Record donation generates buzz at Ohio FFA Camp

By: Hannah Thompson

On the afternoon of the final day of this year’s opening session of Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum, Benjamin Nething found himself in a strange predicament.

benhaircut“The top of my head was shaved, but the sides hadn’t been touched. I had this half-shaved haircut, and it looked like I had mange,” Nething said.

Was it a mysterious disease? A trip to the barber gone wrong? A fight with a lawnmower?

The story begins at the beginning of the week, as campers began to participate in FFA Camp’s campaign to donate to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Each session of campers is encouraged to make a donation by purchasing a rubber duck for $1. Buying a duck gives campers the ability to treat a state officer or camp staff with a pie in the face.

State Officers took pies to the face.

“Throughout the week, we’ll issue challenges to encourage donations,” Nething said. “For example, we’ll make an announcement at lunch that if we raise another $200 by the end of the day, we’ll pie a state officer the next morning, or we’ll do something else equally embarrassing.”

Prior to this year’s first camp session, $850 was the record donation raised by one week of campers. By the last full day of camp, that previous record had already been broken.

Following a suggestion from camp staff, past state officers Nething and Aaron Miller along with Paint Valley High School FFA Advisor John Peters made a bargain with campers: if they donated over $1,000, the trio would have their heads shaved in front of all of FFA Camp.

“I honestly didn’t think they were going to make it when I said yes,” Nething said. “Two hours later, they had raised over $1,200.”

Campers bought over 1,200 rubber ducks, donating a total of $1226 to Nationwide Children’s Hospital and setting a new record for the highest amount raised in a single session of camp.

Ben gets a haircut from a lucky camper.

Complications arose when the lucky camper began to complete the task of designing Nething, Miller and Peters’ new hairstyles. It seems that a proper pair of clippers was nowhere to be found at camp, leaving the appointed barber to operate with only a pair of beard trimmers.

“The whole camp is there watching as the camper starts shaving my hair. It was not good…eventually, the trimmers just died,” Nething said. “Everyone was laughing at me and I refused to look at it. For six hours I had that half-shaved haircut.”

Paint Valley High School FFA Members

Thankfully, someone was able to get their hands on a real set of clippers in time to have Nething, Miller and Peters sporting their new styles at the evening dance.



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