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Ohio 4-H Youth Development

Ohio State University Extension


Foundation grants make camp possible

Campers make the "OHIO" during a watersports activity.

The Ohio 4-H Foundation grants program provides support to 4-H professionals as they create unique, enriching programming opportunities for youth. Read below about two camps made possible in 2023 with the help of Foundation grant funds:

Ohio 4-H Sea Camp

Teens were introduced to the Great Lakes and a variety of aquatic-based activities at Sea Camp this summer. Through hands-on experiences with professionals from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and OSU’s Stone Lab, 45 youth Youth learning how to fish during a session at Ohio 4-H Sea Camp.explored career opportunities in aquatic science, natural resources, and watersports. They also learned how to safely operate water-based equipment and visited the glacial grooves on Kelleys Island to hunt for fossils.

“The campers and counselors alike had a blast at Sea Camp,” said Jenny Strickler, Extension educator for 4-H in Coshocton County and Sea Camp coordinator. “They enjoyed all the learning opportunities and thought their experiences helped make them more effective leaders.”Campers working together to build a boat out of the supplies provided.

“At Sea Camp you get to try so many things you thought you’d never get the chance to do and make new friends,” said one camper. Another teen was excited about the career exploration opportunities. “I learned more about what it’s like to be a geologist,” they said, “which is a career I’m interested in pursuing.”

Would you like to support future opportunities for youth to attend Sea Camp? Donate to the Ohio 4-H Sea Camp Fund today to help youth learn more about water sports, boating safety, and aquatic science.

4-H State Forestry Wildlife Conservation Camp

Campers learning about pollinators during a workshop.Youth had additional opportunities to learn about future career paths at Forestry Wildlife Conservation Camp in April. A result of a unique partnership between Hocking College, Soil and Water Conservation, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry, and OSU Extension, this camp gave youth the tools to expand their knowledge of forestry, wildlife conservation, and ecology.

During this three-day camp youth participated in education sessions where they learned how to use radiotelemetry equipment, operate a portable sawmill, identify wildlife and insects, and use tree climbing equipment. In addition to teaching the education sessions, professionals were on hand to answer questions and share about real-life careers the campers could pursue based on their interests.

 “I was excited to see the number of participants grow again this year,” said Tracy Winters, 4-H educator for shooting sports and natural resources. “At 55 campers and Youth participating in a nature hike during an education session.19 counselors, this was the largest group we’ve had yet. They appreciated the hands-on sessions, and the insect program was a huge hit!”

Campers also enjoyed the nature hikes, campfires, and recreation opportunities like archery and boating. “This is my favorite 4-H camp,” said one youth participant. “I love all the fun things we get to see and do.”

Are you interested in supporting camps, workshops, and programs like Forestry Wildlife Conservation Camp? Give to the State 4-H Natural Resources Education Support Fund to create future opportunities for natural resources education.