June 13, 2011

Kentucky 4-H Camp is under way, and campers and volunteers are already enjoying the improvements made to each of the four camps in the past year.

Thousands of Kentuckians have attended 4-H camp over the years. More than 8,800 4-H’ers and 1,050 adults attended camp in 2010. In addition, many other 4-H’ers attended one of the 4-H specialty camps, such as aerospace or Cloverbud.

Improvements include construction of the first Cabin of Tomorrow at West Kentucky 4-H Camp, five new cabins at North Central 4-H Camp, two new cabins at J.M. Feltner 4-H Camp and major renovations to two cabins at Lake Cumberland 4-H Camp.  

“All the new cabins will have a different look,” said Donna Fox, 4H Youth development specialist for camping with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. “They will have finished floors as opposed to concrete floors and more windows for better air flow.”

In addition to the new and renovated cabins, the camps received the following improvements:

•    West Kentucky: maintenance shop, sewer project, renovations of Sparks Hall and horse arena and facility

•    North Central: new cabin windows, pool renovations, a high ropes course and two new docks

•    Lake Cumberland: a new boat dock

•    J.M. Feltner: pool renovations, a high ropes course , a stage in the shelter, paddle boats and a dock

The public will have the opportunity to see the camp improvements during each camp’s open house. The dates for each open house are:

•    West Kentucky 4-H Camp, June 20

•    North Central 4-H Camp, June 27

•    Lake Cumberland 4-H Camp, July 11

•    J. M. Feltner 4-H Camp, July 29

The West Kentucky 4-H Camp will begin at 1:30 p.m. CDT. The rest of the open house times are not yet determined.

A $2 million appropriation by the 2008 Kentucky General Assembly made the improvements possible. Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, UK College of Agriculture, R.C. Durr Foundation, local camp improvement committees, Kentucky Horse Council, private individuals and organizations also contributed funds.

Improvements began after the 2009 camping season with replacement of the mattresses and bunk beds in all of the cabins at each camp.

The improvements are just a start to a larger 4-H Camp Improvement Campaign. Many of the camps were constructed in the 1960s with little to no improvements made until now. To replace all of the cabins at each 4-H camp would cost an estimated $14 million. This doesn’t including dining halls, bathhouses and other infrastructure needs. Three of the camps dining halls need expansions, and three camps need new bathhouses.

“I refer to the recent improvements as Phase I. We’re now turning our attention to Phase II,” said Keith Rogers, executive director of the Kentucky 4-H Foundation.

The Kentucky 4-H Foundation has ongoing fundraising efforts for camp renovations. One such effort is through the sale of camp prints. The foundation commissioned John Ward, a national award-winning Kentucky artist, to create a scene from each of the camps. To view the prints or get an order form, visit the 4-H Camp Improvement Campaign Web site at http://www.ca.uky.edu/agcollege/4h/camp/improvement/index.htm .

Individuals wanting more information about the open houses or wishing to donate to a particular camp or improvement project should contact Rogers at 859-257-5961, ext. 250.

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