Title page for ETD etd-5437192339731121

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Meadows, Robert Ray
URN etd-5437192339731121
Title History of Virginia's 4-H Camping Program: A Case Study on Events Leading to the Development of the 4-H Educational Centers
Degree PhD
Department Education Administration
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Jones, Roy S.
Richards, Robert R.
Worner, Wayne Dempsey
Parson, Stephen R. Committee Chair
Hunt, Thomas C. Committee Co-Chair
  • 4-H
  • camping
  • cooperative extension
  • virginia
  • 4-H educational centers
Date of Defense 1997-03-21
Availability unrestricted

Residential camping has long been used as a

tool to reach and teach educational concepts

to youth. Since the founding of the first

organized residential camp in 1823 at Round

Hill School's Summer Camp in Massachusetts,

private and public organizations have used

camping as a means to teach youth their

respective missions and goals. Although a

relative newcomer in the camping business

when compared to other agencies and groups,

4-H has been involved in camping since the

first county camp was conducted in 1915.

Virginia has long been in the business of 4-H

camping, reaching thousands of youth

throughout the years on an annual basis. Now,

ranked third nationally in total numbers of

youth attending 4-H camping on an annual

basis, the 4-H mission "...assisting youth, and

adults working with those youth, to gain

additional knowledge, life skills, and attitudes

that further their development as self-directing,

contributing, and productive members of

society" continues to be carried out through the

residential camping program. The purpose of

this dissertation is to describe, record and

analyze the concept that provided the

foundation for the Virginia 4-H camping

program becoming a reality of the 4-H

educational centers. It includes the early history

of the camping movement in the United States,

the beginnings of the 4-H club program in the

United States and Virginia, and 4-H

involvement in reaching and involving youth

audiences through camping programs. The

population for this study consisted of early

pioneers in the 4-H camping program

representing Virginia Cooperative Extension

administrators and extension agents, camp

staffs, and campers from both white and

African-American camping programs, as

separate 4-H camping programs were

conducted. A systematic document research

and structured interviews of the early pioneers

was conducted to reach defensible conclusions

about the establishment, operation, and

purpose of the 4- H camping movement in

Virginia. The outcomes of this study are

fourfold. First, the study serves to document

the organized camping movement in the United

States and the beginnings of 4-H. Second, the

study explores the early beginnings of the 4-H

camping movement in the country with the

national 4-H camping movement. Third, the

study examined the persons, events, founding

and early development of the 4-H camping

program in Virginia, including the separate

white and African-American camping

programs for Whites and African-Americans.

Fourth, the study documented the history of

Virginia's six 4-H educational centers. The

study endeavors to contribute to the body of

knowledge concerning the history of the 4-H

movement in Virginia.

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