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Liberty 4-Hers learn a lot, shoot at ABAC
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Two local 4-H students had a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Ciara Goodmanson, 17, a rising junior at Liberty County High School, and Jordyn James, 16, a rising senior at Bradwell Institute, attended the Natural Resources Conservation Workshop earlier this month at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton.

The workshop focused on the conservation of Georgia’s wildlife, forestry, soil and water resources. Students received instruction from university experts and representatives of natural-resource agencies. Along with nature field trips and outdoor activities, students were given a taste of college life.

“On Monday, we learned about soil and forestry,” Goodmanson said. “Tuesday was about coastal ecology, and Wednesday, we learned how to measure trees. We did archery and shot shotguns. Then, on Thursday, we took a test over everything we learned.”

Goodmanson said she went because Kasey Bozeman, the Liberty County 4-H Agent, shared her experience about going to the workshop.

“She said it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and that she had so much fun,” Goodmanson said. “Students are only allowed to go once because they teach the same skills each year.”

James said the trip as a great experience. He went to the workshop because he enjoys learning about the earth and wanted to learn more about the college.

“We shot shotguns and fished,” he said. “I met a lot of new people. I knew that I would meet new people if I went.”

On the last day, the students took a test. The workshop awarded more than $17,000 in scholarships to those who scored the highest. Unfortunately, neither Liberty County student received a scholarship, but they still enjoyed the workshop.

A highlight for Goodmanson was catching a baby catfish. James said his favorite part was shooting a shotgun and a moment of random dancing.

“Some of us got little speakers and went into the main lobby and started dancing,” he said. “Then others joined in.”

Both students said they keep in touch with their new friends and look forward to seeing them soon at 4-H camp and other events.

Tuition was $150. The local Soil and Water Conservation District sponsored the pair’s trip, allowing them to go for free.

To other 4-H students thinking about attending the workshop next year, James said, “Go! It’s a great experience. You learn a lot of new stuff. You meet a lot of great people. You eat great food. Overall, it’s just a great learning experience, and you might win a scholarship.”

James aspires to be a music teacher and coach basketball, football or soccer. Goodmanson wants to be an anesthesiologist and volunteer for environmental organizations.

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