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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

June 15, 2021

New Leadership Adventure Course Opens at Rock Springs Ranch

Submitted by Anna Ramsey

Rock Springs Ranch debuted a new Leadership Adventure Course during a ribbon cutting celebration surrounded by youth leaders and donors, Thursday, June 3. The Leadership Adventure Course is a team-obstacle course with two levels of high ropes, low elements and a dueling zip line. The course is a leadership and teamwork tool for campers and adult retreat guests.

The total fundraising goal for the course was $285,000. The goal was achieved through both philanthropic gifts and a youth-led fundraising effort, Endorse the Course, for Kansas 4-H clubs. Kansas 4-H donors Lee and Jackie Borck, from Manhattan, contributed the lead gift of $150,000 for the construction of the course.

“Jackie and I look first to youth opportunities like 4-H for our philanthropic giving,” Lee Borck said. “Seeing young people at Rock Springs Ranch and the enthusiasm they have for programs and projects made this decision a no-brainer for us.”

The Borcks were inspired by the resiliency of Kansas 4-H youth over the last year, and $25,000 of their gift was designated as matching funds to double the impact of the youth-led Endorse the Course challenge. The Kansas 4-H Youth Leadership Council led the youth fundraising effort and encouraged all Kansas 4-H clubs to make a gift to reach their collective goal of $25,000 toward the construction of the course.

Kansas 4-H clubs exceeded their goal and contributed $28,475 for a total of more than $53,000 with the matching funds from the Borcks. Kansas 4-H youth will enjoy the new Leadership Adventure Course this summer, 75 years after Rock Springs Ranch was founded. In 1945, Kansas 4-H clubs purchased the land that is now Rock Springs Ranch to be the state 4-H center for Kansas youth.

“It is so cool that we got to be a part of the tradition of youth philanthropy in Kansas 4-H,” Korben Clawson, Kansas 4-H Youth Leadership Council Member, said. “Kansas 4-H clubs around the state pledged their hands to larger service and contributed to the next 75 years of Rock Springs Ranch. This is our legacy for the next generation of Kansas 4-H members.”

The Kansas 4-H Foundation works with businesses, organizations, individuals and families who share a common desire to support a statewide effort of growing our future leaders. The Foundation is the 501(c)(3) fundraising arm for Kansas 4-H and Rock Springs Ranch.