Today there is great diversity in the way youth camps are operated throughout our society. Some are skill-oriented, others are directed toward social or religious goals, some are dedicated to the entertainment of children, and others provide work experience.
Professional youth workers are assigned the task of directing the 4-H camping program for youth ages 9 to14 for the individual counties. Each professional is shouldered with the responsibility of deciding what end result is most desired from a 4-H member after that young person has attended a week of 4-H camp.
Being a part of the land grant college and University system, we naturally embody the objectives of the University of Kentucky. In addition, as 4-H professionals, we are obligated to carry out the objectives of the 4-H organization. In 1976, the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) endorsed the following statement of purpose for 4-H.
4-H's mission is to help young people become self-directing, productive and contributing members of society. More specifically, its objectives are to help young people to:
- Develop inquiring minds, an eagerness to learn and the ability to apply science and technology.
- Learn practical skills, develop competencies and acquire knowledge.
- Strengthen abilities to make intelligent decisions, solve problems and manage their own affairs in a fast-changing world.
- Acquire positive attitudes toward self and a feeling of self-worth.
- Develop their potential by seeking and acquiring educational and vocational experiences
- Improve skills in communication and self-expression.
- Develop effective interpersonal relationships with adults and other youth.
- Maintain optimum physical and mental health.
- Develop a concern for involvement in community and public affairs.
- Increase leadership capabilities.
- Develop socially acceptable behavior, personal standards and values for living.
- Develop abilities to perform as productive, contributing citizens.
- Use time wisely in attaining a balance in life (work, leisure, family, community and self)