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4-H Camp Volunteer Leader Training. Four Top Priorities Expectations of a Leader Cabin Leader Roles & Responsibilities Ages & Stages of Development Behavior Management Child Protection Project Sessions Care of Campers. I. Four Top Priorities Safety Health Education FUN!.

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4-H Camp Volunteer Leader Training

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Four Top Priorities

  • Expectations of a Leader
  • Cabin Leader Roles & Responsibilities
  • Ages & Stages of Development
  • Behavior Management
  • Child Protection
  • Project Sessions
  • Care of Campers

I. Four Top Priorities

  • Safety
  • Health
  • Education
  • FUN!
  • Safety is our most important priority at camp.
  • What is the worst possible thing you can think of that could happen at camp?
  • Could it happen? Where?
  • Remember that nothing could

ruin a camp more than a serious injury or death.

  • Be SAFE.


How do we keep over 300 kids safe at camp?


Agents and leaders who are observant and make keeping campers safe their top priority!


Can a camper get sick while at 4-H Camp?

Of course!

Think of all the stresses their bodies are under:

  • Using different muscles, using them harder.
  • Eating different foods.
  • Sleeping in new place, different bed.
  • Doing all of this with new people.
  • With no family - mother, father to comfort.

So, how do we help keep campers healthy?

  • Remind them to practice proper hygiene.
  • Make sure they eat at meal time.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water.
  • Encourage them to get 7-8 hours of

sleep nightly.

  • Have them see adults at the first sign of illness or injury.

What do youth learn at 4-H Camp?


You, as leaders, will be teaching every moment you are with campers.

The three ways you are constantly teaching are:

By ExampleBy ExampleBy Example

Campers look up to you. Be certain you are setting a good example


Areas of Responsibility

Get to bed, get up, clothes, medicine, hygiene, cabin clean-up

Teen Leaders will teach project sessions

Get acquainted, team building, cooperation, work together

Set good examples, discipline fairly, help campers

Campfire, special programs, opening/closing ceremonies

Do your share, care, communicate


activity responsibility
Activity Responsibility
  • Teens, Adult Volunteers and Agents will be asked to sign up to assist with centers and activities.
  • You are responsible for getting to your activity/center on time. Activities cannot start until volunteer is present.
  • You must follow the same activity/center

rules as the campers. Set a good example.

  • Ask the agent/staff member in charge

if you can assist with activities.

  • Volunteer cheerfully!
camp success depends on you
Camp Success Depends on YOU!
  • A successful camp depends on the attitude of campers, volunteers and agents.
  • Everyone should remember that you are at camp to provide a positive experience for the campers.
  • Make sure to do your share. This is not a vacation.

You had previously signed up to work in the pool area, now due to inclement weather the pool is closed. Campers are gathered to do inside activities at various locations throughout camp. What should you do and why?

4 h camp home away from home
4-H Camp: Home Away From Home
  • Each cabin serves as a “home away from home” to campers.
  • For many campers, 4-H camp is a “first” for them to leave home.
  • Be aware with this change in

environment, campers that would

normally be confident can become

unsure and clingy.

  • A caring, supportive atmosphere in

the cabin will go a long way for campers having a

positive experience at camp.

what is my role
What is my role?
  • Select a bunk near the door. (Teens)
  • Have bunk made and baggage


  • Introduce yourself to campers.
  • Help campers select bunks.
  • Get a cabin roster from the agent

and learn their names.

  • Acquaint campers with camp and cabin rules.
  • Walk campers through cabins. Show them the clotheslines, bathrooms, cleaning supplies, etc.
what is my role1
What is my role?
  • Review page 12 of Success Guide for Leaders at 4-H Camps and Conferences: Your First Cabin Meeting.
  • Acquaint yourself with other leaders and agents.
  • Go over schedule with campers each day.
  • Campers should not be in the cabin unsupervised.
  • Account for campers during meals and activities.
what is my role2
What is my role?
  • Safety is priority #1 at all times
  • Be sure campers know where the first aid station is located. Campers should be accompanied by an adult to first aid.
  • Report ill or injured campers to agents no matter how late or how minor.
  • Assist the Agent in making sure all prescription and

non-prescription drugs (aspirin, Tylenol®)

are turned in to the camp nurse by

agents for safe keeping and dispensation.

  • Consult with agent if there are any campers in your cabin that has allergies.
  • Most likely, there is at least one camper in a group that will show signs of homesickness.
  • Many homesick problems are solved in the first 30 minutes of camp. Help campers get off to a great start!
  • The best cure for homesickness is participation
  • It may require that you as a leader

do a little extra to keep camper

involved in activities.

  • Have patience! Campers who

need the most love and attention

are often the least loveable.


