4-H Camp: Life skills that are learned!

Many youth are attending camps this summer and are enjoying fun times in the outdoors with counselors and other campers. Explore what life skills youth may be gaining from these experiences.

One programming technique 4-H programs use to reach youth in their community is by holding 4-H camps. A lot of time and energy is put into providing a fun, safe camp for kids. A goal for the outcome of 4-H camp is the development of skills that youth will take with them for the rest of their lives.

The Michigan 4-H Youth Program uses the Targeting Life Skill Model as a guideline in making the connection between
4-H and life skills learned. 

Michigan State University Extension has come up with life skill youth may gain by attending a camp.

Teamwork- Many camp experiences involve grouping youth into cabins or other types of small groups that get youth acquainted with other campers. Camps also have tasks for campers to do together like cleaning bathrooms, setting tables or creating a skit. Together, and with the help of a counselor, these campers are learning how to work together and the importance of teamwork.

Decision Making-Youth have to make decisions at camp that effect what they do during their time there.  Many camps have free time and campers need to make decisions about what they will do during this time. Maybe it will be finishing crafts, hanging out with friends in cabins or playing volleyball.

Self-Responsibilities- During camp, campers are responsible for themselves in many ways. Many times this might be the first time a youth has been away from home. Campers are responsible for making their bunks, getting ready for bed and being ready for activities including flag-raising, dinner time and swimming.

These are just a few examples of life skills youth are learning at camp, some others might include planning and orrganizing, creativity, social skills, accepting differences, empathy, and self-esteem.

To learn more about Michigan 4-H Youth Programs and getting youth involved in 4-H camp to help them develop life skill visit your local MSU Extension office.

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