Since 1947, 4-H Camp Palmer has been making moments matter. As we get ready for the summer of 2020, those moments will look quite different. Instead of being together at our happy place, we will have to stay home. The campfire will be quiet. The cabins will be unoccupied. The circle of chairs will be empty.
4-H Camp Palmer is a modern camping complex in Northwest Ohio nestled away in the woods adjacent to Harrison State Park in Fayette, Ohio. Operated in conjunction with The Ohio State University, and Ohio State University Extension, the camp features complete indoor and outdoor living and recreational facilities.
Approximately 2,800 youth and adults camp annually at 4-H Camp Palmer. There are eleven surrounding county 4-H programs who call 4-H Camp Palmer home, including: Allen, Auglaize, Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Lucas, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, Williams and Wood counties. In addition to the county 4-H camps, 4-H Camp Palmer is host to annual user groups, includin: schools, band camps, churches and adult organizations.
One of the most memorable experiences a 4-H member will ever have is attending 4-H camp. 4-H Camp Palmer takes great pride in the fact that we can offer a wide variety of activities to help make those memories. Harrison Lake and the surrounding forest provide a backdrop for campers to canoe, kayak, paddleboard, fish, hike and participate in team-building activities. The shooting sports range provides an opportunity to learn how to safely handle and respect firearms and archery equipment. And of course, camp wouldn’t be camp without the traditional programs of swimming, talent shows, night hikes, snacks and evening campfires. This is where memories are made.
85 percent of 4-H Camp Palmer’s operating budget comes from user fees, but it is important to note that the camp strives to keep fees as low as possible to assure as many youth as possible can afford to attend camp. As a result, we operate on a very tight budget. When unexpected costs, facility improvements and major renovations are needed, we rely heavily on contributions from the community to subsidize the camp’s needs.
As a result of COVID-19 and the restrictions that have been put in place, Ohio 4-H has made the very difficult decision to suspend 4-H camps this summer. While we are saddened by this news, we fully support the decision to keep our youth safe because the health of our campers, staff and volunteers are our highest priority. However, with this decision comes the challenge of keeping 4-H Camp Palmer afloat while our yearly income has been reduced by 75 percent.
Now more than ever, 4-H Camp Palmer needs your help until we can welcome our youth back in the summer of 2021. In an effort to help keep camp afloat, our goal is to raise $20,000 in order to ease the financial burden 4-H Camp Palmer is currently experiencing.