Preparing for 4-H Camp

Preparing for 4-H Summer Camp

Welcome to Nebraska 4-H Summer Camps! The summer programs offered at our three 4-H camping locations provide all youth a place to discover, learn, and grow. Also, your child does not have to be a member of 4-H to attend. At the Nebraska 4-H Camps and Centers, we believe strongly in promoting the mission of Nebraska 4-H, which encourages all young people to reach their full potential, by working and learning in partnership with caring adults. Amidst the beauty of Nebraska's National Forest and prairie, we are able to do what we do best: provide a life-changing summer camp experience for all youth! 4-H is education for life and focuses on helping young people explore the science in their everyday lives, grow leadership and citizenship skills, explore future career opportunities, and make healthier decisions. 

All three of the Nebraska 4-H Camps are American Camp Association (ACA) accredited, meaning that we undergo a thorough review of over 300 standards related to operations, staffing and emergency management. We recruit an experienced and caring staff that receives training in first aid/CPR, water safety, camping skills, and positive youth development. As directors, we share more than fifty years of combined experience in working with youth and continue to be leaders among our peers in the youth development field. Campers' safety, security, health, and growth are our primary concerns. Nebraska 4-H Camps' unparalleled, experienced leadership provides a well-supervised and supportive environment. We believe there is no better investment than your child attending camp! No matter which 4-H Camp your child goes to, camp is a great place to meet new friends, to try something for the first time, and to build cherished memories that last a lifetime! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call one of us. See you at camp!


Residence Camps (Explorer, Discovery)

Sample Daily Camp Schedule
All of our sessions are unique and have individual themes and activities but the following is the general schedule that we start with and customize for each session:

  • 7:30 am Wake Up
  • 7:45 am Flag Raising
  • 8:00 am Breakfast
  • 8:30 am Clean cabin and prepare for activities
  • 9:00 am Camp Activity #1 (ie: archery, canoeing, ropes course, waterslide, etc.)
  • 10:30 am Camp Activity #2
  • 12:00 pm Lunch
  • 12:30 pm Rest Hour
  • 1:30 pm Camp Activity #3
  • 3:00 pm Camp Activity #4
  • 4:30 pm Cabin Activity (Group games or free time with cabin group)
  • 5:30 pm Dinner
  • 6:30 pm Evening Activity (All-camp Game, Camp Dance, Water Party, etc.)
  • 9:30 pm Campfire w/Smores
  • 10:30 pm Lights Out

Counties may coordinate group transportation/car pool to the camps. Please contact your county extension office to inquire.

Registration Times
The registration (drop off) and departure (pick up) times for all camp sessions are listed in the camp brochure at Please keep in mind that the lodge doors will open for registration on time and we have parking for only approximately 60 cars. The 4-H Center has no provisions for early arrival. Please plan accordingly.

To assure the safety of our campers, prescription and non-prescription medications (except asthma inhalers and Epi-pens) will be checked into our camp staff at registration. No medications of any kind (except asthma inhalers and Epi-pens) are allowed in the cabins. Please leave all prescription medications in the original container with the official prescription label. For your child's safety, we will not be able to accept any medication which is not in the original bottle with the official directions or prescription label nor will your camper be allowed to stay in camp. Please place all prescription and non-prescription medications in one zip-lock bag. Write your child's full name with a permanent marker on the bag.

Significant Illness or Accident
In the event of a significant illness, injury or if professional medical care is sought, parents will be notified by camp staff. Summer staff have been trained and certified in the use of CPR and First Aid. Please be aware of the risk associated with outdoor activities and be assured we have taken every reasonable precaution. The safety and well-being of your child is our highest priority!

Illness at Camp
Campers will be asked to return home for the following: If head lice is discovered at check in. A sustained temperature over 100 degrees. Vomiting or diarrhea. Sore throat accompanied by an elevated temperature. Ear ache accompanied by discharge or elevated temperature. If the child is feeling uncomfortable and sick to the extent that the child is unable to accomplish normal camp activities. If a child becomes ill with an easily communicable disease.

