WATERTOWN, NY — Specializing in connecting youth to nature, 4-H Camp Wabasso, a youth residential children’s camp, opened for the summer camp season on Saturday, June 30th with “Teen Adventure Camp.” Owned and operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension Association of Jefferson County, children have been coming to 4-H Camp Wabssso on Millsite Lake since 1950. Other camp options include a two day, one night Coverbud Camp for six, seven and eight year olds July 5th and 6th, and traditional residential camp and day camp beginning every Sunday from July 8th through Fridays ending on August 10th, 2018.
The summer camp caters to youths age 6 to 16 and has a wide variety of offerings taking advantage of its beautiful natural surroundings with 177 acres and over 1/2 mile of waterfront, giant recreational field, archery area, camping area, ropes challenge course (with new giant swing), and beach and swimming area. Activities include Archery, Arts and Crafts, Boating, Camping, Campfires, Canoeing, Fishing, Hiking, Kayaking, Paddle boarding, Ropes Challenge Course, Swimming, Swimming instruction, Team Sports, Theatre, and Wilderness Survival. Plus, the camp offers leadership training with its Counselor-In-Training program for ages 13-16.
“Safety is our first priority, followed by fun as a close second,” according long-time Camp Director Mike Kinnie, who is in his sixth year as camp director and is also a full-time teacher at Evergreen Country Day School in Evergreen, Colorado. All the life guards are American Red Cross certified and all the counselors are CPR/First Aid/AED certified. Lynne Rigabar, RN is the live-on-site nurse and is in her third season at camp. She is also a school nurse at Wiley School. Rigabar attended camp as a camper when she was a child as was in a local 4-H Club.
Kinnie was a camper, CIT, Counselor Assistant, Senior Counselor, Program Coordinator and Program Director and is also currently the camp manager. More than half the staff has moved up the ranks from camper to CIT to Junior or Senior Counselor. They are very knowlegeable about safety, 4-H based researched based programming and fun.
“You can make life long friends at camp. Many of my closest friends I met at camp,” Kinnie adds. The 4-H Youth Program is the largest youth program in the country and focuses on research based hands-on learning. Campers become more independent, self-reliant problem solvers, and develop increased social skills while learning life skills and getting connected to nature. “The most complex game ever invented,” Kinnie pipes in.
4-H Camp Wabasso is an inexpensive way take a break from the digital world and “reconnect with nature.” There is still a limited amount of camper space still available. For more information please contact the camp administer Lisa Vaughn at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County (315) 788-8450 or check out the website www.ccejefferson.org/4-h-camp-wabasso.