By: Les Thomas, Michigan State University Extension 4-H Program Instructor (Alcona County)

To close out the month of June, 19 Alcona County youth recently attended a four-day, three-night summer camp held at the Ocqueoc Outdoor Center in Millersburg, MI. The camp, one in a series of four, was designed by local 4-H staff to acquaint youth ages 9-12 with water quality issues and environmental stewardship as well as help them explore careers related to natural resources and conservation. The other three camp themes - Fur, Fins and Feathers, Science-Engineering and Technology (SET) and Go GREEN - are held in succession so campers can attend for four years and not repeat major themed content.

The camp, coordinated by MSU Extension staff covering Alcona, Alpena, Antrim, Montmorency, Otsego and Presque Isle Counties, offers youth an opportunity to learn and grow in an environmental setting that inspires independence, builds resilience and offers youth a recreational break from electronic games and television. In addition to the eight hands-on sessions, youth were treated to a presentation by Harriet Smith from the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary on remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). The 45 minute presentation touched on the practical applications of ROV technology as well as career opportunities related to the engineering field. Campers also participated in a scavenger hunt, swimming, fishing, and team building games led by a group of 13 volunteer teen counselors. The counselors, including three from Alcona County, helped campers get to sessions on time, prevent homesickness, solved problems as well as worked one-on-one with campers that had special needs...

To read the complete 2013 Alcona County 4-H Showcase click on the PDF version on the bottom of the page.

Helen-Ann Prince, Huron Pines AmeriCorps Member serving with the Northest Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, taught campers how to identify aquatic macro invertebrates using a dicotomist key at the 4-H camp.

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary representatives Sarah Adcock, Huron Pines AmeriCorps member, and Andrew Augustyn taught campers about ROVs - Campers build their own ROV and even got to test it!


Huron Pines AmeriCorps Invasive Species Experts Dan Watt and Jess Kohnert taught campers about invasive species - such as Sea Lampreys, Purple Loosestrife, Phragmites and Garlic Mustard. Les Thomas, 4-H Program Coordinator, gave campers a show while letting a sea lamprey attach to his head.

Former AmeriCorps Member and current representative with the Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, Daniel Moffatt, taught 4-H'ers about the importance of preventing the spread of invasive species by cleaning boat hull and motors before getting to the next lake.


Brandon Schroeder, Michigan Sea Grant Educator, talked to youth about the Lake Huron fishing industry as well as the diversity of fish that Michigan's waters offer.

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Education Specialist, Harriet Smith, talked with campers about ROV’s, their importance, future careers and more at 4-H camp.

Created on Thursday, August 15, 2013