The mission: Find a series of boxes with tickets inside of it.
The obstacle: Utilize the lessons learned about using a compass and a map.
By the end of the six-hour excursion, the Surry County 4-H Summer Explosion group of 9- to 13-year-olds had a mission accomplished.
For Deavyn Edwards, 13, it was a difficult, but fun task.
“It was a challenge, but I like challenges,” he said, adding that the treasure hunt was his favorite part of the day.
“I enjoyed it. I think it’s useful (to know) if you got lost or you went camping,” he added, referring to learning about using a compass.
A combination of fun and learning is a what makes up Surry County 4-H, which is an educational program for children ages 5-19. The 4-H program is the youth component of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension which aims to help area youth develop life skills.
The treasure hunt activity was part of 4-H Summer Explosion, which is a summer day camp for participants.
“They were learning how to use compasses so they know their bearings, and they were also taught degrees so they know how to get from one point to another,” said Teresa Wilkins, an extension agent for 4-H youth development. She was on site with the kids as they learned how to use the tools necessary to complete their treasure hunt.
“They’ve started learning the basics of using a compass and map so they could complete a treasure hunt based on coordinates they’re given,” she said.
Ranger Josh Hemrick with the Pilot Mountain State Park taught the kids their lesson for the day. He showed them how to use the compass in company with a map. He also taught them about triangulation, which is the process of determining the location of a point by measuring angles to it from known points at either end of a fixed baseline, rather than measuring distances to the point directly.
Chandler Musson, 13, said she knew some of what the group learned during its activity, but the treasure hunt gave her better understanding of mapping skills.
“I learned about quadrant compasses and how to tell elevation on a map,” she said. Many of the skills they learned earlier in the day, came in handy for the treasure hunt.
“We took a 25-foot rope and were given instructions to find four boxes. The boxes had little tickets inside of them,” she said, adding that the rope was used to measure the distance to find the boxes. “It wasn’t too hard as long as no one buried the boxes in the ground.”
“It was a lot about teamwork, we had to work together,” Kelsey Cave, 12, said. “It’s pretty cool.”
“It was kind of difficult,” Karli Bullins, 12, chimed in. But even though she said she liked the challenge, she really enjoys spending time with her friends.
“I’m homeschooled, so in 4-H, I’ve been able to make a lot of friends. Everybody’s really nice,” she said, adding that she would encourage other kids to join 4-H.
“There are different clubs within 4-H in whatever you’re interested in. (4-H) isn’t boring.” Karli said.
Deavyn agreed, adding that learning and having fun at the same time is what has kept him involved with 4-H since last year.
“I’ve learned a lot. There’s never a dull moment in 4-H,” he said. “You learn skills that will help you later on.”
Contact Erin C. Perkins at email@example.com or 719-1952.