You notice a camper coming back from the concession stand with a large amount of candy. Later you notice that the camper skips lunch, what should you do?

conduct in the cabins
Conduct in the Cabins
  • Keep the cabin tidy.
  • Beware of camper hygiene.
  • No horseplay.
  • Enforce rest periods and “lights out”.
  • Keep noise levels at a manageable level.
  • No food or drinks in cabins; wet clothes should be hung outside.
  • Encourage campers to be respectful of others property; discourage borrowing.
  • No abusive, or disrespectful language.
conduct in the cabins1
Conduct in the Cabins
  • Discourage negative discussions (gossip) about individual personalities or short comings.
  • Encourage everyone to get along.
  • During county or cabin meetings, be

sure to ask how campers are doing.

  • Report rumors and cases of bullying

to agents.

  • Cell phones are NOT allowed at

4-H Camp.


A camper appears to be very unhappy and wants to call home. You know that the camp rule is to only call in an emergency and with an agent’s approval. What would you do?

what you need to know
What you need to know
  • Rewarding.
  • Exasperating.
  • Understand

developmental needs.

  • Become a more

successful leader.

  • Plan more effectively.
  • Know characteristics of each group.
we all need
We all need:
  • To experience a positive self concept.
  • To experience success in most of what we do.
  • To become increasingly independent.
  • To develop and accept our own sexual identity.
  • To be able to give and receive attention and affection appropriately.
  • To experience new challenges and adventures.
  • To be accepted by peers and those in authority.
8 9 year olds
8 – 9 year olds:
  • Beginning projects is
  • more important than
  • finishing.
  • Concrete thinkers – see,
  • feel, touch, taste.
  • Feelings of success or
  • failure – dependent on peer
  • relationships.
  • Fragile self concept.
10 11 year olds
10 – 11 year olds:
  • Important to develop sense that he/she is capable.
  • Concerned about being “normal” – physical changes.
  • Ability to reason and moving toward abstract thinking.
12 14 year olds
12 – 14 year olds:
  • Physical, emotional, social changes occurring at a rapid pace.
  • Self concept is tied to their feelings about their own body.
  • Abstract thinkers – test the rules.
  • Carried by impulse.

On the first day, you encounter a child who doesn’t seem to have made any friends. After you talk with the child, he/she begins following you around. What should you do?

what if someone breaks the rules
What if someone breaks the rules?

Consequences should:

  • Be immediate.
  • Relate to the violation.
  • Be appropriate to the severity

of the violation.

  • Apply equally to all.
  • Only be threatened if you fully intend to invoke that consequence and if you have the ability and authority to do so.
what if someone breaks the rules1
What if someone breaks the rules?

REMEMBER, you cannot use physical force!

However, you CAN:

1. Confront the perpetrator

2. Separate the perpetrator

3. Isolate the perpetrator

4. (last but not least) REMOVE!

two most important rules
Two Most Important Rules




A group of campers is punching and shoving at flag raising. You stood in their midst, hoping they would stop, but it made no difference in their actions.

What would you do?

child protection
Child Protection

Each leader and staff should read and sign the following forms before attending 4-H Camp:

  • Standards of Conduct Agreement (pg 25, Success Guide for Leaders)
  • Adult Volunteer Leader Application Form (F809)
  • Health History for Volunteer or Paid Staff Member (F600B)
  • 4-H Camp Leader Training

Verification Form


As you are walking through camp, you encounter an adult you do not recognize. When you say, “Hello,” the adult says he/she is looking for their child. What should you do?

project sessions
Project Sessions
  • Teens will teach educational project sessions to youth at camp on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning.
  • The sessions have been prepared in advance for you to preview.
  • Ask your agent for a copy of the sessions you will teaching so you can review them.
  • If you have any questions about the sessions, talk to your agent.
  • Agents will work with you at camp to make sure your session is a success.
if there is a fire
If there is a fire:
  • Immediately clear all campers from the building and adjacent buildings.
  • No one should enter a burning building.
  • The agent/leader will be the last to

leave a cabin, if it is occupied when a fire

is reported.

  • The adult in charge of a cabin will take the campers the gathering point and account for all people on their cabin roster.
  • Agents/leaders will re-enter building only after the fire department has given clearance.
  • Evacuation plans are posted in each cabin.
severe weather
Severe Weather

In the event of a thunderstorm….

  • Seek shelter immediately after hearing thunder.
  • Pools, ball fields, fences, flagpoles, trees, and other open areas will be cleared.
  • Pools will remain closed until the lifeguards and camp manager determine it is safe to reopen.
  • Wait 30 minutes after the last thunder heard before going back outside.
  • Campers stay in sheltered areas until the storm passes.
health care
Health Care
  • Prevent Injury Good Hygiene – encourage campers to bathe regularly, brush teeth, wash hands, etc.
  • Stop Horseplay - Do not allow campers to have pillow fights, carry people on their back, pick each other up, etc.
  • Bodily Fluids/Blood Borne Pathogens –Do not touch any fluids, such as vomit, urine or blood.
  • Bed wetting – If you suspect a camper may have a bladder control problem, tell the agent. Be discreet.

A camper has had an accident in his/her bed, during the night, and the sheets are soiled.

What should you do?

  • Thank you for volunteering
  • Refer to the Success Guide for

Leaders for additional


  • Questions? Contact your County Extension Office
  • Have a great week at camp