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Life Lessons Offered At Summer Camp
By Jamie Vickers
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Be A Champ camp comes to Mississippi this summer to teach 4-H and FFA students how to be winners in cattle and sheep showing, as well as how to be winners in life.
Mississippi State University's new AgriCenter will host the camp on June 18 through 20 for students age 9 and up. In the past 15 years, the camp was only available in Oklahoma and Louisiana.
"We are very lucky to have this camp available within the state," said Kipp Brown, livestock agent with the MSU Extension Service. "And the camp is at the same level and quality as the camps offered in Oklahoma, where it originated."
In its 15-year history, the Be A Champ camp has trained more than 7,500 students from 27 states. The participants learn basic and advanced showmanship, clipping, grooming and feeding for cattle and sheep.
Former participants of the Be A Champ camp have been competitive on the national level when showing their animals. They also develop leadership skills.
"While the youth learn how to win when showing livestock, they also learn how to win in life," Brown said. "The camp teaches life skills to the kids."
Brown said the instructors are carefully chosen for this camp because in addition to livestock showing knowledge and skills, they have to have enthusiasm to teach the students.
"The teachers are motivational, and it is obvious that they are there for the kids," Brown said. "The teachers use discipline and love at the same time."
The participants are split into groups according to their level of experience. They are put into groups where they are challenged but not overwhelmed. Each participant also learns teamwork at the camp because they are assigned a partner as soon as they arrive.
"The kids put their heart and soul into the camp," said Jerry McPeak, founder of Be A Champ camp. "It's amazing how much they can accomplish in just one weekend."
Sheep and cattle are a way to get students to approach attitudes. According to McPeak, winning is an attitude; it is the way you wake up in the morning, and how you handle things.
"We want the kids to go home believing they can succeed," McPeak said. "If we do all we need to do for ourselves, winning at shows takes care of itself. Winning just happens when you do the things necessary to be successful."
For more information call Kipp Brown at (662) 283-5304, or contact your local Extension office.
Released: May 10, 1999
Contact: Kipp Brown, (662) 283-5304