Categorized | Local News

Iowa 4-H Center Focus of Campaign

Posted on 28 February 2013 by KWBG

BOONE, Iowa—The Iowa 4-H Center, located in Boone County, has attracted quite a bit of interest in the past several days.  Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has announced that the Iowa 4-H Program that operates the year round camp, will be phasing out the service.  In a press release this week, Cathann Kress, Vice President of Extension and Outreach was quoted as saying “The original intent was to offer a full camp schedule for summer 2013 at the Iowa 4-H Center near Madrid.  However, we must limit the scope of programming we are able to offer at the center, due to staff changes and budget realities.”  The releases notes that the traditional special interest residential and day camps offered to the general public will not be available this summer.  Existing rental commitments at the 4-H Center will be honored but there will be no additional rentals.

LuAnn Johansen, assistant director for the Iowa 4-H Program noted that some 4-H camps have been confirmed for June through early August, including a popular Tri-County Junior Camp involving 4-Hers from Boone, Marshall and Story Counties.

The Iowa 4-H Center is owned by the Iowa 4-H Foundation but is operated by the Iowa 4-H Program.  The Iowa 4-H Foundation Board will be meeting next week.

This week, a community site, Save the Iowa 4-H Center, was started on Facebook.  There is also an online petition drive seeking reconsideration about the camping programs at the Iowa 4-H Center.

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Vickytoria Says:

    The way we supporters of the Iowa 4-H Center understand it is that the only camps that will take place this summer are those that were already booked by independent 4-H groups. That means they will be paying to use the camp but will have to plan out their own activities, bring their own supervision/counselors, and pay additional fees to participate in aspects of camp like the climbing tower, team challenge activities, guided creek walks and night hikes, use the amphitheater or BBQ shelter, and swim in the pool. They would be considered Rental Groups as opposed to State Campers.

    While these outside 4-H groups have always enjoyed themselves in the past the worry is that this year will be far different. Without a full staff of the camp’s famous Caring Adults the atmosphere of camp slips away. The constant singing of camp songs, daily games of soccer on the back field, skit nights, and teachable moments are no longer there for state campers or rental groups.

    State Camps are what will be cut for the summer. That means no child will be sent to camp this summer for a week of meeting new people, learning about different cultures, and becoming more independent and self confident. No letters will be send out from staff over the winter break to keep in touch and remind children of their week of learning and summer fun. No more fifteen to seventeen year olds will be given the opportunity to spend a week as Counselors-In-Training, taking on new responsibility and having a large impact on the week of camp themselves.

    The loss of state camps also means no international staff will fill the camp this year. In the past there have been young adults from Germany, England, Wales, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, Poland, Russia, and South Korea that chose to spend their own money for the chance to be a Caring Adult at the Iowa 4-H center for a summer. State campers themselves have traveled as far as France for camp as recently as 2009. State Camp is what supporters want to keep. It truly is the foundation of a summer at the Iowa 4-H Center.

    I know that the aim of 4-H is to serve youth and the point of extension is to reach more of them. From what I’ve seen at the Iowa 4-H Center I believe that the state camp accomplishes just that and has been doing so since it first opened in 1950. Camp is about 4-H at its core but it is also about making connections and being inclusive. We need to ensure that camp will be there for campers (from rental groups AND state camp alike) for another 60+ years.

  2. Bill Carey Says:

    Here is the link to the online petition. It only takes a minute to change the lives of thousands of children across the state. Thanks!

  3. Bill Carey Says:

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