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South Dakota Farmers Union District Camp held at Swan Lake Christian Camp in Viborg

VIBORG -- Young people who attended District I and II Farmers Union camp held May 28-30 at Swan Lake Christian Camp have a better understanding of the cooperative philosophy and learned how to better manage their finances and increase their financial literacy knowledge. They came from Douglas, Hutchinson, Aurora, McCook, Davison, Sanborn, and Hughes Counties to experience the district camp and all it had to offer. This year's theme was 'Farmers Union is our name, Cooperation is our game,' and campers had a chance to learn about cooperative business, citizenship, environmental stewardship, leadership and other life skills.

"It's important that young South Dakotans learn to manage their money and work together," said District I and II Education Directors Pat Larson and Denise Mushitz. "Campers had the chance to participate in cooperative games and activities that taught them about setting financial goals and saving their money while having a lot of fun."

Activities at this year's camp included a "Deal or No Deal," a game show that taught campers about Farmers Union and "Cash Cab," which quizzed camper's knowledge about financial literacy. They also worked together on an advertising campaign for their own cooperative businesses.

"We can't stress enough the importance of teaching our next generation about cooperation," District I and II Education Directors Pat Larson and Denise Mushitz said. "We really focus on building future leaders, and this year's camp was a chance for young people to put their skills to the test and improve themselves and their personal lives."

Along with various camp activities, games and singing, each child also took part in a craft activity decorating ceramic piggy banks to promote saving money and financial literacy. Participants at this year's camp were: Austin Bartelt, Kade Bialas, and Madison Zwinger of Dimock; Hannah Braley, Izzy Hohn, Keelie Konfrst, Rylan Leischner, Rachel Mahoney, Erin Sommer, Cole VanZee and Ellie Wiedenbach all from Parkston; Lauren Bruinsma, Abby Dethlefsen and Rachel Gerlach from Stickney; Charlee Byrd, Kathryn Nightingale and Levi Nightingale all of White Lake; Presleigh Eich, Salem; Cassidy Keller, Caleb Nugteren and Joseph Nugteren from Canistota; Kayla Kluth, Mount Vernon; Bayler Larson, Ethan; Megan Linke, Morgan Schmiedt and Nick Snedeker from Woonsocket; and Hannah Williams, Pierre.

District I and II Farmers Union camp was directed by Pat Larson, Woonsocket, and Denise Mushitz, Geddes. The Farmers Union summer interns were Hannah Lily of Aberdeen and Nicole Seible from Brookings. Also helping with the camp were Myles Bialas from Dimock and Jackie Dethlefsen of Stickney.