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Farmers Union holding youth camps in June

Farmers Union youth leaders anticipate a year of record-breaking attendance across the state at Farmers Union summer camps, which get under way in June. Camps are divided out by junior and senior level age groups and early registration is advised. Camp registration costs range from $75-$125.

"We wrap up a great deal of camp tradition like campfires, theme nights, dances, sports and swimming into an interactive program that builds teamwork and leadership skills," said Jennifer Sundeen, North Dakota Farmers Union education director. "People should register early to ensure they get into the camp that best fits their schedule. Some of the camps fill up fast!"

This year's camp theme is "Having the Time of Your Life" and will focus on developing positive and constructive attitudes. State Youth Advisory Council members helped determine the camp theme and programming. The council meets three times during the year and attends two senior camps the following summer at no cost. The 2012 council members include: Paige Cote, daughter of Jeff and Barb Cote of Casselton; Kerstan Swift, daughter of John and Julie Grimm of Ellendale; Mikaela Long, daughter of Mike and Sue Long of Berlin; Lauren McMillan, daughter of Jeff and Ruleen McMillan of Wimbledon; and Cassidy Weber, daughter of Bradley and Jill Weber of New Rockford.

"One of the great things about being part of SYAC is to help create the ideas for camp," Long said. "It makes it worthwhile to help out with something that means so much to me. We can tell people about Farmers Union and what they can do and learn from camp. It's not just for farmers."

Weber agreed.

"The best thing about camp is to meet new people and form amazing friendship," she said.

Specially trained counselors from all around North Dakota will facilitate activities and supervise the campers this summer. As with all Farmers Union camps, youth will organize and operate their own cooperative -- a camp store -- as part of the educational focus on cooperatives. The Farmers Union camp counselors follow a curriculum that encourages campers to enhance their public speaking, cooperation, listening and interpersonal skills. More than 1,000 young people were involved with camps last year, learning about cooperatives, leadership, citizenship and community.

As well as the camp program, the Farmers Union youth program also includes county level day classes for youth grades 1-12.

To register for the camps, go to