Over the past 75 years, thousands of Kansas 4-Hers have enjoyed the traditional three-day, four-night Rock Springs Ranch experience of a county-wide camp that included activities such as horseback riding, archery, swimming, crafts, campfires, talent shows and leadership experiences.
Changes to expand and diversify camp program options are coming next year, according to Kansas 4-H Foundation president Jake Worcester.
Beginning in 2022, parents and their youth will be able to select from an expanded calendar of camp experiences.
“In the past, families were given one set of dates that their youth could attend camp,” Worcester said. “Looking ahead, there will be options for a traditional experience as well as longer experiences and additional leadership development opportunities.”
Through these experiences, Worcester said, he hopes youth from age 7 through their college years will stay connected to 4-H activities and development opportunities Rock Springs Ranch.
“Next year families will have seven to eight weeks that they can choose from for a camp experience,” Worcester said.
Those new dates and registration information will be posted on the Rock Springs Ranch website on Sept. 1.
Along with the scheduling changes, there will also be program changes to ensure a high-quality camp experience, said Wade Weber, Kansas 4-H program leader.
“We’ve looked to our peers in the camping industry and monitored the landscape of our professional programming,” he said. “There have been changes in youth development when it comes to creating a safe and supportive learning environment for young people.”
A task force has been working for more than two years to implement purposeful changes to enable 4-H youth to have the highest-quality camp experience possible, Weber said.