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4-H members at summer camp.

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. — Get ready to leave the cold days of winter behind. Warm, sunny days at Alabama 4-H summer camp are just on the horizon. Each year, hundreds of 4-H members from across the state converge on the Alabama 4-H Center in Columbiana, Alabama, for days of learning and fun in the summer sun. Traditionally for ages 9 through 13, Alabama 4-H is excited to offer a new teen summer camp this year for ages 14 through 18.

Amy Carbone, the environmental education manager at the Alabama 4-H Center, said this new teen summer camp enforces her belief that every young person, no matter their age, should have the opportunity to experience camp.

“The teens love camp just as much as the younger kiddos,” Carbone said. “Part of why the campers come back every year is because of how fun camp is and how great their experiences are. Our teenagers want to continue their experiences just like the younger ones do. Now they get to do that with campers their own age.”

Molly Gregg, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s assistant director for 4-H programs, said summer camp is a place where 4-H members can foster a deep sense of community with youth and adults from across the state.

“Alabama 4-H camp is more than just a summer escape,” Gregg said. “It is an experience that cultivates leadership, teamwork and a lifelong appreciation for nature and being outdoors. Through hands-on activities and mentorship, participants develop essential life skills, build a foundation for success and connect with the natural world around them.”

2024 Summer Camp Sessions

A 4-H member climbing the rock wall at summer campIn 2024, there are nine youth summer camp sessions, the first being June 3-5. To ensure that each session runs smoothly, all 67 county 4-H programs are assigned a session to attend. For example, 4-H members living in Cherokee County are assigned to attend the first session along with eight other counties. To see what session your county is assigned to, visit the Summer Camp section of the Alabama 4-H Center website, Alabama4HCenter.org. There, you can also find the needed forms and other important information about camp.

Because counties are assigned to a session, members must register through their county 4-H program in order to attend summer camp. Registration for youth camp sessions is now open. The base cost for summer camp is $175. However, because of transportation, some counties may charge more to cover those costs.

“Parents and guardians should contact their county Extension office or the 4-H agent in their county for information on how to register for camp,” Carbone said. “Every county does something different and has a limited number of open spots.”

This year, there is only one session for the teen camp, May 29-31, with a $175 cost. Registration opens Jan. 16 in 4HOnline at http://v2.4honline.com. Unlike the youth camps, teens do not register for this camp through their county 4-H program. Registration will remain open until Alabama 4-H receives 100 registrants in 4HOnline. For more information, members can consult the 4-H agent in their county.

Camp Activities

When it comes to activities — you name it, 4-H summer camp has it. Campers of all ages get to enjoy their time on Lay Lake — paddle boarding and kayaking — or swimming in the nearby pool. Other activities include shooting arrows at the archery range, climbing the rock wall, going to new heights on the giant swing, meeting live animals and much more.

“Everyone should experience summer camp,” Carbone said. “Camp is a great way to make new friends and get out of your new comfort zone, all while participating in fun and exciting activities.”

In addition to the traditional youth-camp activities, the teen camp will have a few new experiences. The teen campers will get to build their leadership skills while still having fun.

“This new teen camp keeps our teenage members active in 4H, and once they age out of teen camp, they can apply to be counselors,” Carbone said.

About Alabama 4-H

Alabama 4-H is the youth development organization of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. It seeks to empower young people with the skills to lead their communities and also grow into future leaders. Visit Alabama4H.com for more information about 4-H opportunities.