NC 4-H Summer 2020 CAMP OUT! Makes Huge Impact

— Written By and last updated by Camp Out

This summer, camp looked a lot different than normal. Instead of thousands of summer campers staying on site at one of our three 4-H centers for a week during our 8-week summer camp season, youth experienced camp through the creative use of technology. Although campers weren’t able to connect with each other and nature at camp, they were able to connect with each other and nature virtually.

KidsOur NC 4-H Summer 2020 CAMP OUT! virtual camp took place Monday, June 22 through Friday, June 26. Our goal was to create a positive camping experience for youth using technology as a tool to help them connect, learn, grow and get outside – all priorities of our mission to serve the youth of North Carolina at our three camps. A total of 550 families from 79 North Carolina counties and 17 U.S. states participated in our virtual camp. During the week, they spent an average of 5+ hours outside, a figure significantly higher than their time spent outside on any given week. Youth made crafts, built toad homes, learned about North Carolina ecology, and even camped out under the stars while enjoying s’mores and traditional campfire skits and songs. It was as close to 4-H camp that we could get this year, but at home and with family.

Kids ready for camping

Check out what our families had to say via our virtual camp survey administered through Qualtrics:

  • 64% have never attended overnight camp
  • 99% are now more likely to attend one of our camps in the future
  • 96% thought camp out was fun and engaging
  • 38% learned about or connected with nature
  • 35% tried something new

Check out these quotes from parents about their camper’s experience via our evaluation survey administered through Qualtrics:

“My kiddo is enjoying all the fun live events, thank you! Yesterday’s session inspired him to pull out his personal sharks tooth collection. And now he’s out with his younger siblings building toad houses in the yard. What an awesome program and SUPER wonderful to have right now.” – Durham, NC

“Aubree had a fun week of virtual camp! Thank you for a great first time camper experience even if it wasn’t in person.” -Henderson, NC

“We had so much fun in PA this week! Maddie is enjoying the final camp out with s’mores and her hammock. She has never been to NC but your program makes us all hope to visit in the future. Thanks for being so welcoming!”- Abington, PA

“To round out the week, we roasted hot dogs and s’mores over the campfire, played music, danced, laughed and had a good ‘ole time! The girls slept in the tent all night, gazing at the stars and finding constellations. THANKS for making this happen. My daughter was really sad when (camp) was cancelled this year.” -Fredericksburg, VA

When it boils down to it, camp is an experience. Our goal was to provide a Campers with maskscamping experience using technology as the tool to facilitate fun, connection and learning. We’re proud of the success of this virtual camp and excited to meet many of our virtual campers at camp next summer. This was a tremendous team effort on the part of all three of our NC 4-H camp teams working together for one common goal: fulfilling our land-grant mission to serve our state’s youth. While we don’t know what the future holds with COVID-19, we do know that we can continue to reach and serve our youth, no matter what happens.

Woman lying on ground