MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

July 13, 2013

Be a Champ Camp goes international

Canadians, Todd Lamb at ag show workshop

WARNER — One of the first things Jenaya Moore said she noticed at Be a Champ Camp was Oklahoma’s 90-degree heat.

She and her 11-year-old brother, Kolton Moore, had come down from Red Deer, Alberta, to participate in Be a Champ Camp, which began Wednesday at Connors State College. Temperature is one of the biggest differences between Red Deer and Warner.

“It’s really humid,” said Jenaya. 14. “It’s generally 10 degrees cooler where I live. It’s midway between Calgary and Edmonton.”

The Moores are the first kids from outside the United States to attend Be a Champ Camp, said State Rep. Jerry McPeak, the camp’s director and founder. The four-day camp, which teaches kids from age 9 to 18 how to work with cattle and sheep, has attracted campers from such places as Florida and Arizona, he said.

The Moores came to the camp after hearing about it from former Champ camper Mike Zamudio, McPeak said. Zamudio, who teaches agriculture in San Simon, Ariz., said he was in Red Deer conducting a cattle clinic.

“He came to one of our 4-H Club events to show us how to do judging on cattle,” Jenaya said. “He suggested us to come to the camp. Our grandparents paid for the flight. We paid for everything else.”

The Moores made friends from across the United States.

Callie McClure, 13, of Mannford said she was Jenaya’s partner.

“I’ve never showed cattle before, so she has helped me,” Callie said.

Jenaya said the camp has been “a great experience.”

She said that, with the exception of the heat, she hasn’t noticed much difference between the way Americans raise cattle and the way Canadians do. Her family raises red angus in Alberta.

“All the basics are the same, but some of the products are different,” she said, adding that the week involves “a lot of physical work.”

“But they give us lots of encouragement,” Kolton said.

Campers got an extra dose of encouragement Friday from Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb.

“Because of what you do, I will be able to eat in the future,” Lamb told the campers during a Friday morning visit. “Take away agriculture and you have no Oklahoma.”

Lamb, who grew up raising cattle near Enid, said working with livestock “lays the foundation and the groundwork for a work ethic.”

Lamb, who had visited the camp last year, wasn’t sheepish about his praise for the camp. Campers returned praise by presenting him not with a Todd Lamb, but a Todd Ram. A college breeding ram, with TODD spray-painted on his sides, was presented to the lieutenant governor after his speech. Lamb does not get to keep the ram.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.

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