More than 300 enthusiastic 4-H membersready for”fun summer learning”officially launched 4-Hs state summer program this week with the opening of Older MembersConference (OMC) at West Virginia Universitys Jacksons Mill Center for Lifelong Learning, Weston.

Organized by West Virginia University Extension Service, OMC gives challenging topics to explore and discuss each day.

This weeks topics and speakers are”Native American Practices,”Pat Ryan, teacher,University High School (Monongalia County);”Achieving Your Dreams,”Daniel Curry, superintendent of schools, Wood County;”9-11 and Its Effect on All of Us,”Randall Kocsis and Jay Bolyard, special agents, Federal Bureau of Investigation;”West Virginias Brain Drain,”Stephen Reed, journalist, MetroNews; and”Distribution of the Worlds Wealth,”Rich Fleisher, Extension specialist, WVU Extension Service.

OMC , which attracts 4-H members from throughout West Virginia, is a leadership development conference that began”Making the Best Better”in 1944.

This year, OMC welcomed participants on Sunday, June 23, and will adjourn Saturday, June 29. During the week, celebrations of the national 4-H centennial will include sessions about 4-Hs heritage, a giant birthday cake with 100 candles, and recognition of campers. This years OMC theme is”We GotNext.”

The volunteer camp director is Robert Richardson, an attorney who practices in Lewisburg. Richardson, a former WVU Mountaineer, was WVU s first Truman Scholar. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia.

The next two opportunities for 4-H state camp experiences will begin July 7 and July 14, when Alpha I and Alpha II, respectively, open at WVU Jacksons Mill. Volunteer directors for Alpha are Shawn Morgan, a federal prosecutor; Tim Morgan, a human resources officer; and Frank Mams, a dentist.

Eligibility for Alpha opens for those youths who are entering the sixth grade in the fall. Campers can be no older than 21 years old.

For more information about 4-H, OMC or Alpha, call any county office of the WVU Extension Service, or contact Jeffrey Orndorff, Extension specialist, in Morgantown at (304) 293-2694 or by e-mail ( ).