Medical Insurance
Health insurance is the parent's/guardian's responsibility. Camp does have minimal short term medical insurance that covers your child while at camp.

Weather or Emergencies
Staff and counselors are trained for these situations and we have shelter from tornados and severe weather. Weather radios and internet access provide detailed and timely information concerning severe weather. Also, arrangements have been made with local emergency officials to warn us first hand of weather emergencies. We would like to keep the phone lines clear during these demanding times. Please help us in this effort and refrain from calling camp. Please be assured we have plans for all foreseeable emergencies.

Departure Times
You are invited to attend our video/slide show in the lodge approximately 30 minutes prior to your scheduled departure (pickup) time. The 4-H Center has no provisions for late pickup. Please plan accordingly.

Check Out
A counselor will be waiting with a form for the person picking up your camper to sign. Ensure that your camper and the person who is picking them up notifies the camper's counselor and signs the check out form.

What to Bring to Camp
Please pack only clothes which are appropriate for outdoor activities. They will get dirty! (We promise!) Label everything with your child's name. Laundry facilities are not available. Please pack adequate clothing for the entire stay at camp.

Essential items:

  • At least two pairs of shoes- One pair for hiking and one older pair to wear in the river or creek. NOTE: To be allowed on our T.R.U.S.T. Course each camper must have at least one pair of "closed toed and closed heeled" shoes or boots. Tennis shoes are acceptable. "Crocks" and sandals are NOT.
  • Shirts (T-shirts are fine) (daily change +1)
  • Pants (Shorts, jeans, sweatpants are all OK) (daily change +1)
  • Socks (daily change +1)
  • Underwear (daily change +1)
  • Sleeping Bag or sheets and blanket
  • Pillow
  • Towels (At least 2)
  • Toiletries
  • Sleep wear
  • Wash Cloths
  • Swimming suits (at least 2)
  • Sweatshirts
  • Cap or hat
  • Jacket
  • Poncho or raincoat for rainy weather
  • Flashlight
  • Sun Screen
  • Insect Repellent
  • Water bottle
  • Laundry bag or spare pillow case for laundry
  • Optional items:
  • Sun Glasses
  • Camera
  • Pre-addressed, stamped envelope, paper, pencil

Do Not Bring to Camp
As you know Camp is a special place. We intentionally try our best to setup the right camp atmosphere. The following items detract from this atmosphere and the spirit of camp. Please help us provide the best possible experience by ensuring these items are left at home:

  • Firearms - includes BB and pellet guns
  • Fireworks
If above items are found in camp, parents will be called immediately and the camper will be sent home.
  • Radios, headsets, CD players, I-pods, etc.
  • Electronic games
  • Knives and multi-tools
  • Lighters/matches
  • Expensive jewelry, watches, other valuables

These items will be confiscated until the camp session is over. They will be returned to the parent/guardian picking the camper up on checkout day.

Cell Phones -- Campers are not to bring a cell phone to camp - however, if you need to make unique arrangements please contact the camp director in advance. All phones must be checked in at registration by a parent/guardian. They will be secured in the Camp Director's office.

Camp Store
Souvenirs and snacks are available in the camp store. The camp store will be open during camp and at registration and check out.

Camp Store Money Check In -- All campers are asked to check in all their money at registration. When your child goes to the camp store, the camp staff will have sheets to track the funds each camper has in their "account." Campers can then make purchases at the camp store and the staff will deduct the amount spent from their remaining balance. Money which has not been spent will be returned at check out.  We recommend no more than $25.00 per camper.

Lost and Found
Please be sure to label everything you send to camp with your child's name. With so many children at camp, we cannot be responsible for possessions which are lost or left at camp. Please check the Lost and Found table before leaving camp. Items not claimed at the end of the summer will be taken to Goodwill.

All cancellations are subject to a $25 processing fee. No fees will be returned if the camp being attended is not notified 14 days prior to the camp session commencing.

Changing Camps
If for some reason you wish to register for a different camp, the request must be made at least two weeks prior to the camp for which you originally registered. Changes will be made only when feasible. There is no charge for changing camp sessions.

