One of OSU Extension Lucas County’s longtime partners, Sylvania Area Family Services, offers a yearly summer camp program for youth of diverse socio-economic backgrounds. This summer, Lucas County staff offered collaborated programming centered around growing, selling, and eating fresh produce.
Amy Stone, ANR Educator, helped the staff and campers plan, plant, and maintain a vegetable garden at the community center. Campers learned sustainable growing practices and harvested vegetables for the center’s food pantry. These experiences were supplemented by nutrition education programming from Suzanne Saggese, SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator, and Rugena Modisett, EFNEP Program Assistant. Each week, campers learned about the health benefits of the produce they were growing, and they made a smoothie with the highlighted fruits and vegetables.
Elliott Lawrence, 4-H Educator, provided lessons on entrepreneurship and provided a mini “Real Money, Real World” simulation. Patrice Powers-Barker, FCS Educator, complemented those activities with lessons on healthy finances- saving and spending money wisely.
All of these lessons were applied to the final event, where campers built their own vegetable stand to sell the produce they harvested at a family celebration. They also made their favorite smoothies with Lucas County’s Blender Bike. Samples were offered to their families.
The collaborative efforts of Lucas County staff provided the campers with real-world skills to live healthier lives and make positive contributions to their community.