4-H Camp Owahta is a program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cortland County. The camp was started in 1952 because there was a need for a local camp for kids to experience 4-H. 4-H is a worldwide youth development program available in every state and over eighty countries. It is open to all youth aged 5 to 19, who want to have fun, learn new skills, and explore the world. Here at Camp they provide those opportunities for children ages 6-15 to meet their full potential in a safe and fun camp environment.
For boys and girls ages 8-15 there is an opportunity to stay at the camp, campers will reside in a cabin with other children in their own age range, and work as a community to forge new friendships and grow closer to one another. Also gaining a new sense of independence and learning many new skills through out their experience. Campers are able to sign up for the activities they like that are available then based off of this a schedule is created to fit in the activities.
What things can you do at camp?
Recreation area provides a place to do sports activities with a basket ball court, Field, open cemented area for games of choice and a volley ball net with sand. In the recreation supply building there are things to play Hockey, goals, Soccer balls, Basketballs, Baseball bat, baseball, volley balls, Frisbees and more. They even have an archery.
The waterfront is a decent sized bond with a dock and areas sectioned off by feet. At the waterfront you can take progressive swimming lessons, go kayaking or canoeing, fish, or free swim. They also have tons of water toys that can be used in the pond.
Arts an crafts pavilion provides art supplies for kids to try numerous creative activities such as painting, ceramics, Collage, art using natural materials, wood burning , and drawing. These activities allow them to express themselves in a creative way.
Nature activities can vary but some of the types of activities include trail exploration, outdoor cooking, outdoor survival skills, animal spotting, animal paw print casts, conservation theory, and pond animal exploration. New this year they have a garden for tree and plant identification, composting and more. It contains lots of edible herbs, plants and of course vegetables. In addition, they were able to borrow some animals from a local farm to have at the camp. They had two bunnies, two sheep, and four Chickens. These new additions allowed the camp to add the agricultural experience of New York and 4-H to the camp. They hope to get more animals in the years to come maybe even some horses.
During their free time some campers even play card games such as go fish and even pokemon!
Lunch time you get into you designated “Tribes” with your counselor and preform a cheer before entering. And before eating everyone sings the camp owahta 4-H prayer song.
There is a big bell that is rung in order to indicate all transitions.
There are also day campers who come for the day and participate in the same activities also allowing younger kids to attend. This program is for ages 6-15 who are bused to the camp for the day. Aside from regular programming during the Residential campers “rest” period, you get “Day Camp Time” where you and your friends get to participate in special programming made just for you by our Program Director! Every day is a surprise on what you will do!
This program is for ages 8-15, allowing kids to experience living in Nature rather than just with it. Being a more nature oriented program, campers are able to camp in tents for a week at a special campsite, and cook two meals per day over an open fire. You will still have the opportunity to participate in camp activities such as recreation, and waterfront. You will have special extended periods where you will explore our many nature trails, practice outdoor cooking skills, and learn outdoor survival skills under the guidance of their experienced “Tent Camp Special Staff”. At the end of your day, you will have a special campfire where you and your friends can relax, make “S’mores” and sing campfire songs with one another. While this special program will emphasis outdoor skills, and tent living, each camper will have access to water, indoor plumbing, and hot showers daily while at Tent Camp. However, please note that there are only 12 slots per season to make sure campers are properly supervised and cared for.
During the 6-week resident program, there are themed Thursdays every week, where the counselors dress up and put on a sort of show for the campers. Sounds fun right? This year the themes were the following
Patriot Week – “Stars and Stripes Forever”: Come out to camp to kick off the first week of summer 2016! We will explore the Colonies, have a special celebration on the 4 th of July, and you might even get to help George Washington win the revolution!
“Interstellar Time Warp”: Where are we? Oh, look it is week 2 and we are on the planet Owahtis. Next stop planet Earth, year 5620. Go exploring among the stars, walk in a nebula. But will we save Earth from the black hole over there? Only you, and that alien over there can save us!
“Caribbean Mystery Cruise”: Pack your suitcase, get your sunscreen on and hop on the HMS Owahta bound for week 3! During our cruise, we will be stopping by the many Islands and meeting the people who live there, dancing, and having a party until the ship comes back to port. But wait a mystery abounds. Join us to help solve it!
Superhero Week – “Up, Up, and Away!”: Grab your capes and masks, and prepare for a supercharged week of non-stop action! An ultimate crime villain has invaded the City of Owahtaville, and everything has been turned upside down! Is there any hope left? It is up to our favorite superheroes to save the day, but as always, a superhero is only as good as their partner! Are you up to the challenge?
Magic Week – “Wizards, Giants, and Elves. Oh my!” : week 5 has just appeared and cast a spell over all of us! We have transported ourselves to the magical world of lore and seen all of the amazing things that abound here. Make friends with all of the creatures of this world, and join your friends in protecting the wizarding world against the “Dark Arts”.
OLYMPICS: On your mark, get set, GO! Race to week 6 for our 24th annual Olympics. Will this be the year you go down in the record book? Help bring your country to glory, all while enjoying the camaraderie of your friends!
They come up with new ideas for themes every year except for the Olympics.
Check out the Camp Owahta website for more information on registration, schedules etc.