"Through the support of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans, Louisiana 4-H will be able to not only extend the opportunity of summer camp to a young person, but also instill an opportunity to gain valuable life skills that are learned through 4-H camping experiences," said Toby Lepley, AgCenter associate vice president for 4-H and youth development.
One child from each of Louisiana's 64 parishes will get to go to 4-H summer camp for free thanks to a new scholarship program funded by a $57,600 donation from the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans sports teams.
The donation will support a total of 256 scholarships in the next four years. One scholarship will be given per parish per year, and the first round of awards will be made in time for the 2019 camp season.
"The New Orleans Saints and Pelicans are pleased to be able to grant students around Louisiana the opportunity to attend 4-H camps," said New Orleans Saints and Pelicans President Dennis Lauscha. "We are committed to developing our youth, and know that these scholarships will help students achieve their educational, leadership and extracurricular goals. We wish students the very best when applying for these scholarships and can't wait to see the positive impact this opportunity makes around our state."
In 2018, more than 4,500 children in fourth through sixth grades went to 4-H camp at the Grant Walker Education Center in Pollock. Nine weeklong camp sessions are offered between May and July of each year.
Campers are placed in one of several educational tracks that provide lessons and activities on topics such as engineering, outdoor safety and fitness. They also have plenty of time for swimming, crafts, games and dances.
The LSU AgCenter administers 4-H programs in Louisiana, including camps.
"Through the support of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans, Louisiana 4-H will be able to not only extend the opportunity of summer camp to a young person, but also instill an opportunity to gain valuable life skills that are learned through 4-H camping experiences," said Toby Lepley, AgCenter associate vice president for 4-H and youth development. "These camping scholarships demonstrate the Saints' and Pelicans' belief in the youth of Louisiana and our state’s future leaders."
"Louisiana 4-H’ers have been experiencing the outdoors in meaningful ways for over 90 years at Camp Grant Walker," said Patrick Tuck, executive director of the Louisiana 4-H Foundation. "Thanks to the Saints and Pelicans, even more of our youth can live these invaluable life experiences for years to come. We are ecstatic about the new opportunities that their generous gift will bring to our youth."
4-H membership is required to attend camp and to receive the scholarships. Information on how to apply is available from parish AgCenter offices.