Category Archives: Camping

4-H Intermediate Congress 2015

Good morning!

It is that time of year again to prepare for 4-H Intermediate Congress. The 2015 session will once again be held at Virginia State University from July 13th through July 15th. The cost to attend will be $90.

We are asking for your help this year, agents! Attached is the brochure for the event, in Word format. We did that because there are several places where you can add your personal office information and then distribute. We would like all agents to handle their own registration and accept payments. You can create your own deadlines, as long as I have the information all back 4H Intermediate Congress 2015who need financial assistance.

Please collect all necessary forms and send them to me, along with payment, by Friday, June 26th. That will give me time to organize all the details.

Also, remember we are on the lookout for Teen Mentors as well. They must be experienced 4-Her’s who have completed Mentor Training. We would like them to be between the ages of 14 and 15. It is free for the mentors to attend. You are our eyes and ears, so we trust you to pick the best teens you can send our way. We need ten total. Just fill out the camp forms and forward them to me along with the rest, adding a note to let me know they are mentors.

Any agents who would like to come and help out are welcome to attend as well, just send your health forms along as well. We would love to see you!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me, or Albert Reid, our 4-H Specialist who is in charge of the event.

Thanks for all your help! We couldn’t do this without you!

Jessica Harris
Administrative and Office Specialist II
Virginia Cooperative Extension 4-H
Virginia State University
P.O. Box 9081
Petersburg, VA 23806
Phone: (804) 524-5964
Fax: (804) 524-5057

2014 4-H Center Upgrades and Renovations

This summer when youth arrive at 4-H camp, they will find numerous improvements. Every center has been hard at work getting ready for more than 15,000 Virginia 4-H members who will attend one of the six 4-H centers this summer. Check out the pictures for a sample of the work.

Northern 4-H CenterNorthern 2014

Skelton 4-H Center
Skelton 2014

Airfield 4-H Center
Airfiled 2014 1

Southwest 4-H Center
Southwest 2014

Jamestown 4-H Center
Jamestown 2014

Holiday Lake 4-H Center
Holiday Lake 2014


Maker Movement and Virginia 4-H:  As I researched  the “Maker Movement” across America and explored the results of a first 4-H grant cycle in four states, I looked for relevant connections to 4-H and have concluded that this form of unchartered creative thinking and doing is definitely a step into the future of Virginia 4-H, if the field finds it as exciting as I did!  It is based on the core of what we already do so well in 4-H — hands-on minds on learning —  yet stretches us to find common ground with a culture of creative tinkerers in authentic environments who find solutions to relevant needs and problems.  What a blast for kids who want clothing that lights up with different dance movements or kids who want to play music through celery sticks and other vegetables or those who want to build their own solar model car beyond the kit.  Think of the camps and clubs and projects, oh my!

I’ll offer a few points of reference and my support/encouragement to explore and include the Maker way of thinking and doing as a part of your 4-H programming. Maker activities are effective ways to thread STEM across all programming areas. They can also serve as exciting “hooks” into deeper content learning in any program area. Make is a relevant, engaging way to capture the interest of kids and enlist the support of community  “do-it-yourselfer” volunteers.  It also provides a new lens through which to look for volunteers. Please Kathleen Jamison if you want to learn more about Make. I will send a follow-up email to the system with attachments and weblinks.

Virginia 4-H Makers  will be one topic of discussion at a STEM committee meeting being scheduled during the 2013 Symposium on Friday. Also, a Master Track session to explore this topic with Dr. Phyllis Newbill, professor from the Institute of Creativity, Arts, and Technology at Virginia Tech, is offered at the symposium. Connect with those who attend for more information. Another source of information is Rita Schalk (Hanover County) who was involved in a Maker Grant that offered collaboration among K-12,  4-H, and an already established mentoring grant in her locality. Additional funding is  being sought for interested agents in a variety of 4-H settings.

If Maker piques your interest, start searching Maker Movement, Make Magazine, DYI Movement, 4-H Makers, and  get excited! Sift through ideas and activities to choose the ones that fit into your intntionally planned program and integrate them as needed to sprinkle some excitement. Look for my email that provides some 4-H connections and a short lit review from a colleague in CA.   I love this stuff!


4-H Foundation Board Member Inspires Camp Staff

Mary Miller inspiring the Virginia Camp Staff of 2013

Mary Miller inspiring the Virginia Camp Staff of 2013

Mary Miller is president and founder of Interactive Design and
Development, Inc., a successful, award-winning information technology
firm in Blacksburg, Va.. She received both her master of information
science as well as her doctorate in instructional design from Virginia
Tech.   A Board member of the 4-H Foundation and strong supporter of the camping program, Mary  worked at camp at the Southwest Virginia 4-H Educational Center early in her career.  Her camp name was ‘Meatloaf’ Mary and she taught crafts and worked in the kitchen.

Mary served as the inspirational speaker for the 2013 State 4-H Camp Staff Training which encompasses all six 4-H Center staffs (over 85 total).  Relating to the role of camp staffer, Mary reiterated the importance of the journey they were about to embark on for the summer.   Sharing stories from her time on staff,  she recalled the faces, smiles, and laughter that to this day still bring her joy!

“You are so very special!  You have been given an opportunity that only a few are afforded, the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of thousands of children throughout the summer.  Some of these children have never been away from home, some have never swam in a pool, others will experience the pure joy  of play for the first time.  They will look to you, camp counselors, for guidance and  enthusiasm,” said ‘Meatloaf” Mary.

Camp Counselors do Make a Difference:

Thank you Mary Miller for sharing, caring and inspiring!

Win Iden is recipient of the Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center’s President’s Award 2013

Robert F. Kube, Board President of the Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center presented Win Iden with the President’s Award for Excellence at the Annual Board Meeting and Banquet in April.

The President’s award was started by John Mayhugh several years ago when he was Board President to acknowledge outstanding service by a 4-H Center Employee.   The individual needs to show initiative and interest in the 4-H Center and a willingness to go the second mile of the way when needed.  The individual recognized needs to be cooperative, have good work habits, have a good attitude and be willing to work with all 4-H Center departments.

Win camped at this 4-H Center as a 4-H’er and also served as a teen leader for Warren County 4-H camp.  After graduation from college,  he  worked in the Warren County Extension Office as an Extension Technician from 2001 – 2005.  Win served as Program Director at the Southwest 4-H Educational Center in Abingdon from 2005 – 2010.  He returned to the Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center to serve as Program Director in 2010.

Congratulations Win!

Photo: Win and his mentor, Sam.  He won the President's award tonight and she was there to see it! :)

               Win with his mentor Sam Fisher at the Awards Banquet


Fishing Camp at Holiday Lake 4-H Center

The brochure link for Fishing Camp 2013 at Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center that will be April 26-28.  Please share this with as many people as possible so we can get lots of campers this year.  Along with our normal prize giveaways, every camper who attends fishing camp this year will receive a fishing pole and tackle box!

 Thank you for sharing this!

 Tamara Arrington

Natural Resource Education Coordinator

Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center

(434) 248-5444

 Upcoming Events at Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center:

 Fishing Camp — April 26-28, 2013 —  Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center

Holiday Lake Bluegrass Festival — June 1, 2013 —

Forestry Camp

Do you have 4-H’ers who would benefit from a natural resource career-focused outdoor experience?  Nominations are now open for Holiday Lake Forestry Camp, to be held June 17-22, 2013 at Holiday Lake 4-H Center near Appomattox.  This field-based camp is open to any Virginia boy or girl aged 13-16 who is interested in natural resources and has not attended before.  You may nominate online or download a form at

Contact Doug Harpole (540-341-7950 x215) for more information