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Connections After 5: September Meeting a Success

Millstone 4-H Camp where Connections After 5 was held Thursday.
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Pierce.

ELLERBE – The grounds of Millstone 4-H Camp were abuzz Thursday night for the latest Richmond County Chamber of Commerce’s “Connections After 5” event.  

Dozens of local business leaders were in attendance for this event, which is a part of an after-hours networking series organized by the Chamber of Commerce.

The event began with a casual social hour on the grand porch of the State Employees’ Credit Union 4-H Learning Center.  During this time, attendees capitalized on the opportunity to meet and mingle with owners and employees of local businesses, and create the foundations for personal and professional relationships.  The setting sun and heavy hors d’oeuvres from Rick’s Catering were the perfect touches to this portion of the event. 

At the conclusion of the networking hour, guests were brought inside the Learning Center’s Cole Foundation Auditorium, where they heard more about the event’s sponsors, Carolina Farm Credit and Millstone 4-H Camp. 

Chuck Cobb, Board Chairman for the Chamber, was the first presenter of the evening.  He provided all attendees with a warm welcome speech, and spoke highly of the opportunities the Connections After 5 events provide. 

“It’s a great networking and fellowship opportunity,” Cobb declared. “It’s also a great way to promote our businesses amongst ourselves.”

Seth Allen, Membership Director for the Richmond Country Chamber of Commerce, spoke next.  He graciously thanked Carolina Farm Credit and Millstone for hosting this event for the second year in a row, describing the camp as, “as awesome place that has grown so much over the years.”

Event sponsor, Carolina Farm Credit was next to the podium.  The Ellerbe-based business was represented by speaker Jake Vuncannon, a loan officer at the Farm Credit, who provided guests with an overview of their services.  Specializing in agricultural lending, Vuncannon explained that Carolina Farm Credit offers services such as farm and poultry loans.  Vuncannon was also excited to share that as of recently, the Farm Credit now offers home loans. 


The final speaker of the night was Millstone’s Center Camp Director, Keith Russell.  Russell, who has been working at the camp since 2014, shared a brief history of the camp, explaining how it was started in 1939, used as an resting location for soldiers during World War II, and has progressively expanded into the renowned camp it is today. 

Primarily, Camp Millstone is a summer camp that serves approximately 800 children each summer.

 “We do a lot of cool activities here,” Keith explained.  “We do the zip lines, the canoeing, kayaking, arts and crafts, and basketball, and fishing.” 

Russell went on to express that although these are fun and interesting activities, they are not the true goals of the facility’s summer camps.  From the staff’s perspective, “to gain self-confidence, develop communication skills, and to learn how to work as a team, those are the true goals.”

Russell and Program Director Erehn Frye concluded the evening by taking attendees on a walking tour of the grounds.  Guests were able to explore a small portion of the camp’s 320 –acre site, and saw some of its unique features such as their natural waterfall, top notch cabins, and recreation hall.

The next Connections After 5 Event will be hosted by FirstHealth Richmond Memorial on Thursday, November 16, 2017.  Please see the Chamber’s website, richmondcountychamber.com, or their social media outlets for more information on how you can attend this event. 

If you are interested in learning more about the services and opportunities available from Millstone 4-H Camp or Carolina Farm Credit, we encourage you to go to their websites, www.millstone4hcamp.com and www.carolinafarmcredit.com.

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