- Author: Nicole Marshall
After a two-year pandemic hiatus, we are excited to bring back our California 4-H Camping Conference! Every two years, camp planning adults and teens come together for a weekend of networking, learning, and growth. This year, the conference will be held March 25-27, 2022 at Sly Park Environmental Educational Center.
The 4-H Camping Conference brings those passionate about camp together for learning opportunities. Learn from educational workshops and guest speakers. There is also plenty of informal time to network, connect and learn from other camp loving adults and teens.
Why you should attend
If you are a residential or day camp staff, this conference will help you prepare to host a safe camp during COVID-19. Add to your list of ice breakers and activities; learn more about fostering a safe and inclusive camp culture; and experience first-hand the Covid safety measures put in place for a safe camp experience.
We hope that the recent announcement suspending 4-H indoor events will be lifted by the conference. Please note that many conference workshops will take place outdoors, and should the need arise, we will accommodate all workshops accordingly.
Register by Feb. 4 for Early Bird Pricing
The conference fee is $210 per person and includes lodging, food, and workshops. Register by February 4th for the early bird rate of $180. Archery certification is an additional $20. Register here!
To learn more about the 4-H Camping Conference, please see the Camping Conference event page.
- Author: Eve Dowdell
Hello, California 4-H! My name is Eve Dowdell and I am on the State 4-H Camping Advisory Committee. The Camping Committee is responsible for planning and running the State Camping Conference, collecting and analyzing Camp Survey Data from all over the State, and assisting and providing resources for 4-H Camps throughout California. This is my second year on the committee and I have loved being a part of this fantastic group of 4-H-loving folks! Being on this committee not only has introduced me to great people and experiences, but also has educated me on the importance of 4-H Camp. I wouldn't have the deep attachment to 4-H Camp had I not learned about what it means to 4-H'ers throughout the state, country, and globe.
Although my active involvement on the State 4-H Camping Advisory Committee enables me to delve into the “nitty-gritty” of 4-H Camp, that's not the only thing fueling my love for 4-H Camp. Most of my fellow 4-H'ers share my love of 4-H Camp because of the friends we have, the crazy songs and skits we perform, the yummy meals we eat, and, of course, the beloved memories that we make at 4-H Camp each year. Whether they're from Snow Camps, Day-Camps, or Resident Camps, our many camp memories are sweet (though recently “bittersweet”) and ignite our desire to go each year.
Alright, before I continue, let's do a test. I want you to think about how you feel when you read these words:
How did those words affect you? Did you smile? Did you feel reminiscent? Are you picturing yourself and a friend singing a wacky camp song together? (Hahaha, I am, too.) What about this next phrase?...
“4-H CAMP MEMORIES”
Wow...what a rush! 4-H Camp memories will last forever.
Okay, if you've never participated in camp, particularly 4-H Camp, then you're probably feeling a little left out. 4-H Camp is a place where all of us can come together to build one another up through fun, skillful, and personable adventures, and sometimes in wacky ways.
I hope you enjoyed that test. It was to remind us of the many camp memories that accentuate our life experiences. These memories aren't just images or flashbacks. These 4-H memories, like so many other 4-H moments, are the foundation of our 4-H experiences. As this unprecedented 4-H year continues onward, I hope you take some time to think of camp memories and how they build our character and enhance our personalities. I know 4-H Camp is an important part of my 4-H experience, and I imagine it is (or will be) for you as well. That being said, I also hope to inspire you to share your own 4-H Camp memories.
Personally, I have a collection of memories that always populates my mind when I think of camp. One of my most memorable camp memories is my first time playing Kajabi Kan-Kan. Simply put, Kajabi Kan-Kan is an active, rotating game of tug-of-war. The point of the game is to be that last person standing as you rotate around an object. This intense game of strength, agility, and quick thinking can be complicated, but extremely thrilling.
For my county camp's tournament, the boys and girls compete separately. After both groups compete, the top-three boys and top-three girls go head-to-head in the Kajabi Kan-Kan finale. The girl group was made up of 18 girls who competed for the top-three spots to play against the boys. The reason this memory is in the top-ten of my favorite camp memories is that I was the last girl standing out of all the girls who competed and the third-to-last camper standing in the Finale round. It was an exhilarating experience! When I think about it, I still have a hard time believing I lasted that long!
Another exhilarating, amusing, and, dare I say, terrifying memory at camp was swimming to the buoys with my brother. I'm sure many have had the … “pleasure” of plunging into the icy-cold lake water at Summer Camp. Well, my first and only time doing it was during my last stay at camp in 2019. My brother and I decided before we arrived at camp that we would swim to the buoys at least once during the week.
Every year at camp I end up trying something new that feels outside my element. So, the task of venturing out into the great unknown with my fierce companion was no different. I had no idea of the task at hand. Once we had finally touched the buoys, we stopped to enjoy the stunning view. However, it only lasted about two minutes before we had to swim back to shore to defrost. The swim was crisp and daunting, and the water was so cold that I felt like I was being zapped with bolts of electricity.
