback riding, snorkeling. They plan to camp for 3 days in the Rocky Mountains and take in the Jasper Tramway, Miette Hot Springs, Columbia Ice Fields, Athabasca Falls, Lake Louise and Lake Banff.

4-H members include Charlie Brown from Preston County, Meredith Orndorff from Monongalia County, Alec James from Hancock County, Amanda Wimer from Lewis County, Shane Yeater and Mandy Yeater from Doddridge County, Sophia Lind from Jefferson County, Emily Vandevender from Greenbrier County, Jennings Sisler from Hardy County, Kati Hildreth from Roane County and chaperones, Connie Williams from Monongalia County and Barry and Marci Yeater from Doddridge County.

My hope is that they have a great experience and build even stronger ties with our Canadian neighbors. Last year the Canadians were fascinated by our fireflies but in WV we call these creatures “lightning bugs.” Sometimes appreciating the simple differences in our environment is a way to build lasting friendships. The Canadians also spent a week at Alpha II State 4-H Camp last year.

This trip was originally planned for Russia but because of the economic climate and an accident with a Russian student in Wales the Russian group that I had always worked with was forced to suspend any future exchanges. In the meantime, Gayle Plante, a Canadian 4-H leader found me on the Internet and we began to talk about an exchange. I feel very lucky that we found another opportunity so that the WV 4-H’ers still were able to experience an exchange. I had hoped to go but with Alpha I beginning on Saturday, I had to bow down to three super 4-H leaders who agreed to chaperone this trip. So thank you Connie, Barry and Marci for taking time out of your schedules to supervise this trip. My last trip to Canada was over thirty years ago and I am sad to miss this one but very excited that at least one Orndorff (my youngest daughter) was able to go. Have fun kids!
Thank you Canada!

26 Jun

OMC 2009 Thus Far

Thaddeus | June 26th, 2009

Hey all, it’s me again – Tad. You may remember me from my previous efforts as a blogger. If not, check ‘em out sometime!

Well, as a 21 year-old, it’s my last year as a camper here at WV 4-H Older Members Conference. I’m pretty saddened by the whole affair really. I’m really not sure how long that I’ve been here, but that’s not really what is
important about my relationship with this place and this camp. The important thing is the way in which I’ve been able to grow through my experiences I had here. The leadership opportunities that I have been given here have
helped me to become the person that I am today. But enough with that boring stuff, here’s what has been going on this week:

I’ve been in a cottage with a bunch of my best friends here, and it’s been pretty wild. It’s not as if we’re burning the place down, but there’s been a lot of fun this week just catching up and having a good time. Our room is a
complete disaster area, but it’s all good – I’m sure we’ll get it together when needed.

I’ll talk about the most recent and exciting thing that we did in camp here, and that’s the camp party. Tonight we had a dance and snacks and all that good stuff. The dance was HYPE. As always, I out being a dancing machine. I probably sweat at least a quart….AT LEAST. Luckily, I didn’t pass out because water was bountiful, but my legs are going to be feeling terribly sore tomorrow. I played basketball for a while today, swam, then danced
myself silly. I’m really surprised I was able to dance that well at all tonight after so much physical activity. That just goes to show ya, 4-H camp= healthy place to spend a week. I’d like to go on and on about my camp
exploits up to this point, but sleepiness is creepin’ in.

You’ll hear from me again soon. I may also be reporting from elsewhere in
the state. I do this stuff for money when I’m not being a camper myself.

26 Jun

OMC '09

Melville | June 26th, 2009

Greetings all,

So, its been a while since the last time I’ve blogged on here but Big O mentioned something to me and I believe that its just about time to start it back up.

It’s Thursday night of OMC 2009 here at Jacksons Mill. I probably should have blogged some before now to keep you up to speed but I’ve been a little busy having fun with all of my friends?.what do you think I come to camp for, to sit here and blog all day? Not quite, but now that I have some time, I’d like to do a little updating for you.

So far this week has been awesome. When we first came to camp it was obvious that numbers were down again because of the lack of chairs in the assembly hall alone. This didn’t cause much stress though. My friend Chris Claudio and I soon agreed that the theme for the week would be “Numbers Down, Spirits Up!” as we were determined to have this week, once again, be the best week of our entire year.

I was assigned to stay in Marion Cottage for the week, which is a treat because not only is it my favorite cottage to stay in at the Mill, but almost all of my best friends are in the cottage with me, including my three roommates from my house in Morgantown, so it felt just as much like home as anywhere else I could be. Even with all of the activities available throughout the week, some of the most important and most memorable times you will ever have at 4H camp will be times and conversations you share with the roommates of your cottage. I guess there is just something about sleeping in a big, empty room with 12 other guys that just forms some sort of emotional bond.

