Guam youth learn new skills over Christmas break at 4-H camps
Children excitedly partnered up as they were given bags of freshly husked coconut and gloves. The lesson of the day: coconut oil! One by one, they took turns squeezing the coconut flakes and collecting the milk that they would later heat to separate the oil. And with the leftover flakes, they learned how to make coconut candy.
This was just one day of the week-long, activity-packed 4-H youth enrichment camps for nearly 50 youth over Christmas break.
Under the Cooperative Extension & Outreach at the College of Natural & Applied Sciences, the 4-H Youth Development program provides hands-on learning experiences for youth to develop life skills and confidence in their capabilities.
From Dec. 19 to 29, the 4-H program held three camps for children ages 6 to 14. The first week consisted of the Kids Kitchen Cooking Camp and a Creative Me Arts & Crafts Camp. The youth explored sustainability, nutrition, and their artistic abilities.
In the following week, the In-Genius Science Camp explored different fields of science, such as microbiology, through experiments that varied from a game of tag to show how germs are spread to making jam to learn about acids and bases.
“I think it’s a good thing to have knowledge of the world we live in,” said Natalie Camacho, a 12-year-old camper.
Catherine Nguyen and Christina Nguyen, the In-Genius and STEM program managers and teachers for the 4-H camps, said they enjoyed watching the campers’ excitement and growth throughout all three programs.
“The students this Christmas have been very engaging,” Nguyen said. “They want to participate. They want to set up. They want to put everything away.”
With each activity, the 4-H youth participants gained exposure to a new skill and a new subject area that may one day influence their choice of degree program or career.
“Some of them they found it challenging, but once they did it, they liked the outcome — that they built or created something,” said 4-H camp counselor Lewis Billimon.
The 4-H program will offer youth enrichment camps again this summer. Parents can stay posted at on the 4-H Youth Development webpage or by subscribing to the Cooperative Extension mailing list.