Local NBA Star Sends Seven Kids to N.C. 4-H Camp
Atlanta Hawks shooting guard and Bertie County, North Carolina, native Kent Bazemore recently treated seven first-time summer campers to the N.C. 4-H camp that helped shape his own childhood experiences.
Bazemore, a Lefty Driesell National Defensive Player of the Year Award recipient out of Old Dominion University, grew up attending 4-H programs in Bertie County and at the Eastern N.C. 4-H Center in Columbia, North Carolina. Believing that more children should share in the 4-H camp experience, he wanted to pass along the opportunity to youngsters currently attending his childhood school, West Bertie Elementary.
“4-H camp exposes young people to unique experiences that build confidence, curiosity and responsibility,” said Bazemore. “Going to 4-H camp as a fifth grader opened my eyes and helped me grow as a person. I’m excited to pay it forward and open doors for kids in my home county — their journeys are just beginning.”
The ARMS Foundation, Bazemore’s personal charitable organization, offered camp scholarships to students winning a school-wide essay competition. The winners spent the week of August 5 attending camp alongside Guy Holley, a county 4-H agent with N.C. Cooperative Extension, which coordinates and administers 4-H programming.
“4-H camp truly allows kids to begin the process of self-discovery; the kids’ minds are expanded in so many ways,” said Holley. “4-H campers walk away with new friendships, lifelong memories and a better understanding of life skills like teamwork and leadership.”
Bertie County camper and essay competition winner Raven Jones, 11, believes that 4-H camp is a special place. “[Camp] makes you feel supported,” she said. “I never thought I would have made so many new friends at one time. This is home away from home.”
In addition to their camp scholarships, the children received luggage and camp essentials courtesy of the Arms Foundation, along with a welcome dinner where Bazemore personally recorded a message of encouragement for the first-time campers.
NC Cooperative Extension is hard at work in communities across North Carolina.