CALS Camp Benefits Explorers of All Ages

Youth give back to the camp and its natural surroundings through service learning projects, like building gabion dams to prevent soil erosion in the watershed. (Photo courtesy of Arizona 4-H Youth Development)
Youth give back to the camp and its natural surroundings through service learning projects, like building gabion dams to prevent soil erosion in the watershed. (Photo courtesy of Arizona 4-H Youth Development)

Camp isn't just for the kids anymore.

"I know when I go to camp I feel like a big kid," said Kristin Wisneski, senior program coordinator with Arizona Cooperative Extension, which oversees the James 4-H Camp and Outdoor Learning Center at Mingus Springs.

The camp, which is owned and operated by Arizona 4-H Youth Development through the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is set on 55 acres in the picturesque Mingus Mountains in the Prescott National Forest. This camp has it all – boating, swimming, fishing, hiking, softball, basketball, volleyball, horseshoes, orienteering and a challenge course, as well as hands-on learning opportunities.

James 4-H Camp provides an ideal setting for staff retreats and UA research projects, as well as a good, old-fashioned camp experience for kids. Located about 15 miles east of Prescott Valley, the camp is open from mid-April through mid-October, and fees are offered on a sliding scale.

With a small army of volunteers and a $30,400 grant from the UA Green Fund to support a "green retrofit," James 4-H Camp is gearing up for the 2013 camp season, as Arizona 4-H celebrates 100 years.

AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps volunteers are currently sprucing up the camp. On their to-do list: hack down weeds, trim trees, repaint cabin eaves, build rock structures for erosion control and construct a boat house and storage facility.

Through the UA Green Fund grant, cabins will be converted to solar LED lights, shower water will be harvested to flush new low-flow toilets and waterless urinals will be installed. Plans are also in the works for a composting toilet. "Part of our ethic is to become more sustainable and use it as an educational opportunity," said Kirk Astroth, assistant dean and director of 4-H Youth Development. "A camp located in a national forest should be a good way to demonstrate sustainability."

Read the rest of this May 20, 2013 UANews article at the link below.

Date released: 
Jun 13 2013
Contact: 
Kristin Wisneski