Council Circles this week have been pretty extraordinary. Like always, the Mingo’s put out a couple duds in the funny stunt area and like always took some heat from the other tribes, but last night
they really pulled through with some quality material that had the whole camp cracking up. Last night’s council circle was also probably one of the hardest one’s I’ve ever sat through. I can’t even think to
tell you now what it was that had me and about eight others in a nonstop state of “the giggles,” but for some reason we could not stop laughing and never about anything in particular. Somehow a couple of my friends were able to convince to me to sit with them in the front row next to the chief and sag(who were also suffering from a nearly terminal case of the giggles themselves). Let me just say that “As The Bright Flames” has most definitely seen its more somber renditions.

Well that’s all from me for now. Its getting kind of late and I’ve been shakin’ what my momma gave me for a good two hours or so at the camp dance. (FYI: it was wicked awesome).

Talk to you soon, and probably tomorrow,
Mel ” Delaware GodChief” Johnson

24 Jun

OMC-"Through the Ages"

Catherine | June 24th, 2009

Hey, hey, hey! This is Caroline back again for a new summer of camps! I have been here at Jackson’s Mill since Sunday at OMC (Older Members Conference) and it has been truly amazing! The theme for the week is “OMC Through the Ages”, so we have been traveling through history.

We started in prehistoric times on Sunday. We celebrated our first council circle with the new traditional ceremony, “The Journey”. Bob Richardson also informed us we had about 250 people in camp this week which is down from previous years, but I can honestly report that the spirit of OMC has not suffered at all. As I’ve been noticing each night at council circle there has been one thing that was really significant. Sunday’s best was definitely a Mingo commercial including a prehistoric man who stood up with a stick and performed a loud tribal call. It was hilarious!

Monday came quickly and the theme of the day was “Et tu, Brute?” aka Roman times. We had our first speaker, Dr. Nigel Clark, who spoke on alternative fuels. We attended our classes for the first time as well. We also had our traditional camp picture, but they switched up the order this year. For the first time in my 8 years of state 4-H camping the Cherokees and Delawares were in a picture together and the Mingos and Senecas were pictured together. It looked like Christmas and Halloween and the Christmas photo even sang some carols to go along with the festive colors. Monday night council circle had to be one of the funniest I have ever attended. I got a nice seat on council rock for the evening and about all the laughing I could stand! The Delawares music mix-n’-match definitely took the gold. They took a very somber traditional song here in West Virginia 4-H and mixed it with a very funny silly song, My Home Among the Hills and The Beaver Song. They sang the tune of the first, but used the words of the second. Their male chief went on to sing in the last part of the song a very high screeching descant usually performed by sopranos in a choral group. I cried, not from sadness, but laughter.

Tuesday arrived with the theme of “Let the Games Begin”, alluding to the first Olympic Games held in Athens, Greece. We did not have a speaker because we were performing our annual service to the
Mill. Campers participated in everything from painting benches to mulching flower beads to cleaning out cluttered rooms. It turned out to be a rewarding job for not only the mill, but the campers as well. Tuesday night is always a very special night here at our summer camps because it is All-Star night. There is a ceremony performed where the new inductees are tapped out of the entire audience of campers. No Tuesday night at camp has ever been more special to me however, because last night I was tapped and inducted to be a West Virginia 4-H All-Star! It was shocking and amazing all in one. We then went to council circle with all the special guest All-Stars. It was again a hilarious night. Although council circle was a little long, we came down to the assembly hall afterward and were able to congratulate all the new All-Stars and celebrate with a little folk dancing.

Although today is not yet over, it has already been quite interesting. Our theme for the day is “Who Turned Out the Lights?”, or medieval times. We had a guest speaker this morning on Cyber Bullying. It was quite the controversial issue. It spurred great discussion of everyone in their small groups and when we came back for full camp discussion the response was so overwhelming that we had many campers unable to voice their
opinions in the allotted time. We were encouraged to share our thoughts with others over the course of the day however.

So, as camp this week has been quite fun and amazing I am sure and hope it only gets better.

