OVB Boot Camp brings financial fun to 4-H

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Campers learn how to budget with candy.

Summer and 4-H camp go together like peanut butter and jelly. Ohio Valley Bank was pleased to once again teach a class at Mason County 4-H Camp this year. The class, OVB Boot Camp, was offered at both older and younger camps.

OVB Boot Camp has become a tradition in Mason County 4-H, and several campers returned to enjoy this year’s class. In addition, several new campers participated as well. In total, 21 campers completed the program.

“I really enjoy seeing familiar faces return and choose to take our OVB Boot Camp class each year. It’s nice to see their progress. It’s especially enjoyable when a camper moves up from younger to older camp and continues to take the class. We really get to know many of these kids and it is so much fun seeing them learn and grow,” Hope Roush, OVB financial literacy leader, said. “I also enjoy welcoming new campers into the OVB Boot Camp family. I really like seeing the veteran campers take an active role in helping the first-timers because it again shows me how much they’ve learned.”

OVB Boot Camp covered a variety of financial topics at both camps. Lessons were presented in a fun, interactive format. For example, students had to make financial decisions based on a candy budget. Additional lessons and games included the following:

  1. Basic account types
  2. Basic bank paperwork, including check writing as well deposits/withdrawals
  3. Interest
  4. Debit vs. Credit
  5. Budgeting

Along with each daily lesson, campers participated in a game where they had to juggle a mock portfolio of their bank accounts. Each day they drew a Real Life Card, which either required them to pay a bill or provided them with unexpected cash. Campers also had an opportunity during this time to make deposits and withdrawals from their accounts. In addition, campers could choose to give in to their sweet tooth temptation and spend their money on snacks or continue to save. This year’s older camp portfolio winner was Olivia Stanley, while Audrey Reynolds took top honors at younger camp.

On the final day of both camps all accounts were liquidated. Campers had the opportunity to use their mock money to bid on real prizes at the annual OVB Boot Camp auction. Everyone was able to purchase at least one fun item. Prizes included a range of snacks, toys, games, movies and gift cards. Campers were excited to take home all of their purchased prizes.

“The auction is really fun for our campers, but more importantly it’s where they really see the importance of saving money and making wise budget choices. They quickly learn that the kids who practiced those skills have the advantage as they are able to provide the highest bids for the more popular prizes. It’s another way to really show them the value of money in a semi-real world setting,” Roush said.

Both older and younger campers did a great job this year. Campers showed how much they learned every day with banking trivia and other activities. Camper Molly Fisher has taken the OVB Boot Camp class many times and said that she always learns something new.

“In OVB Boot Camp I learned about investing in the stock market, money market accounts, certificate of deposits and much more. The valuable knowledge I have gained in this class will help me with my future endeavors. This class was very beneficial to me,” she added.

Camper Lyndsey Ward, like Fisher, is another camper who has participated in OVB Boot Camp multiple times. As this was Ward’s first time in older camp, she said she was able to learn even more money management skills.

“I also learned about credit and debit cards. This is my favorite class and I learned the most here,” she added.

Camper Riley Oliver described OVB Boot Camp as a good place to learn the importance of budgeting.

“I learned how to control my money. I learned how to work with banks on loans and other things. I also learned about how interest works with credit cards,” he said.

Camper Kate Henderson agreed that learning about budgeting was important.

“In OVB Boot Camp I learned how to manage my money. I learned the different types of accounts you can have and the rewards and consequences of each. I also learned how to write a check and how to do deposit and withdrawal slips,” she said.

Camper Aiden Wallis said the budgeting game was fun because it made him appreciate his parents.

“I had to think about what my parents spend and pay each month,” he said. “I also learned how to save money and how you need to pay for insurance.”

Credit vs. Debit was an interesting lesson for Camper Cara Russell.

“I’ve learned a lot in OVB Boot Camp. One thing I learned was the difference between debit and credit cards. I also learned some of the downfalls you can encounter with a credit card. This class was really fun and I’m ready to come back again next year,” Russell said.

OVB Boot Camp was created in 2005. To schedule OVB Boot Camp or for more information on the bank’s other financial education programs, contact Roush at 740-578-3452 or e-mail hdroush@ovbc.com.

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Soak up summer fun with local events

American flag with fireworks. Vector

Summer has unofficially arrived and is in full-swing with a variety of local events for all ages. Winter might have felt long and cold, but the warm, sunshiny days are here at last. While many folks take a summer vacation, there are plenty of community events to look forward to as well.

From family fun to fireworks and concerts, summer 2019 is shaping up to be a great one. With so many great activities on tap, it is certainly possible to soak up summer fun while not breaking the bank as the majority of events are either low-cost or free.

This weekend already boasts an action-packed schedule. In Point Pleasant, W.Va., Bikes, BBQ, & Bluegrass will take place Saturday, June 8. The event features bicycle tour rides of varying distances that traverse roads in Point Pleasant and Mason County as well as a BBQ competition. The BBQ competition will begin at noon on Main Street. Prize money will be awarded to winners. For more information on how to register for the competition, check out www.bikepointpleasant.org. In addition, bluegrass music will take center stage at the Point Pleasant Riverfront Park at 7 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will take place at the Point Pleasant Junior Senior High School Auditorium. For more information and to sign up for the bike rides, visit www.tristateracer.com.

