Benefits of 4-H Camp for Campers & Counselors Back »

With temperatures warming and the end of the school year quickly approaching, it is time to plan for camp this summer! Camp is a fun, safe way for South Dakota’s youth to explore new topics and activities in an experiential manner.

Camper Benefits

Still not sure if camp is the right fit for you or your youth? According to research done at 4-H summer camps (Garton et al 2007; Hedrick et al 2009), youth campers learn how to:

  • Appreciate differences amongst people
  • Listen and communicate effectively
  • Accept responsibility in a community-living setting
  • Apply independent life-skills away from home

These skills that the youth learn or improve on do not stop when they leave camp; rather, youth can transfer these abilities to any group, organization, or team that they are involved with.

Counselor Benefits

However, youth campers are not the only people who benefit from attending camp. Reports from former 4-H Camp Counselors (Brandt & Arnold 2006) indicate that, even long after camp ended, counselors displayed improved skills in:

  • Leadership
  • Responsible citizenship
  • Contribution
  • Teamwork

The skills learned as a camp counselor make teens a more qualified job applicant, a better team member, and a more confident leaders.

Learn More!

For more information on any of the youth camps, teen camps, or teen counselor volunteer positions available in 2018, view the the following resources:


  • Brandt, J., & Arnold, M. (2006). Looking back, the impact of the 4-H Camp Counselor experience on youth development: A survey of counselor alumni. Journal of Extension, 44(6).
  • Garton, M., Miltenberger, M. & Pruett, B. (2007). Does 4-H Camp influence life skill and leadership development? Journal of Extension, 45 (4).
  • Hedrick, J., Homan, G., & Dick, J. (2009). Exploring the positive impact of 4-H Camp on youth: Identifying differences based on a camper’s gender, years of attendance, and age. Journal of Extension, 47(6).
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