More than 200 youth from 23 South Dakota Counties attended the 2017 4-H Camp hosted by the South Dakota 4-H Program held at Camp Bob Marshall in Custer.
“Camping programs offered through South Dakota 4-H provide youth the opportunity to gain valuable life skills in a safe environment,” said Donna Bittiker, SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director. “The youth choose to attend camp because they want to have fun, which they do, but typically camp attendees don’t realize until they are much older the lifelong value of their youth camping experience.”
This camp was open to both 4-H members and non-members ages 8-12.
The theme, Imagination Station, encouraged youth to explore several activities including areas of science. Activities included: solar ovens, electrical circuits, tie dying, soap carving, a nature hike, drone discovery and much more.
“4-H exposes youth to a multitude of topic areas, which allows them a hands-on approach to career exploration,” said Hilary Risner, Regional 4-H Youth Program Advisor.
Youth also had the opportunity to partake in recreational activities in Bismark Lake, such as canoeing, swimming and fishing.
“Camp gives youth an opportunity to broaden their horizons,” Bittiker said. “Youth learn valuable skills, such as making new friends, sharing personal space with others, managing personal items and exploring new adventures that may be outside of their comfort zone.”
Following camp, youth were surveyed. Campers indicated that through 4-H Camp, they had a high ability to make new friends, a willingness to try new things and an ability to share their ideas respectfully.
“These are three components of personal development that 4-H strives to accomplish with youth through hands-on experiences such as camp,” Risner said.