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

June 15, 2021

Looking to the Next 75 Years

Submitted by Jake Worcester and Wade Weber

Kansas 4-H is excited to be in the midst of 4-H camp once again! Our Rock Springs Ranch team is thrilled to be hosting 4-H youth, volunteers, and professionals from across the state and celebrating 75 years of 4-H camp at Rock Springs Ranch. After the challenges of the last year, the opportunity for youth to come together, learn, exercise independence, find new sparks, and grow as a team has been sorely missed.

Without taking away from the incredible experiences of Camp 2021, we want to take time to talk about Camp 2022 and beyond. For several years the Kansas 4-H family has been working together to develop plans for the future. Continual renewal and evolution is the hallmark of a healthy program, and we’re excited about what the future holds for Kansas 4-H Camp.

For the past two years the Kansas 4-H Camp Taskforce, made up of extension professionals around the state, has met to discuss the new approach to camp. Modern camp standards have changed, and in order to meet the KSRE Administration’s and Kansas 4-H Foundation Trustees’ joint goals of accessibility, consistency, and camper care and safety, an evolved model is necessary. However, what this evolution will allow is actually a return to 4-H roots - a focus on camp being an integral part of a complete 4-H experience for any youth who chooses to participate.

Registration for Camp 2022 will start much earlier than in the past. Starting September 1, 2021, 4-H youth and their families will be able to choose from any camp sessions for which their age of youth is eligible. The options will include 3-night and 6-night “traditional camp” options, family camp, and specialty camps all of various lengths. All 4-H youth aged 8-18 will have camp options, and the traditional counselor-aged youth will also have LEAD and Counselor-in-Training (CIT) programs to choose from that are designed to enhance the incredible Kansas 4-H tradition of teen counselors.

From September 1- October 31, registration for camp will be exclusive to current 4-H members and will all receive a 10% discount on their registration fee. Starting November 1, registration will be opened to all youth. One of our goals is that camp will become an incredible recruiting tool to encourage youth and families to seek a local 4-H experience when returning home.

There has been speculation about cost. The new rates will be inclusive of the entire cost of camp - including transportation from designated bus stop locations around the state, camp-related attire and gear, insurance and health-related expenses, and other associated costs. We realize that families have different abilities to pay and will offer a voluntary pricing structure that provides subsidized options for those families needing some assistance. The pricing tier selected will in no way influence the experience the camper receives.

Enhancing accessibility to Kansas 4-H experiences is a philanthropic priority of the Kansas 4-H Foundation, and the team is hard at work securing funds and committed to building a robust state-wide campership program that will work in collaboration with local campership programs to continue to make camp accessible to all youth. Rates are currently being finalized and will be provided in the near future.

Camp 2022 will bring the next exciting evolution of 75 years of Kansas 4-H camp tradition!