4-H Summer Day Camps: Providing camp magic

Summertime not only brings warmth, but also an excitement as everyone slows down and prepares for what the next school year will bring. Summertime also provides the perfect setting to reach youth with fun and educational programming as their parents and guardians continue to work. When reflecting on summer camps, many associate memories with the camp magic experienced through overnight camps. Can camp magic take place during day camps? This is a question that Levy County 4-H strived to answer and prove as “Yes!” this summer.

Levy County 4-H offers 7 weeks of themed, educational days camps each year for ages 5 to 13. This year, faculty and staff at UF/IFAS Extension Levy County asked themselves, what makes camp magic? Dr. Barry Garst from Clemson University shared in a workshop that campers experience “magic” through 6 different areas:

  • Escape
  • Duration
  • Sustained relationships
  • Novelty
  • Self-discovery
  • Cultural elements

Keeping these 6 areas in mind, Levy County 4-H offered 7 day camps that would introduce campers to novel experiences while incorporating the other 5 areas of  camp “magic”. Themes included 4-H shooting sports, all about animals, taste of FL cooking, lab coat, bug camp, healthy living and fishing/marine biology. It became evident that many of these youth truly felt that these weeks were an escape to discover themselves and what interests them. Maybe even discovering what didn’t interest them, which is true self-discovery. Campers also left these  4-H day camps with new friends, allowing each campers sense of belonging to grow which is a paramount part of 4-H.

Looking to next year, faculty and staff the the Levy County 4-H office plan to be intentional with structure of our day camps to ensure that camp magic can be found within our 4-H day camps!

Visit https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/levy/4-h/ to learn more about Levy County 4-H!


Posted: August 11, 2023


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