PHOTO: Courtesy of Kentucky 4-H
Kentucky 4-H and the Kentucky 4-H Foundation recently kicked off the second phase of their camp improvement campaign.
To jump-start the campaign, Farm Credit Mid-America gave the 4-H Foundation $50,000 and will match up to another $25,000 if the foundation raises the matching funds by Dec. 31. Farm Credit is helping the foundation reach their matching goal by sending out information to their clients about their fundraising effort.
“Farm Credit has told us for the past couple of years that they wanted to be a significant part of helping us to renovate the facilities at our state’s 4-H camps, and with this commitment they’re doing it,” said Keith Rogers, executive director of the Kentucky 4-H Foundation. “Because of their commitment, we feel very comfortable in launching the four-year Phase II of the campaign for our rebuilding program.”
The focus of the second phase of the campaign is to construct storm-ready cabins at each of the state’s four, 4-H camps. Each year, the campaign will focus on one camp. The first cabin will be built at J. M. Feltner 4-H Camp in London. The new cabin will have 48 beds, a bathroom and climate control. Its basement will serve as a multi-use area for classroom instruction and as a storm shelter capable of housing the full capacity of the camp if inclement weather strikes.
“We are always concerned about camper safety, so it’s very exciting to be able to provide a space that will accommodate all the campers, agents and volunteers in the event of inclement weather,” said Donna Fox, 4-H youth development specialist for camping. “Our goal is to have a cabin like this at every camp.”
Fox said the goal is for construction on the Feltner cabin to begin in February, and the cabin should be ready for campers by the start of the 2014 camping season.
In an effort to reach the $25,000 fundraising goal, the Kentucky 4-H Foundation is sending out fundraising information to 4-H supporters in the 32-county area Feltner 4-H Camp serves.
The camp improvement campaign began as a way to rebuild or replace the outdated facilities at the four camps. Most of the camps’ facilities were constructed in the 1960s and have had few updates since.
The camps continue to serve and provide opportunities for many of the state’s youth. More than 8,600 4-H’ers and 1,100 volunteers and 4-H agents attended summer camp in 2012. In addition, many other 4-H’ers attended one of the 4-H specialty camps, such as environmental or aerospace.
The first phase of the 4-H Camp Improvement Campaign included a $2 million appropriation from the 2008 Kentucky General Assembly. Major improvements in Phase I included construction of the Cabin of Tomorrow at West Kentucky 4-H Camp, five new cabins at North Central 4-H Camp, two new cabins at Feltner and major renovations to two cabins at Lake Cumberland 4-H Camp.
The ultimate goal of the campaign is to replace or update all of the outdated facilities to improve camper experience and safety. Fundraising will continue until all the updates are accomplished. Individuals can donate to the campaign or a specific project through the Kentucky 4-H Foundation online at http://www.kentucky4hfoundation.org or by contacting Rogers at 270-735-6130.
Kentucky 4-H camps are accredited by the American Camp Association.
Donna Fox, 859-257-5961, ext. 80994; Keith Rogers, 270-735-6130