Leaving Camp Early and/or "Coming and Going"
It is our goal to make your child's stay at 4-H camp one of the highlights of the summer. We strive to create a community in which all campers are actively involved 100% of the time. This is difficult when campers leave for sporting events or other engagements. Please try to make arrangements within your schedule so your child can remain at camp for the entire session.

Phone Calls to Camp
A large benefit of attending camp is gaining independence and confidence. Homesickness is an occasional problem - one that we deal with regularly and successfully. It can be made more difficult when parents call camp. Please call only in an emergency.

Mail from camp is taken to the post office daily. If your child would like to write home, please include some self-addressed stamped envelopes or post cards. Please do not be upset if you do not receive a letter. Camp life is very busy and "no news is good news."

Please feel free to mail letters or email your child while at camp. An upbeat and positive letter/email from home can help make your child's stay at camp more comfortable. For a three day camp session, we recommend putting the letter in the mail a day or two prior to their session. Please write your camper's name and the name of the camp session they will be attending on the envelope. Mail arrives at camp at approximately 2:00 p.m. every day and is delivered to each cabin's "mail box" in the lodge. Campers and their counselors are asked to check them regularly. Mail delivered after departure day may not be forwarded.

You may email your camper at the address provided on the "Contact Us" page on the website. Your email will be printed out and given to your camper.  The camp e-mail is checked first thing every morning and is delivered to each cabin's "mail box" in the lodge. Campers and their counselors are asked to check them regularly.


Character Development is the cornerstone of the 4-H program. Your participation in 4-H carries the responsibility of exhibiting behaviors that reflect the positive traits of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. Your contribution to a 4-H program is as important as what you receive from it. The following guidelines may not be exhaustive or exclusive. In the spirit of these guidelines, you are expected to promote Nebraska as "the good life," and exhibit good character at all times.

As a 4-H participant, I will:

  1. Treat all people and property with respect, courtesy, consideration and compassion. Avoid put-downs, insults, name calling, swearing and other language or nonverbal conduct likely to offend, hurt or set a bad example.
  2. Act in a responsible manner at all times. A. Participate in all sessions related to the 4-H program, event and contest. I will not leave the assigned program area without permission of the paid or volunteer staff. B. Respect roommates by creating a quiet atmosphere during sleeping hours and by remaining within my assigned sleeping quarters after curfew to ensure the safety/well-being of myself and others. C. Avoid sexual displays of personal affection. Females are not permitted in males' rooms, nor males in females' rooms at any time. Minors are not allowed in staff quarters. Rooms will be monitored in accordance with 4-H Policy.
  3. Keep noise to a minimum out of respect to others outside of the 4-H group who could be using the same facility.
  4. Use good manners, dress appropriately for the occasion and not wear clothing that may be offensive and disrespectful to others.
  5. Practice fair-mindedness by being open to ideas, suggestions and opinions of others.
  6. Obey laws and rules as an obligation of being a good citizen. I accept responsibility for the proper treatment and care for other youth and adults, animals, the environment, the program facilities and/or equipment.
  7. Not possess or use: tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, controlled or uncontrolled mood-altering substances, pocket/hunting knives, lighters/matches, fireworks or firearms during 4-H events. All prescription and non-prescription medications will be listed on my health form. I will follow the specific 4-H event/program guidelines and will possess only the acceptable items as dictated by the specific event. Staff have reserved the right to check luggage, storage areas and/or living quarters prior to and during an event.

I understand that if I do not follow the above code of conduct I may expect:

  1. To explain my actions to 4-H staff in charge.
  2. A letter describing the infraction and/or inappropriate behavior will be sent to my parent/guardian and/or county 4-H Council or sponsoring group.
  3. To be dismissed from the event and sent home early at parent/guardian expense.
  4. If applicable, further disciplinary action as determined by the county 4-H Council, which may include becoming ineligible to participate in further 4-H activities.
  5. To reimburse the proper entity for any property damage or for liability resulting from inappropriate actions. In the case of vandalism, I may be required to reimburse 4-H or the facility for trip expenses and/or any additional clean-up fees.