May 5, 2000 | By: Mark Eclov

Thousands of Kentucky youngsters will include a 4-H camp experience as a part of this upcoming summer's vacation memories.

While some new twists have been added to camp activities, the moms and dads of this new generation of campers would still recognize the setting and the basic goals of the 4-H camping experience that include learning to appreciate the natural environment, making new friends and learning new lifetime hobbies.

"The 4-H camping experience emphasizes personal development," said Mark Morgan, Extension 4-H Youth Development Associate with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. "It is truly a community setting in miniature,"

The camps are located near the communities of Carlisle, Rush, London, Jabez and Dawson Springs. They range in size from 300 to 1,500 acres and all have modern facilities including cabins, dining halls, swimming pools, and lakes for canoeing and fishing.

4-H Camp provides young people with a chance to learn lifetime hobbies. The activities vary from camp-to-camp and many are taught by adult volunteer leaders who bring a wide array of skills and talents to camp.

Some recent additions to some camps include bird blinds with one-way glass viewing areas and feeder stations to attract a large variety of feathered friends.

Three camps have added a low-elements challenge course. It is based on a a series of obstacles in which the goal is to get an entire group of 4-Her's through to the objective together.

"It requires cooperation and problem solving skills and two of the camps now have staff specifically trained to teach this activity, " noted Morgan.

More than 3,000 volunteers help direct campers. Each camp is also staffed with an emergency medical technician, certified lifeguards and instructors for nature and recreation.

If you haven't signed up yet, there may still be some camp openings in your county.

"Sign-up times vary widely across the state," added Morgan. "Some camp roles have been filled for weeks and other counties are just beginning the sign-up process, so it is important to check with your local county Extension 4-H agent to find out about available slots and camp activity details."

Costs of the five-day residential camps vary from $72 to $100 per person and scholarships are offered in many counties. The costs include transportation to and from the camp, three meals and two snacks a day and four nights of overnight lodging.

"All of Kentucky's 4-H camps participate in the federally-funded Summer Food Service program, operating under guidelines similar to public school lunch programs," said Morgan.

Free meal service is based on family size and income. For a family of one, the base yearly income is $15,244. The yearly income base increases $5,217 for each additional family member.

Contact your local county Extension office for additional information on day and residential 4-H experiences offered in your area.


Mark Morgan (859) 257-5961