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Judy Herbert, one of the speakers at the Williamson County Junior Gardener Camp at Stoney Creek Farm, explains to campers the benefits of homegrown tomatoes.

Considering there was a forecast for rain throughout a week of meeting, the theme selected for the 2021 Williamson County Junior Gardener Camp was perhaps most appropriate.

“Our theme this year is ‘water water everywhere,’ so we’ll look at how water plays a role in gardening, in nature and the overall environment,” Patti Dial, organizer of this year’s JGC, said a few days before the June 7-11 camp got underway.

As it turns out, the rains generally stayed away each day of the camp, which is jointly sponsored by the Williamson County Master Gardeners Association and the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension. Some 60 kids ages 6-12 attend the camp each year, where they learn about horticulture, environmental stewardship and giving back to the community.

“I think it’s important because it gives the children a love of nature,” said Dial, who had volunteered at the camp since she was first certified as a Master Gardener in 2014 and is in her first year as camp director. “I think it gives them a learning of stewardship and how their environment impacts them and how they can impact the environment. They learn in interactive ways how to get this education besides reading it in a book. They can touch it; they can feel it.

“And it gives them a way to meet new people that they may not know from their neighborhood or their school. We’re all-inclusive, so they’re meeting people from all over the city and even other states.” – John McBryde