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4-H youth at campfire

4-H Summer Camp: A Time for Youth to Grow

The Benefits of 4-H Summer Camp

There is nothing that compares to the life-skill building and memory-making experiences associated with attending 4-H summer camp. According to a study by the American Camp Association (National Collaboration for Youth, 2011), “children who participated in a camp experience… reported significant growth in positive identity, social skills, physical and thinking skills, and positive values. The overall results suggest that children who participate at summer camp become more confident, experience increased self-esteem, develop more social skills that help in making new friends, grow more independent and show more leadership qualities, become more adventurous and willing to try new things.”

The Need to Unplug

Now more than ever kids need an environment in which they can unplug and engage in real-world and real-time experiences. Most research on the subject reports that children ages 8-18 spend from 6 to 9 hours per day engaged in some form of technology or screen time. Psychologists admit that we really do not understand the long-term impact this may be having on a generation of youth. What they do know is that for healthy human development to occur, “children must experience real-life peer friendships and positive relationships with adults. They must overcome challenges and obstacles in the real world, learn from mistakes, and reflect on the adult they hope to become.” (Price-Mitchell, 2012) This is precisely the type of PYD environment that 4-H supports and that 4-H summer camp can provide.

Life-Skills, Friendships and Fun

The 4-H Summer Camp program involves participants in outdoor recreation and positive youth development activities from the time they wake up until the time they go to bed at night. Cabin group living encourages communication skills and teamwork, outdoor education builds confidence and an awareness of the natural world, elective classes offer opportunities to learn new skills, and of course there is plenty of time for FUN! Activities include kayaking, swimming, archery, scavenger hunt, skits, mock legislature, marshmallow wars, campfires, STEM, fishing, environmental education, and more.

There is still a month left to register for our Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Lake County 4-H Camp Cloverleaf overnight camping experience! The cost to attend is $250.00 but there is a discount of $33.00 for those who qualify for free or reduced lunch and SOE money can be applied as well.   This year we will offer transportation to camp on Monday and return on Friday for up to 10 campers on a first-come, first-served basis. This should help overcome the barrier of the distance to camp. Parents will be able to drop off and pick up at the Extension Office. Download the camp packet from our website and get your $50.00 deposit in today!  4-H Camp Registration