The difficult but prudent decision to cancel Ohio 4-H camps due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was made with the health of campers, staff, and volunteers in mind. Unfortunately, without this year’s revenue, Ohio 4-H camps face a challenging financial future.
The #4HCampNeedsYouNow Buckeye Funder, which kicked off this week, is an online fundraising campaign to support nine Ohio 4-H camps, many of which will lose 75% or more of their annual income this year. The campaign goal over the next five weeks is to raise $1.1 million to offset those losses.
The campaign is an opportunity for 4-H members, their families, alumni, and supporters to share their love of camp experiences and invest in the immediate future of these camps. Each week of the campaign will highlight a different theme, including camp songs, skits, favorite recipes, traditions, and memories.
This year would have been Adrianna Meyer’s fifth visit to 4-H Camp Palmer in Fayette, Ohio and her first as a counselor. Adrianna, 15, hopes to serve as a counselor next year, because camp activities like gaga ball and nine-square have been so enjoyable. Meeting new people through line dancing, canoeing, and fishing have been important to Adriana. “My leadership skills have really evolved. I used to be shy. My people skills, networking skills, and my sense of responsibility have developed,” she said.
A member of Henry County 4-H clubs and programming for eight years, Adrianna also enjoyed the team-building programs at Carving New Ideas workshop, the Making Extreme Counselors camp, and the fairs where her family shows goats. Henry County is planning a virtual camp next month to honor senior high school students who would ordinarily be recognized, and to offer crafts and programs to members, she said.
Most important to Adrianna is that other Ohio youth get the same opportunities she has experienced by attending a weeklong summer 4-H camp. “Every day of that week is important.”
Show your support by giving to #4HCampNeedsYouNow at give.osu.edu/4hcamps, establishing a larger gift through the Ohio 4-H Foundation, and raising campaign awareness by sharing through your social media. For details, contact Crystal Ott at firstname.lastname@example.org or 614-688-1454.