Madelyn McCaa, 8, feeds a bottle of milk to a young calf during the Adams County Farm Camp on Wednesday afternoon. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)
Madelyn McCaa, 8, feeds a bottle of milk to a young calf during the Adams County Farm Camp on Wednesday afternoon. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)

Archived Story

Farm camp offers children diverse aspects of area agriculture

Published 12:01am Sunday, July 14, 2013

NATCHEZ — Adams County is a very diverse agricultural area, between hunting, fishing and harvesting crops like blueberries and cotton. And last week, nearly 30 children got to experience every aspect of it.

David Carter hosted the second year of the Adams County Farm Camp, a two-day event that gave children hands-on learning experiences about the outdoors.

“We have so much to offer in Adams County,” Carter said. “And that what makes this camp ideal. In two days we can make dozens of stops and do different things.”

The Adams County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Mississippi State extension service and Farm Bureau Insurance sponsored the camp.

Kamron Singleton leaps across the tops of a line of hay bales during the camp. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)
Kamron Singleton leaps across the tops of a line of hay bales during the camp. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)

Because of the sponsorship, campers paid only $15 to sign up.

On the first day, the group went to the St. Catherine Wildlife Refuge to do a wildlife observation. They also learned about forestry, archery and vegetable gardening.

On the second day, the children were taken to the Double C Ranch where they fed baby calves and learned how to manage a pond using trapping nets.

Carter let every camper hold a baby fish and taught them how to determine what kind of fish they were holding and how many of that type of fish were in the pond.

The children, ranging from third grade to sixth grade, learned about what Carter called ‘old school farming,’ in which he showed them the different plowing instruments used in the late 19th century.

The group also learned how to harvest and pick blueberries and blackberries.

“The goal is to have everybody have their hands on something,” Carter said. “We want this to be outside-of-the-classroom teaching.”

Kamron Singleton, 10 years old, said he enjoyed learning about the plows, and how much technology has changed over time.

“I got to learn about the horses and the old-school plows. That was something new,” Singleton said.

He also said that one of his favorite parts of the Farm Camp was the hay barrel olympics.

This is one of the many physical activities that Carter implemented in the camp to keep the children interested.

“Last year we had a bunch of hay left in the barn, so we stacked it and just let the children have fun,” Carter said.

David Carter, left, shows a group of children how to identify different types of young fish during the camp. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)
David Carter, left, shows a group of children how to identify different types of young fish during the camp. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)

This activity breaks the campers up into pairs, and they compete in a shuttle race running nearly 30 yards and back. The catch is they are running on top of hay barrels.

Audrey Garrett, 11 years old, said she thought this camp would be filled with planting and gardening, but she was relieved to find out it had so much more to offer.

“It turned out to be really fun and we went to a lot of different places,” she said. “My favorite part was the watermelon contest.”

The watermelon contest was another one of Carter’s fun and competitive activities. Campers were put into pairs and whoever ate their slice of watermelon the fastest was allowed to run across the finish line.

Carter said this was a camp that he would love to do every year with the local children to diversify them and fill them with knowledge.

“As long as the children love it and sponsors keep supporting it, we’ll keep having it,” he said.