Use Winter Temperatures to Inspire Summer Planning

— Written By Darlene Berry and last updated by

This is the season for parents to make residential summer camp plans. While children may not be thinking about their summer activities this time of year, it is time for parents to begin taking action. 4-H Youth Development has a long history of residential camping. In Caldwell County, our 4-H camping history is rich with experiences at Anita Alta. Across the state, 4-H Youth Development operates three uniquely different residential camps and facilities.

If you are looking for a quality residential camping experience, begin by looking for American Camp Association accreditation (ACA.)  Their set of 300 standards review a camp’s operation from staff qualifications and training to emergency management. They set the industry standard. Even the briefest visit to their webpage will provide a wealth of information If you are unfamiliar with the benefits of residential camping for youth development, they will connect you with the latest research. If you are looking for a residential camp, the ‘find a camp’ tab leads you to a database of options. With over 600 ACA accredited camps in North Carolina it is helpful to search with some qualifiers such as child age, gender, interest, location.

In North Carolina all 4-H residential camps are ACA accredited and accept youth age 5-17 years old. While you can preview them through the American Camp Association, your best resource is to call the local 4-H office 828.757.1257 and visit With camps in Reidsville, Columbia, and Ellerbe, North Carolina you are sure to find a setting and program of special interest for your child. Traditional residential summer camps continue to hold all the activities campers are longing for: ropes courses, swimming, archery, canoeing/kayaking, fishing, nature, campfires, new friendships, group games, arts and crafts and more.

Photo taken by Caldwell County 4-H volunteer, 4-H Cloverbud Campers at Anita Alta Outpost Camp, Summer 2015

Photo taken by Caldwell County 4-H volunteer, 4-H Cloverbud Campers at Anita Alta Outpost Camp, Summer 2015

For children with a specific interests there are special program weeks just for them. A 4-H specific interest week  includes horsemanship, hunting and fishing, boating, sailing, and leadership development.

If you desire a local 4-H summer experience for your child age 5-13 years old, please call our office and get on the 2016 Caldwell County 4-H Summer Exploring mailing list. We will be scheduling programs and setting dates for publication and registration in early spring. Don’t wait until school is out to plan your child’s summer enrichment. If you think it will include residential camp, make plans immediately. If you recall your experiences at Anita Alta 4-H Outpost Camp and want to reconnect, it is now managed by the Blue Ridge Horsemen’s Association. The camp is well maintained, accessible, and reasonable. For more information about Anita Alta visit If you wish to explore the history of Anita Alta, you may visit the display at the Caldwell Heritage Museum

If you are wondering whether or not your child is ready for residential camp? Ask them! They are often ready before their parents.