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Parents: What You Should Know About North Carolina 4-H Camps

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American Camp Association Camp Accreditation Logo Saves You time:

When selecting a camp, look for the American Camp Association seal first. Only an estimated 25 percent of camps in the United States are accredited by the American Camp Association. North Carolina’s 4-H camps operate through the Department of 4-H Youth Development and Family & Consumer Sciences with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension service.

During its 78-year tradition of offering high-quality camping experiences, the program builds on the 4-H motto of “making the best better” and also commits to meeting the quality camping practices recognized by the American Camp Association. These include site, health care, programs, personnel, and administration. ACA standards also exist for specific programs such as aquatics and horseback riding. If you were to send your child to a non-accredited camp, you would need to ask many questions about program quality, safety, health care, facilities, food service and staffing. With an accredited camp, ACA professionals can save you time and do this for you. Yet they do not stop with performing only one in-depth study; every three years they return to review each ACA-accredited camp. ACA has awarded its accreditation to five of North Carolina’s 4-H Camps: Betsy-Jeff Penn, Eastern 4-H Center, Millstone, Sertoma, and Swannanoa.

Health and Safety:

The health and safety of campers are closely monitored. Except for the primitive camps that have cold running water (Anita-Alta Outpost Camp and the Specialty Wilderness Camp at Sertoma 4-H Center), sites have hot and cold running water, showers and flush toilets. Each camp is regularly inspected by the local health departments. Smoke alarms are located in all living quarters.

Medical Insurance:

Each camp has limited medical insurance on every camp with coverage only for certain accidents and illnesses. Pre-existing illnesses are not covered. The accident limit varies according to our medical insurance provider. Each camp has an infirmary, and medical personnel will be available throughout the week.

Staff and Instructors:

Campers receive a high degree of small group interaction and personal attention from 4-H camp staff and instructors. These people have been chosen for their interest in working with youth and skills in special programs. After pre-camp training, they can be found as activity instructors and cabin counselors. The staff at many 4-H Specialty Camps may include professional youth educators from the North Carolina State University faculty. Also, a large number of resource people from specialized fields, such as natural resources, will share their practical skills and knowledge in ways that will bring issues and problem-solving skills to life.

Transportation:

County Extension 4-H Agents arrange transportation and accompany youth to camp. Campers heading to a Specialty Camp or campers who apply through Open Enrollment are responsible for their own transportation.

Special Accommodations:

Special services or accommodations will be provided to participants on an as-needed basis, pending availability. Please let us know four (4) weeks in advance of your special needs by checking the box on the registration form. Any questions regarding special accommodations requirements should be directed to the appropriate 4-H center.

Campers must be able to function effectively in groups of 20 campers to 3 staff persons, comprehend and follow basic instructions, have an understanding of natural hazards (roads, lakes, heights, etc.) and must be able to change clothes and use restroom facilities without assistance. Parents and children are required to sign a Code of Conduct form in which behavioral standards are outlined. Campers must be able to function behaviorally in a group. Campers who are constant behavior problems will be asked to withdraw from camp without a refund.

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