Camps Combine Adventure, Learning and Fun

​Registration is open for summer 4-H camp. Contact your local Extension office for more information and to register your child today. Image courtesy UTIA.

The school year is starting to wind down, and summer is just around the corner. Plans for the beach or a theme park are being made, but University of Tennessee Extension youth development specialist Daniel Sarver encourages parents to consider sending their youth to 4-H camp. 4-H is the youth development program of UT Extension, which cooperates with Tennessee State University and volunteers to deliver quality youth programs throughout the year, including summer camp.

With a long tradition of youth development and STEM education, 4-H camps offered across the state are an amazing opportunity. Tennessee 4-H operates camps in Columbia, Crossville and Greeneville and Extension agents in every county are now registering kids and teens for summer adventures. In addition to the three established 4-H centers, the newest 4-H facility at Lone Oaks Farm in Middleton will also be offering limited opportunities.

More than 4,800 Tennessee youth are expected to attend summer 4-H camps in 2018. Any child in the fourth through twelfth grade is eligible to be part of the 4-H camping program, including leadership opportunities for older youth.

“Tennessee 4-H camps are a chance for youth to explore their relationship with the world around them while having loads of fun. Tennessee 4-H camps move by the motto “learn by doing” and also by 4-H’s experiential learning method of ‘Do, Reflect, and Apply.’ Youth are engaged and involved from the time they arrive to the time they depart,” says Sarver.

Besides general 4-H camping, there are also specialty camps that focus on fashion and design, electric energy, and shooting sports and hunting. Activities are numerous and varied, including crafts, archery, swimming and others, depending on location. Each camp also has its own pool and cabins, as well as a nature center and sports fields.

Tennessee 4-H Camps, which are accredited by the American Camp Association, are directed by caring professionals and volunteers, which include on-site camp staff and county 4-H agents. These adults have worked hard to design a program that is educational, inclusive, rewarding and fun. To see for yourself how much fun 4-H camp can be, watch the YouTube video “Fun, Friends, 4-H: Summer Starts Here.”

If you are interested in your child attending a 4-H camp, please contact your local county Extension office.The mission of Tennessee 4-H is to provide research-based Extension educational experiences that will stimulate young people to gain knowledge, develop life skills, and form positive attitudes to prepare them to become capable, responsible and compassionate adults.  For more information, visit the website

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture celebrates 50 years of excellence in providing Real. Life. Solutions. through teaching, discovery and service.



Daniel Sarver, UT Extension Statewide 4-H Office, 865-974-2128,