Farmers Union youth day camp July 23 at Missile Inn to harness "power of cooperation"

Young people will be able to harness "The Power of Cooperation" during the 2010 Haakon/Jackson County Farmers Union Camp scheduled for Friday, July 23, at the Gittings Missile Inn, north of Philip. The camp is open to all children ages six to 13.

The annual day camp will feature hands-on cooperative activities and games educating youth about the cooperative spirit and benefits of working together, along with ways to get involved in their communities and serve others through the "Leading by Serving" themed curriculum. The camp will also teach about rural South Dakota, agriculture, cooperative businesses and Farmers Union in a safe and fun environment.

"By passing the cooperative philosophy on to our next generation, we're investing in the future of South Dakota," said Haakon/Jackson County Education Director Marsha Sumpter. "The young people who attend camp will learn about the cooperative spirit and will gain leadership skills that can last them a lifetime."

In 1945 Farmers Union was a founding member of Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe (CARE), which is now one of the world's largest private humanitarian organizations. The first CARE packages were filled with food given to soldiers fighting in World War II. The program later allowed Americans to send packages to friends and families in Europe who were in danger of starvation.

At this year's Farmers Union camp, young people will create their own CARE package filled with various products from cooperative businesses. Campers will then be challenged to bring the "CARE" package back to someone in their community who they would like to help, visit or just to brighten someone's day. They will also learn about the cooperative businesses which produce the various products, Farmers Union's involvement in CARE, and use their creativity by decorating their CARE bag.

Camp activities will begin at 12:00 noon and continue until 5:30 p.m. Campers are asked to wear sturdy shoes for participation in cooperative games. A snack and a free camp t-shirt will be provided for every youngster attending. A potluck supper and program will follow camp. There will also be a Haakon/Jackson County meeting following supper that evening. There will be a $10.00 registration fee. The camp will be led by Sumpter, Sandee Gittings, and the Farmers Union Summer Staff Interns.

For more information, call Sandee Gittings at 605-859-2265 or visit the education page at www.sdfu.org to download a registration form.