Summer is one of the busiest times in the 4-H and Youth world and this year is no exception.

We began the summer with the start of our Energy Express program that is being held at West Fairmont Middle School. Energy Express is a six-week summer reading program that also offers breakfast and lunch.

The goal is to help children entering 1st through 6th grades to avoid the “summer slide” so that they are reading on the same level at the start of the school year in August that they were when school ended in June.

In the last two weeks of the program, the site will be hosting a family night for the participants so the kids can show their families all they have been doing while at Energy Express. Our site team will finish up its community service project, which is providing hygiene kits to local pantries and non-profit organizations in Marion County.

We celebrated 100 Years of Marion County 4-H Camps this summer, which was the theme of our annual 4-H Camp held June 23-28 as well as an Alumni Reunion on July 6.

Both events were great successes with 145 youth attending our weeklong camp and over 100 alumni who came out to our celebration event last Saturday.

Camp Mar-Mac holds a special place in the hearts of many and that was seen at the reunion by the comments of former 4-H members in attendance. The 100 Years of 4-H Camping Reunion also included the dedication of our dining hall in honor of Fairy Downs.

Fairy Downs was the Marion County 4-H Extension Agent for 20 years, her father donated the first acreage to 4-H for a camp site, and she was instrumental in the creation of the Marion County Camp Mar-Mac Association (the organization that maintains Camp Mar-Mac).

Ms. Downs was ahead of her time in the work she did for youth in Marion County and we are still benefiting from the foundation she laid in both Marion County 4-H and the Extension Service.

Summer is also a time for 4-H projects to be exhibited by members at local fairs.

Our 4-H projects were at the Paw Paw District Fair two weeks ago and we had a great turnout! Thirty-two blue ribbon projects will be taken to the State Fair of West Virginia on Aug. 7 to be exhibited with other 4-H projects from around the state.

Our final upcoming project exhibits are our livestock shows that are held at the Mannington District Fair Aug. 7-9 with the livestock auction on Aug. 10.

If you are interested in getting your child involved in 4-H, would like more information about Energy Express, or any of our other programs, please to reach out to us through any of these ways. You can stop by our office at 314 Monroe St., 2nd floor, which is the Jacobs building or call us at (304) 367-2772. We are open Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. or email us at MarionCountyExtension@mail.wvu.edu. We are also on Facebook at “WVU Marion County Extension Service.”

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