Virginia 4-H camping builds life skills

4-H participants

4-Hers at the Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center learn about gardening, eating locally grown produce, and nutrition as part of camp.

Each year, more than 27,000 young people participate in 4-H camping programs at Virginia Cooperative Extension’s six 4-H educational centers.

Both residential and day camping programs have a rich history of providing educational programming to thousands of youth through hands-on, experiential learning.


The skills emphasized in Virginia’s 4-H camping program include:

  • Understanding self
  • Communicating and relating to others
  • Acquiring, analyzing, and using information
  • Problem-solving and decision-making
  • Managing resources
  • Working with others

4-H camping teaches youth to make their own decisions, solve problems, and manage their resources without the help of family. Through involvement in the camping program, youth learn how to be more responsible, which gives them a better appreciation of their family members.

The 2013 camper evaluations — summarized in the bar graph — demonstrate the impact the 4-H camping experience has on its participants.

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