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Children attend nature camp at Hemphill




Campers Pictured are participants in the WildWoods Nature Camp, held at the Hemphill Community Center, (back row, left to right) Hannah Thompson, Kannan Johnson, Colton Riffe, Dakota Welch, Ethan Davis, Cody Hampton, (front row) Taylor Collier, Jayden Sturgill, Alicia Meade, Drew Richardson, Coby Johnson, Dedria Holbrook, Allison Breeding, and Megan Smith.

Campers Pictured are participants in the WildWoods Nature Camp, held at the Hemphill Community Center, (back row, left to right) Hannah Thompson, Kannan Johnson, Colton Riffe, Dakota Welch, Ethan Davis, Cody Hampton, (front row) Taylor Collier, Jayden Sturgill, Alicia Meade, Drew Richardson, Coby Johnson, Dedria Holbrook, Allison Breeding, and Megan Smith.

Last week about 15 children were environmental investigators during the WildWoods Nature Camp held at Hemphill Community Center.

Hannah R. Thompson, 28, of Deep Run, N.C., for the past six years has held a nature camp for children in Letcher County.

Thompson, a daughter of Dean Thompson and Gwen Johnson, grew up in Hemphill and wanted to give back to the community that helped her when she was younger.

Each year the camp has different themes and activities that incorporate nature and embracing the outdoors.

“I’m trying to expose them to things they aren’t normally used to,” said Thompson. “This day in age it’s video games. When I was young I used to roam through the woods.”

The children hike and make crafts during each day of the five-day camp. They also learn about recycling, develop outdoor survivor skills and eat healthy snacks.

“I want to give them the same opportunities I had,” said Thompson. “Maybe if they are exposed to (the outdoors), they will be more familiar.”

Thompson is an assistant county ranger with the North Carolina Forest Service. She has traveled to Idaho, Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma, Montana, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, and North Carolina fighting wildfires and helping out during natural disasters.

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