The goals of 4-H camp remain unchanged, namely, to assist youth in learning new skills and activities, and to foster independent living so that youth learn to take care of themselves and make decisions on their own. By participating in 4-H camp, children become part of a community, which provides a sense of belonging. Young people are assigned responsibilities, such as cleaning the cabin or kitchen duty, and those tasks increase their involvement in the shared experience. For many participants, this may be their first experience having a positive relationship with an adult(s) outside of the home.
All four camps have been accredited since 2005 by the American Camp Association, an accreditation that ensures the program uses best practices in its procedures. These best practices include:
• Clean and well maintained facilities
• Rigorous training of staff and volunteers
• Background checks on all staff and volunteers
• An on-site healthcare provider
This year 4-H camps have additional appeal. Camp facilities have undergone a facelift over the winter, resulting in significant improvements funded by $2 million from the Kentucky General Assembly in 2008. The first “Cabin of Tomorrow,” a prototype in West Kentucky that sleeps 28 children and four leaders, is making its debut. The “Cabin of Tomorrow” was built with modern amenities and energy efficiencies that include rain barrels, a tankless, continuous supply of hot water, a heat pump for both heat and air conditioning, south-facing windows, and bathrooms inside the cabin. Additionally, high ropes courses with climbing walls and zip lines are now in use at North Central 4-H Camp in Carlisle and Feltner 4-H Camp in London. (The other camps already have high ropes courses.) The popular water slide is still available at all locations. These upgrades ensure 4-H camps’ continued appeal to youth campers and adult leaders this season and in the future. See you at camp!
For more information, contact the Logan County Cooperative Extension Service.
Source: Donna Fox, Specialist, 4-H camps
Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin.