The New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station 2020 Annual Report spotlights the many stories of outreach and resilience during COVID-19. To read more, see the NJAES 2020 Annual Report.
In its 70-year history, Lindley G. Cook 4-H Camp has never missed a summer of welcoming youth to its camp. Thanks to the creativity of counselor staff, the summer of 2020 was no exception as 4-H Camp, “Home Away from Home At Home,” was conducted during the month of July.
One hundred and thirty campers and 50 counselors still got together to laugh, create new friendships, build on old relationships, and have a summer of celebrating the 4-H Camp community, the exception being that the traditional ‘tech-free’ experience became a ‘tech-full” camp program with the pivot to virtual programming.
Modeled on traditional in-person, hands-on 4-H Camp, each component of the virtual program was designed for maximum interaction. Campers were assigned to a ‘cabin’ with a group of a dozen others, and were able to attend meetings on Zoom and enjoy a choice of 50 different recreational games, lessons, and crafts. Campers learned about each other and shared about themselves—the foundation of new friendships and the quintessential 4-H Camp experience.
Here’s what 4-H campers had to say about Home Away from Home at Home:
“You made it possible for camp to happen, even when the world was in crisis. I can’t thank you enough.”
“Instead of gathering in person around Lake Shawanni, campers congregated in virtual cabins to interact, play, learn about each other, share about themselves and form the foundation of new ’Campy‘ friendships.”
“Thank you so much for putting so much time, love, and effort into keeping the magic of camp throughout zoom”.