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Polo match at 4-H Camp Baiting Hollow

Earlier this year, the Dorothy P. Flint 4H Camp in Baiting Hollow played host to a “Survivor Race,” which was followed the next day by a “Zombie Race.”

On Saturday, it hosted a polo game to raise money for the camp.

At the end of July, it will host the Long Island Country Music Festival. And in September, it will host another Survivor Race and another Zombie Race.

If it seems like the 140-acre children’s camp on the north side of Sound Avenue has increased its visibility this year, that’s not by accident.

“We had not been holding any events here until I become the executive director last June 4 (2012),” said Laura Hunsberger, executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County, which owns the camp.

“That was one of the things the board of directors gave me as a mission, to raise visibility and to raise money.”

The polo event on Saturday, dubbed the Cornell Cup, came about at the suggestion of one of the polo players, Alberto Bengolea, who boards horses at the camp and is also a polo instructor there in the offseason.

The camp has sustained about $100,000 worth of damage to trees on site during Hurricane Sandy and Saturday’s event was intended as a fundraiser to help offset those costs, which were not covered by insurance.

While she doesn’t expect the polo event to cover those costs by itself, she does feel that combined with some of the other events at the camp, the costs can be met.

Ms. Hunsberger said more than 400 tickets were sold to the polo event on Saturday, and 35 local businesses also donated items to be raffled off, with those proceeds going to the camp as well.

The polo match pitted two teams created specially for this event, the 4H Camp Crusaders, and Aliano Realty, although the teams featured seasoned players, some from Argentina, where polo is a major sport, according to match announcer Jerry Napp.

Prior to the match, which Aliano Realty won 9-7. Mr. Napp gave a little history of polo and explained some of the basics of the game for audience members who may not have been familiar with it.

Although the camp is obviously located in Suffolk County, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County was given the land by Dorothy P. Flint, the camp’s original director as well as the former owner of the land. The camp will be 90 years old next year, Ms. Hunsberger said.

The camp offers kids in grades four through 10 educational programs in a variety of fields during the summer, including equestrian programs, cooking, arts and crafts, magic, rocket making and rope climbing.

Next up for the camp, in terms of events, is the Long Island Country Music Festival on July 27 and 28, Ms. Hunsberger said. The event will feature acts like the Defibulators, Six Gun, and Rattlesnake Down, according to its website, countryfestli.com.

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Photo by Barbaraellen Koch: Polo players Lobo Fernandez (left) of Bayside Queens and Chase Schwartz of South Florida.

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