Camp Connections are Coming Back

Posted on: May 26, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union has finalized its day camp schedule for the year. Communities throughout South Dakota will be “Celebrating the Connections.”

“Every community plans something different, even though our lessons are the same,” explains Education Director Rachel Haigh-Blume. “In Webster, for example, we’ll have a presentation on electrical safety. In Hartford and Davison, we will be discussing 4-wheeler safety.”

Haigh-Blume adds that the communities have been especially welcoming and are excited to have youth and visitors back. While activities will again be in person, South Dakota Farmers Union will still be following Centers for Disease Control and the American Camp Association guidelines.

“We have a lot of new games that implement safety measures and are fun physical activities and icebreakers we can do outside,” says Haigh-Blume.

In addition to the fun of camp, there are many opportunities for learning too. Day camps will feature lessons on soil conservation, soil health and how soil mapping works. Groups will learn how soil mapping directly affects your seed inputs in a program called “The Dirt on Soil.”

Hands-on soil activities will allow campers to feel different soil types, like clay and silt. Younger campers will even be making dirt salads. The programs are possible through a soil conservation grant from South Dakota Agricultural Foundation.

Emily Golinsky, a Boston, Mass., trainer and consultant for Bright Moose will be discussing “Thinking Traps”. Golinsky emphasizes how our own emotions or biases can affect our thinking, judgment and interactions with others.

Speaker Malcom Chapman, Rapid City, is a long-time community leader and popular South Dakota Farmers Union fixture. Chapman will speak on diversity, relationships and having productive conversations.

Dr. Thomas Flamboe, Mental Strength Conditioning Coach from Black Hills State University, will present on the topic of healthy stress and how you can put it to work for you, instead of against you.

“We don’t talk about stress with our kids enough,” says Haigh-Blume. “Teens especially are starting to realize how many things they have on a deadline: scholarship deadlines, college deadlines and graduation tasks. We will be emphasizing how they can stay on top of it all and stay healthy.”

State Camp is planned for June 14-18 at Storm Mountain Center and will emphasize cooperatives and teamwork. It will also include the traditional Torchbearer banquet and a cooperative themed murder mystery dinner.

Campers will also have lip-sync battles, self-defense training and take part in teamwork building. Each day will also have a holiday theme and campers will be encouraged to celebrate connections with costumes and related activities.

Continue to watch sdfu.org and Facebook for camp updates and day camps in a community near you. ■ by Toby Kane for SDFU