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4-H’ers Learn about Food and Fitness at Weekend Camp

4-H’ers from 22 parishes attended the LSU AgCenter 4-H Food and Fitness Camp January 24-25 at the Grant Walker 4-H Educational Center near Pollock. This year’s theme was "The Wonderful World of 4-H," borrowing from Walt Disney movies and characters, according to LSU AgCenter nutrition expert Catrinel Stanciu, advisor to the 4-H State Food and Fitness Board.

About 50 youth, ages 10-13, accompanied by teen and adult volunteer leaders, participated in numerous activities conducted by the 2003-2004 4-H State Food and Fitness board members and their advisers.

Projects included hands-on lessons in nutrition, food preparation, food safety and fitness. Lessons were developed by the 4-H State Food and Fitness Board members, under the coordination of faculty advisers.

"Most of the lessons were designed to relate to the LSU AgCenter statewide childhood obesity initiative," Stanciu said, adding, "Participants were introduced to the OrganWise Guys characters, and together learned about health and nutrition while attending a ‘nutrition boot camp.’"

LSU AgCenter extension agent of Rapides Parish Lois Brister, who chaired the weekend event, said about 20 developmentally disabled children from the Evergreen Ministries were the special guests at Food and Fitness Camp.

"That was part of the community service project," Brister noted, explaining that each teen from the Evergreen Ministries participated in lessons about Louisiana commodities, hand-washing and childhood obesity.

LSU AgCenter extension agent of Natchitoches Parish Lorna Atwell, who co-chaired the weekend activities, said the campers interacted with the disabled youngsters and helped them create a window vegetable garden and Popsicle frames. Board members also showed their guests that they can learn basic nutrition principles while playing fun games. OrganWise Guys materials were used for this project.

Children from the Evergreen Ministries also received disposable cameras and stuffed animals from the 4-H Food and Fitness Board Members.

The guest speaker was LSU AgCenter 4-H agent Kay Singleton of St. Helena Parish. Singleton is a registered dietitian and a nutrition specializing agent. Her talk focused on childhood obesity and ways to prevent this epidemic in Louisiana.

"This weekend was intended to be a learning experience for campers and board members, a time when they can learn and share at the same time. I hope this will be an unforgettable experience, too, for everybody who came at Camp Grant Walker this weekend." Stanciu said.

For additional information about 4-H youth programs, visit the LSU AgCenter Web site at and click on the 4-H clover icon or go to


On the Internet: LSU AgCenter: 

Contact: Catrinel Stanciu (225) 578-6924, or 

Contact: Lois Brister (318) 473-6605 or 

Writer: Mark Claesgens (225) 578-2939, or

Last Updated: 12/20/2006 11:03:32 AM

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