Local 4-H camps still avilable for summer fun, activities

Each summer, thousands of kids from across the state attend one of many camps coordinated by Ohio State University Extension, which are offered to all youth, not just 4-H members. Most Ohio 4-H Camping programs focus on developing knowledge and skills related to: outdoor education, creative arts, citizenship, recreational activities, singing, and other special activities that have immense appeal to young people.

Here in Washington County, there are four 4-H camps that provide the opportunity to develop this knowledge and skill set, for all area youth, not just 4-H members.

Youth who have completed third, fourth, fifth or sixth grades can attend Junior 4-H Camp July 9 through 13. And finally Senior 4-H Camp, for youth who have completed the sixth, seventh, eighth or ninth grades, will be July 23 through 27. All Washington County 4-H camps are held at Hervida 4-H Camp near Waterford. Hervida has a swimming pool, girls/boys cabins, modern restrooms, many activity areas and hiking trails.

Organized camping is more than mosquito bites and soggy tennis shoes. It is an important “learning laboratory” where children can and do develop many life skills. The Ohio 4-H program defines organized camping as cooperative group living in a natural environment which focuses on the individual’s social, spiritual, mental, and physical development. Important life skills learned at camp include: responsibility, decision making, cooperation, leadership, and increased self-esteem. The development of these skills result from living with carefully selected and trained adult staff members and teenage camp counselors who teach by the way they relate to each other and the campers, solve problems, and care for materials and equipment.

Another aspect that encourages learning and reinforcing the development of these life skills is the context of “camp”–simply living in a cabin with a group of kids of the same age, laughing together, working together, and sharing experiences unique to the camp environment.

Activities at the camps include nature classes, crafts, campfire, recreation, swimming, and group living.

For more information about the 4-H camping program or enrollment, contact the Washington County Ohio State University Extension office at 740-376-7431, or download a registration form from http://go.osu.edu/4-H-Camp

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