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Jacob Smith, a Camp Ground Elementary School student, examines a jar of honey.

More than 600 students from Laurel County and East Bernstadt schools spent last week in 4-H Environmental Camp learning about bees, fishing, recycling, wood and much more.

Educators from different departments at the University of Kentucky were on hand.

“The students rotate through the different six or seven stations,” said Kim Whitson, 4-H & Youth Development agent for the Laurel County Extension Service. “They spend about 40 to 45 minutes at each station while the presenters talk about their different fields of expertise. It’s kind of an outdoor activity for them.”

Educators from Kentucky Fish and Wildlife taught the students basic fishing techniques and about aquatic life.

“The kids are actually getting to fish this year,” Whitson said.

Members of the  Southeastern Beekeepers organization explained to the students what a beekeeper does, and detailed the life of a honeybee.

The University of Kentucky Department of Forestry’s Terry Conners taught a program called “Wood Magic.” He explained the different strengths in wood. Hickory is good for making handles for axes and hammers because it is the strongest, he said.

Amanda Wilson, Laurel County Pride liaison, taught the students how to recycle.

The UK Division of Forestry also taught a fire-wise program. Candie Mitchell, a forest ranger from Clay County, explained the different kinds of gear a firefighter has to wear and taught the students about fire safety. The UK Department of Air Quality taught a program about stored energy.

Whitson said the students loved the camp; it was in high demand.

“We’ve had about 650 students from fourth grade through high school come through the camp during a four-day period,” Whitson said. “This is our fourth year now.”

Staff writer Carol Mills can be reached at cmills@sentinel-echo.com.

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