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CAMP Access grant to send youths to 4-H camp

Three girls holding a West Virginia University and 4-H clover flag at a state camp.

Leadership, strategic thinking, creativity and problem-solving skills are key characteristics of successful people. Through support from the National 4-H Council, more West Virginia youths will have an opportunity to develop those critical skills by attending the WVU Extension Service 4-H Older Members Conference (OMC).

The Capital and Access to Maximize Participation (CAMP) grant from the National 4-H Council will provide 160 first-time campers the opportunity to attend OMC at WVU Jackson’s Mill June 16-22, 2019. The grant provides West Virginia the chance to broaden access to 12,000 vulnerable youths ages 5-19 by providing them with opportunities to participate in nature and character-building activities. 

The WVU Extension Service CAMP grant provides $35,000 to bring first-time campers to WVU Jackson’s Mill for the week where they will participate in a number of activities geared toward leadership development and networking opportunities with other young people from throughout West Virginia. In addition to covering costs for the first-time campers to attend OMC, each will be provided with a toiletry bag. CAMP is a one-to-one access grant, which requires WVU Extension Service to raise matching funds for a total of $70,000 to support this camping program. Patrick and TJ (Trochlil) McGreevy, Cheryl Reeves and Dominion Energy completed the one-to-one match to make this grant possible.

“Many youths in West Virginia may never have an opportunity to experience a 4-H camp or other summer activities due to financial limitations. Access to educational opportunities provided by our 4-H camps is critical in helping our West Virginia’s young people succeed in school and beyond,” said Brent Clark, director, 4-H Youth Development, WVU Extension Service. “The CAMP grant allows us to extend our reach by offering more young people with a chance to attend OMC where they will develop leadership skills, identify issues specific to our state’s youths and address timely topics to improve their own communities.”

In addition to access for campers, the CAMP grants also provided $25,000, which will be matched (a total of $50,000) to be used to construct a new, accessible bath house at Camp Mar-Mac in Marion County. Each year, nearly 200 campers and volunteers attend 4-H camp and day camps. Camp Mar-Mac also is home to other church camps and youth retreats throughout the year. WVU Extension Service is continuing to look for supporters to complete this portion of the one-to-one match. To date, Jamie and Connie Moore, six Marion County 4-H clubs, Greer Industries, The Thrasher Group and the Mar-Mac Board of Directors have generously provided support for this project.

“We are so grateful for the support from the National 4-H Council CAMP grant and support from our local community to replace our existing bath facilities,” said Tina Cowger, WVU Extension Service 4-H Agent, Marion County. “These much-needed improvements will provide access for all campers and enhance the overall experience for those who visit Camp Mar-Mac.”

To learn more about CAMP grant opportunities available for students, please contact Rachel Griffith, WVU Extension Service 4-H and Youth Development, 304-293-5871.

4-H youth development programs are the cornerstone of West Virginia communities. Individuals interested in investing in the future of WVU students, 4-H’ers or other important WVU Extension Service programs, contact Lauren Seiler, director for development, WVU Extension at 304-293-8668 or email

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