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Kansas 4-H Tip Sheet

November 15, 2022

What’s the difference between a half-week and a full-week session at 4-H camp?

Submitted by Letha and Jared Causby

Last summer, Rock Springs Ranch introduced week-long sessions. After receiving feedback from families we are excited to continue to expand those opportunities for our campers in 2023. Next summer we will offer more week-long sessions - two will be in June and one in the month of July. Our half-week sessions will alternate weeks throughout the summer with four sessions offered in June and one in July.

What’s the difference between a half-week and a full-week session at 4-H camp?

There are a couple benefits to half-week sessions. First, they are a wonderful opportunity for campers to ease into the idea of an overnight camp. For those kids who may not be used to the idea of spending nights away from home, here at camp once you’ve made it through that first night it’s only two more before the return home. Although homesickness can still occur it is much less frequent than during our week long sessions. Our second benefit for these sessions is the smaller time commitment. We recognize that youth these days seem to have more and more on their plates, especially during the summer season. Who remembers the days of attending camp for 4 weeks, or 6 weeks, or for the entire summer?! Those kinds of timelines are becoming more and more difficult. With those busy schedules it’s wonderful hearing from so many kids who are involved in so many areas and are passionate about so many activities. Within the busy summer we hope that there’s at least a small enough window for them to attend camp during a half week if time will not allow for a full week commitment.

So what about the kids who can’t get enough of camp? For youth who love camp and want to soak it up for all it’s worth, the full-week session is the path for them. Last year, during our extended sessions we were able to offer more time and a wider range of activities. Our week-long campers get to have a little more choice in the activities they are passionate about. Once campers arrive on Sunday they are given a sign-up sheet for all the other activities we sometimes aren't able to participate in due to the time constraints of a half-week session. We still make sure campers get to do the classics like the opportunity to shoot a bow and arrow at archery and take a canoe out but what if a camper really wants to take photos at camp? Well then we encourage them to sign up for Photography class where they will get to go two days in a row. Of course, we are always pleased to be able to offer more activities that kids specifically choose themselves but there is another large benefit to spending a week at camp. All the wonderful things that campers experience at camp intensify. The friendships made, the sense of belonging, independence, etc. All those benefits kids gain from attending camp go up to another level.

We would love to discuss this further with anyone who may have questions or those trying to decide which type of session might work best. Whether it’s a half week, full week, or even a day, anytime spent outside, with friends, disconnecting from the outside world is time well spent.

Half-Week Sessions:
Session 1: June 4-7
Session 2: June 7-10
Session 4: June 18-21
Session 5: June 21-24
Session 7: July 5-8

Full-Week Sessions:
Session 3: June 11-16
Session 6: June 25-30
Session 8: July 9-14

Registration is now open for 4-H camp 2023! To register, visit www.rockspringsranch4hcamp.org.