Iowa 4-H Camping

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Adventures in nature are only part of the experience young people will have at our Youth Camps. 4-H camps offer a hands-on approach to developing the excitement and skills necessary for youth to succeed in a safe and fun setting.  The 4-H camp program starts youth on the path to becoming informed citizens and the next generation of scientists and engineers we need for our communities to thrive.        

Iowa 4-H camping experiences give kids

  • A safe outdoor environment for learning, having fun, and being creative
  • A chance to be with caring, trained adults
  • A living-learning community
  • Resident camps where kids stay overnight in cabins, tents, or under the stars
  • Day camps where outdoor creativity, activity and learning take place over several days
  • Group and individual time to have fun and learn together
  • A learning “laboratory” to practice life skills while exploring nature

Why have a 4-H camping adventure?

  • Research shows youth campers benefit in a host of ways, from being smarter, to being more cooperative, to having better overall health.
  • 4-H camp activities are led and supervised by Iowa State University 4-H staff and trained adult and teen volunteers.
  • Like all 4-H programs, Iowa 4-H camping is focused on the 4-H outcomes of developing productive citizens, outstanding communicators, effective leaders, and successful learners.
  • Because at Iowa 4-H camps, learning is part of the fun!

Online Training Course for Teen 4-H Camp Counselors, CITs, and Teen Leaders

We are excited to offer this series of online learning modules produced by Expert Online Training as a supplement to local 4-H camp counselor and teen leadership training. These videos and accompanying handouts will help transform your  4-H camp counselors, CITs, and other teens that have leadership roles working with younger 4-Hers into youth development professionals.
Listed below are the course module topics categorized in the areas of Leadership, Youth Development and Play, and Mental Health and Behavior.

  • Classic Problem Solving—Using options and evaluation to reach group consensus
  • Cracking Kids’ Secret Code—Listening sensitively to forge understanding
  • Get the Best and Forget the Rest—Nurturing positive youth behavior
  • Rules Were Made to Be Positive—Creating expectations campers want to live up to
  • Stop Yelling Get the HINT—Seven simple ways to engage cooperation
  • We Squashed It! (Conflict Resolution)—Collaborative problem solving for high-conflict situations

Youth Development and Play

  • Becoming a Youth Development Professional—Making the transition from ME to KIDS
  • Effective Debriefing Tools and Techniques—Learn to play and play to learn
  • Hello Games—Invite, include, and inquire
  • Move It Like You Mean It—Using body language to enhance communication
  • Playing with a Full Deck—Exciting low-prop games for groups
  • Rainy Day Games—All weather fun

Mental Health and Behavior

  • Bullies and Targets, Part I--Prevention
  • Homesickness at Day & Resident Camps, Part I—Best practices for youth leaders
  • Homesickness at Day & Resident Camps, Part II—Supportive conversation demonstration
  • Skillful Discipline, Part I—Creative behavior management and alternatives to punishment