Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County is incredibly lucky to enjoy a 71-year affiliation with Hidden Valley 4-H Camp. Schuyler County 4-H families and volunteers ensured that the property was available for New York State Parks to purchase after the end of the Civilian Conservation Corp program, and since that time Hidden Valley has influenced the lives of several generations of children from a broad geographical area. 4-H Camps are open to all children of 4-H age, not just 4-H members, and they promote the experience of a lifetime. Campers make new friends, develop strong ties to counselor staff, and increase their knowledge of their own capacities and abilities.
How do we quantify the difference Camp can make in the life of a child? Parents, counselors and campers can all identify anecdotes that indicate the positive developmental impacts of Camp. However, research also indicates that a camping experience based on positive youth development (such as 4-H) and the process of skill building and mastery can support positive decision-making, perseverance and the development of new relationships and social skills. A 2005 Oregon study of residential 4-H camps yielded evidence that campers learned how to cooperate more better, work with others on a team, work through disagreements and just be able to talk more effectively with other people. The same study found that campers were more likely to find new things that they liked to do at Camp, and this success led them to want to try other activities.
Last updated August 19, 2016