Kids at the HFV Wilson Community Center spent spring break learning about nutrition and launching rockets into the air. 

Spring break camp is a recurring program that combines activities with lessons to cover a different topic every year, but this time the program had some additional help from a local homeschool 4H group. 

“The 4H group meets here and they wanted to give back to the center,” OSU Extension Educator Gerri Ballard said. ‘So, they saw it as an opportunity to teach something.” 

Parks and Recreation Assistant Director Alicia Henry said the camp has covered a variety of topics in the past. 

“We always have an aspect of health in all of our after-school programs,” Henry said. “She’s talked about anger management and how to have to have self respect, she has several different curriculums that she offers,” Henry said. 

The campers, who are in pre-K through fifth grade, participated in different activities and lessons throughout the week, occasionally splitting the group into younger and older children for more targeted lessons. 

“March is nutrition month and it was just an opportunity to help out,” Ballard said. 

Campers started with lessons about different food groups and learned how to make smoothies on Thursday, with 4H students running the blenders. For the final activity of the week they made stomp rockets, paper rockets and launched them into the air with launches made from PVC pipe and empty soda bottles.  

“It’s actually a science project, but it involves physical activity,” Ballard said. “ We wanted to show them it doesn’t have to be exercise, just get out and play.”

Together, Ballard and the 4H group chose a program called Growing Strong Bodies and Minds that included books, activities and guidelines that worked for the spring break camp. 

“It’s also extremely important for children to be read to, so it was just another audience to read to,” Ballard said. 

Ballard said the lessons helped her break the information down for younger age groups in a way they could understand. 

“We picked a book for them, and we played a particular game that focused more on teaching them about different fruits,” Ballard said. “We had little focal points to teach them.”