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Youth Aim High at 4-H Military Partnership Summer Camps

Posted by Scott Elliott, National Institute of Food and Agriculture in Research and Science
Jun 11, 2019
Youth learning about computers at a 2018 Air Force 4-H camp
Youth learn about computers at a 2018 Air Force 4-H camp in New York. (Photo courtesy of 4-H)

Military-connected youth have an exciting opportunity to join other members of the military family this summer. These residential and day camps will develop skills and teach the campers new techniques that will help prepare them to be productive citizens.

The 16 camps, held in 15 states, are 4-H camps sponsored by Air Force Child and Youth Programs, with programs tailored to meet the needs of both the host unit and regional 4-H programs. Camp themes range from leadership development to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); from sustainable energy to college prep; from drones and geospatial technology to outdoor forestry and farm conservation; and more.

In addition to camps sponsored by the Air Force, Purdue University’s Cooperative Extension Service hosts Military Teen Adventure Camps that are open to families in all service branches. Purdue’s program is funded by a grant from Department of Defense and USDA. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is the home of 4-H National Headquarters and provides funding and national program leadership to 4-H.

“Besides having a great time at summer camp, making new friends, and creating memories that will last a lifetime, youth who attend Air Force 4-H Camps develop a variety of life skills, experience independence, foster teamwork, enhance communication, and increase social skills while having fun with other military youth,” said David Brittain, North Carolina State University 4-H extension associate with the Air Force 4-H Partnership.

The 4-H Military Partnerships Program provides support to military-connected youth whether they live on or near an installation, in the United States or overseas. Despite the frequent moves of military families, 4-H clubs provide consistency in belonging and the chance to develop life skills through a positive youth development framework. 4-H programs integrate the research-based programs and resources of the nation’s land-grant universities to help youth excel.

NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and extension and seeks to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges.

Category/Topic: Research and Science