Office Information

WVU Extension Service
Kanawha County Office
4700 MacCorkle Avenue SE
Suite 101
Charleston, WV 25304

Phone: 304-720-9573
Fax: 304-205-7863
Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00-4:00
Driving Directions

Topic 1: Camp Mission & Job Expectations

West Virginia 4-H Camp Program

The West Virginia 4-H Camping program has provided youth with opportunities for four-fold (Head, Heart, Hands, Health) life development through cooperative group living in the natural environment since 1915. While many things have changed in the past 100 plus years, the emphasis on a camper-focused educational experience has remained an integral part of the West Virginia program at state and county levels.

Mission

The West Virginia University Extension Service 4-H camping program provides youth the opportunity to acquire knowledge, develop life skills and form values that enable them to become self-directing, productive, and contributing members of society.

Objectives

As defined by the American Camping Association (ACA, 1998), “organized camping” is a sustained experience that provides a creative, recreational, and educational opportunity in group living in the outdoors. It utilizes trained volunteers and staff and the resources of natural surroundings to contribute to each camper’s mental, physical, and social growth. Beyond providing a fun and safe outdoor experience for youth, camps contribute to the development of life skills.
Life skills are skills that youth need in order to become responsible adults. The life skills that 4-H camp strives to teach include: building meaningful relationships with positive role models; exploration of the environment; developing social skills; learning new skills by doing; participating in experiences that are new, different, and fun; and participating in safe experiences with limits and careful supervision.

The objectives of the West Virginia University Extension 4-H Camping program include:

  • Provide participants with a safe and secure environment both physically & emotionally where they can participate in educational, recreational, and social experiences that offer opportunities to understand and appreciate cultural diversity and tolerance for others.
  • Promote appreciation for the natural environment and teach environmental stewardship.
  • Teach participants personal life skills and values of fairness, caring, citizenship, trustworthiness, respect, and responsibility.
  • Provide opportunities for participants to learn and practice leadership, decision-making, and teamwork through group activities.
  • Utilize caring adults as role models, teachers, and mentors for youths.

Camp Volunteer Job Duties & Expectations

Adult camp volunteers and teen camp counselors are an invaluable part of the 4-H Camp Program. Both serve as positive role models and adult camp counselors provide the necessary supervision. To a large degree, the effectiveness of the camping program depends on the ability of the counselor to interpret the objectives of the camp to his/ her campers through his/her actions and attitude. The camp program is important, but no program will bring campers close to attaining camp objectives if there is not a well-trained counselor to interpret and carry out the program.

Through effective camp counselors, the 4-H program has the potential to:

  • Develop leadership, responsibility and character in young people.
  • Learn to better understand boys and girls in safe surroundings with adult guidance.
  • Develop skills in outdoor living and recreation.

Training Requirements
All adult camp staff will receive the following training:
Complete the online training and quiz.
Attend the staff training prior to the start of the camp where you will serve this summer.