This adventure was definitely my fondest, most daring memory of 4-H Camp. It along with many others has taught me how to remain confident and calm in unpredictable, or electrifying situations.
4-H Camp is great for improving your resilience, improving your teamwork, and especially stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Whether by making new friends, playing volleyball, or performing a skit or song at campfire, 4-H Camp is the place to develop and practice your social skills. Capture the Flag is my favorite team-building camp activity because I am able to run and tag Rival teammates, while strategizing with my team (#blueteamrocks), and ultimately capture the opposing team's flag.
A memory I have of playing Capture the Flag occurred at 4-H Camp while I was guarding my team's flag. Rival teammates had made it past the first line of security and were approaching me...and the flag. It was now my responsibility to keep my team's flag safe from the now circling opponents who were trying to grab the flag and bolt. Unfortunately, one of the Rivals breached our last line of security, grabbed the flag, and began, just as I said, to bolt for their side. I yelled to my fellow guardians, “THEY GOT THE FLAG!!!” You wouldn't believe how fast my entire team shifted gears, grouped together, and raced to tag the Rivals. Happily, we tagged them before they reached their side, thwarting their chance of victory over us.
I think of this one memory every single time I think of 4-H Camp and Capture the Flag. The same memories may not seem that extraordinary to others, but that's what makes them special. These are my very own memories, and they are what makes camp special for me.
Camp allows us to do and learn things that we never thought we'd do otherwise.
Many of my fellow 4-H'ers have had the privilege and opportunity not only to attend 4-H Camp, but also to leave camp with new friends, new favorite meals, and of course, new memories that make 4-H Camp the fabulous adventure it is. Every summer, we look forward to the week of camp and the endeavors it brings.
My first year at 4-H Camp enabled me to learn skits, sing camp songs, do responsible camp chores, and connect with 4-H'ers from all over the county. My fellow bunkmates and I also found the time to stay up late talking about Marvel, Star Wars, and our other favorite things. These moments were memorable because we formed strong bonds that still tie us together today.
One of my favorite things about camp is without a doubt the fun, but I delight in its predictable unpredictability, too. I always expect new and surprising adventures, songs, activities, and opportunities to make lasting friendships every day at camp.
As many counties still wait for the big decision of whether or not their camp will take place this summer, take time to remember some of your own favorite camp memories. Share them with your friends and family. Maybe post them on your social media with some hashtags like: #4HCampMemories, #4HCamp, #4HCampisthebestcamp, or #nothinglike4HCamp. Be creative. Be inspiring.
Whether you're new to camp or a veteran 4-H camper, these are perfect times to make positive memories. We're all in this together and are working to make the next 4-H Camp experience the best one yet./h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>
- Author: Marianne Bird
It plants ideas, stimulates conversation, and encourages change for the best.
It unites those who appreciate wild places, value community, and enjoy a good campfire.
It both answers, and invites, questions.
It happens just every other year.
It is the California 4-H Camping Conference, this year taking place April 3-5 at Sly Park Environmental Education Center in Pollock Pines, El Dorado County. And it's a weekend of connection and learning that members of the camp community won't want to miss.
Be inspired by Dave Brown, a licensed clinical social worker who works year round as program director at Mountain Camp, an independent resident camp near Lake Tahoe. Dave will help us to realize and tap into the power and potential of camp, and to embrace our role as camp leaders when building relationships with campers.
Experience activities that get everyone up and playing, that help campers reflect, that you can use to fill “down” time, or that will help you build a better campfire program.
Explore how to create a strong, connected staff that works as a team and keeps the camper experience central to their work.
Discover what adults at 4-H camp say about their experience. We'll explore findings from the adult/chaperone survey from last year's California 4-H Camp study, and discuss themes, issues and insights from what our adult partners have shared.
Learn how to make camp the warm, welcoming, inclusive environment—for everyone—that we know it can be.
Engage with professionals and other camp administrators about emergency plans and risk management. Review what incidents at 4-H camp were reported and the emerging issues—from mental health to cannabis—these incidents bring to light.
Enhance campers' enthusiasm and knowledge about nature and the outdoors by attending Project Learning Tree sessions, or see how much fun STEM can be at camp while hiking, cooking over a campfire, or testing your boat design.
Spend time in a beautiful place.
Meet others who share your passion for camp.
Renew yourself and your program.
The 2020 4-H Camping Conference is happening this April. We hope to see you there.
Registration is open until March 20th. Register Now.
- Author: Noelle Doblado
Are you a 4-H camp leader who loves camp? Well, this is the place to be! On April 3-5, 2020 4-H is hosting the California 4-H Camping Conference for camp leaders to expand their knowledge, enhance their leadership skills and dive into ways to improve their camps.
The event will take place at Sly Park, Pollock Pines and it is definitely an opportunity you won't want to miss! Connect with other leaders, share and gain knowledge, and develop an even better camp for your community!
Register by February 14th for an Early Bird discount!