Until Next Time,
Caroline Bailey

4 Jun

State 4-H camping season launches

Jeffrey | June 4th, 2009

The State 4-H camping season in West Virginia launches on Sunday, June 21, 2009 with the beginning of Older 4-H Members’ Conference. This leadership development conference will be home for nearly 300 4-H’ers from throughout the state until Saturday, June 27 at Jackson’s Mill, West Virginia University’s special mission regional campus. OMC began in 1944 and it serves as the flagship of the West Virginia 4-H Camping Program.

The youth select topics to address during the week and each day a different speaker discusses a subject for that day. Our topics this year include: Alternate Fuels,Technology and it’s impact on our Futures, Taking Good Risks, and Death of Small Farms and Businesses.

This year’s theme is “Through The Ages” and the director of the camp is Robert Richardson, an attorney who practices in Lewisburg, WV. Bob is a former WVU Mountaineer and was the first Truman Scholar from WVU. He graduated for the University of Virginia College of Law. Bob will be serving his 22nd year as a volunteerfor the state 4-H camping program.

The next two opportunities for a state 4-H camping experience will be on July 12 and July 19 when Alpha I and Alpha II will begin at Jackson’s Mill. Students entering the sixth grade through age twenty-one are eligible to attend. Directors for Alpha are Craig Presar, Upshur County Extension Agent and Barbie Little, a school teacher in the Raleigh County School System. If you are still interested in attending the Alpha camps, please contact your County Extension Office or Jeffrey Orndorff, Extension Specialist-4-H at the West Virginia University Extension Service in Morgantown at 304-293-2694.

More details may be obtained by emailing jdorndorff@mail.wvu.edu

15 Oct

Emily’s blog is designed to track the weekly “happenings” of a Hampshire County 4-Her traveling throughout Germany and Austria. She thinks of it as traveler’s log, and hopes you enjoy reading and following up on her travel as much as she enjoys creating her adventure journal!

Emily recently wrote:

Hi and greetings from Austria. I have so much information to relay and many new stories to tell. I would love for you to visit my IFYE blog: Travels of the Advanced 4-Her!
– Emily Evert

Please take a few moments to read about this West Virginia 4-Her traveling abroad and send her a note with your own thoughts and comments. You can visit Emily’s blog at: http://wvifye2008.blogspot.com/

18 Aug

It will soon be time for us to do the Corn Roast at the Stonewall Jackson Jubilee. The Jubilee will begin on Friday, August 29 and end on Monday, September 1. The Jubilee is a giant craft fair with a theme of history and authentic homemade crafts and food. There are many activities. The State 4-H Camps and the 4-H Agents Association sponsor a corn roast. Besides corn, we have sweet potatoes and baked potatoes roasted on an open pit and it is all very tasty and delicious. The real flavors come out of the food from cooking on the open pit.

We are looking for 4-H folks to volunteer to give us a five hour shift on one of those days. If you are interested, our shifts are as

10-2 12-5 3-8

If you are interested, please let me know at jeffrey.orndorff@mail.wvu.edu and let me know the day and shift you would like to work. We will add you to the list and they will have the list at the picnic pavilion once your
cross over the bridge to the airfield. We will also have lodging available to those that work for us and if you need that, I would need to know that as well. Our booth is located next to the pool in the upper end of camp.

We also need help on Thursday to do the setup and we will begin work
that day at 12:00 until we finish.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.


8 Aug

The West Virginia State Fair is now open and the grounds are full of people enjoying the sights and sounds of the country life in the Mountain State. 4-H is stepping up their involvement with the fair this year. We now have a council circle on the grounds and we will be having camp fire activities three times a day during the run of the fair.

The Youth Building is also open and we have the second largest number of exhibits ever. We have 3,670 exhibits from 50 of our 55 counties. We have taken digital pictures of all the posters and it is easier to read the posters and all the great information they have. We are open everyday from 10:00 in the morning until 9:00 at night, so if you are traveling to the fair, stop in the Cecil Underwood Youth Building for a great 4-H fix. The projects are varied and we have selected 12 Best of Show exhibits. We have folks from the Greenbrier County 911 with us along with Greenbrier Communications. Germ City is helping teach folks the correct way to wash their hands and as always it is a very popular attraction

We will be adding the Mobile Technology Lab by tomorrow morning and this will give us 11 computers in the building where folks can read email, look up items on the internet and play games.

We are enjoying the beginning of the new fair and our thanks go out to all the folks that were a part of the Department O team and the agents and volunteers around the state that delivered exhibits to us.

State camp planning begins tonight, August 8 and OMC will be working tonight and tomorrow with our Alpha planning coming in on Saturday and out on Sunday. Hopefully many great ideas will come about for State Camps for the summer of 2009.

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