Also taking place in Point Pleasant this weekend is the return of the Mayor’s Night Out concert series. The first concert is set for 8 p.m. Friday, June 7 at Riverfront Park. Concerts will take place every Friday through Aug. 30 at 8 p.m., with the exception of Friday, July 5 and Friday, Aug. 9. The concert line-up will feature various music styles, including rock, blues, country, folk, gospel, and current hits.

In Gallipolis, Ohio, the Cruise In & Car Show is set for Saturday, June 8 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The event will take place at SFS Truck Sales, located at 2150 Eastern Ave. The show will feature a variety of classic cars on display.

Also in Gallipolis, the Hot Summer Nights concert series already kicked off and will continue through September. Concerts take place 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Pavilion, located on the grounds of the French Art Colony. The gates will open at 6 p.m. Admission is $5 per person or free to French Art Colony members. For a full schedule of performances, call 740-446-3834 or visit http://www.frenchartcolony.org.

In Huntington, W.Va., the Pullman Square Summer Concert Series provides another opportunity to relax with some fun tunes. The first concerts are held on the front lawn of Pullman. The first concert kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. Additional concerts are set for June 13, June 20, June 27, July 11, July 18, July 25, Aug. 1, Aug. 8, Aug. 15, Aug. 22 and Aug. 29. All concerts are free and guests are encouraged to bring their own blankets and camp chairs.

Saturday KidsArt will also take place in Huntington on Saturday, June 8 from 1-3 p.m. at the Huntington Museum of Art. The event is free. Younger children must be accompanied by a guardian. For more information, call 304-529-2701.

In Pomeroy, Ohio, the 10th anniversary event of the Kickin’ Summer Bash will take place June 14-15 at the Levee. The event will feature a variety of activities and entertainment, including a Cruise in Car Show on Friday, June 14. Rockin’ Reggie music also will take place from 4-7 p.m. On Saturday, June 15 many kids’ activities are scheduled, including face painting, a treasure hunt and a scavenger hunt. There will be bounce houses as well. All of the kids’ activities are free. For more information, check out the Kickin’ Summer Bash Facebook page.

On June 28-29, history will come to life with Liberty Days. The event will take place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Point Pleasant’s Fort Randolph, located within Krodel Park. Typically, Fort Randolph events showcase period demonstrations featuring historical reenactors.

July will kick off in patriotic fashion with several Independence Day events. The 54th Annual Gallipolis River Recreation Festival will take place July 3-4 at the City Park.  On Wednesday, July 3 the opening ceremony is set for noon, however gospel music and kids’ inflatables open at 10 a.m. KidZone Activities will also take place from 2-6 p.m. Thursday’s July 4 schedule kicks off with the Baby Tot Sparkler Contest as well as the Rubber Ducky Race on the Riverfront at 9 a.m. The 66th Annual Gallipolis Rotary Mile will take place at 11:30 a.m. with the parade to follow at noon. Fireworks will wrap up festivities at 10 p.m.

In Point Pleasant, the Inaugural Liberty Fest will celebrate Independence Day. The event will feature a variety of activities, including a patriotic parade at 5:30 p.m. on Main St. Activities continue on Main St. and Riverfront Park from 6-10 p.m., with fireworks set to close out the evening. Mason and New Haven, W.Va. have Independence Day entertainment on tap as well, including the Fourth of July Parade, which is slated for 11 a.m. in New Haven.

Jackson, Ohio’s Freedom Festival is once again on tap for Independence Day. While a full schedule of events wasn’t provided as of press time, the event’s 23rd Annual Jackson County Freedom Festival 5K Run and Walk is now open for registration at http://www.tristateracer.com. The event will take place 9 a.m. at Manpower Park.

For more information regarding your community’s Fourth of July events, please contact your local chamber or council.

You won’t want to miss Rhythm on the River, slated for July 5, 12 and 19 in Pomeroy. The event is celebrating its 20th year and will once again showcase free live music at the Riverfront. The Big Bend Blues Bash also will take place in Pomeroy July 26-27. A full schedule of performers will be released later this summer.

The 2nd 5K Ruck Walk/Run, sponsored by OVB, will take place 9 a.m. Saturday, July 6 at the Haskins Park Shelter. Online registration is encouraged and can be done via runsignup.com/Race/OH/Gallipolis/TheOhioValleyBank5KRuckWalk. Same day registration will take place at 8 a.m. prior to the race. Participants are encouraged to bring a ruck sack to commemorate soldiers who carry a physical or emotional burden daily. Event proceeds will benefit local VA clinics.

Other ways to seek out summer fun locally includes visiting area museums, parks and libraries. The Bossard Memorial Library in Gallipolis, for example, boasts a jam-packed schedule of children’s programs this summer. The library also hosts many events for adults. Continue to check with your local chamber our tourism center to see if any other events are taking place in your community.

In addition to the various festivals, many of our area’s fairs are scheduled to take place this summer. The fairs are a great way to enjoy music and rides as well as support our area 4-H youth. Check back soon for more information on upcoming area fairs.

Have a safe and happy summer!