Parent’s Corner

Sending a child to camp for the first time, while exciting, can also make parents apprehensive. We’d like to address some concerns you may have.

Common Concerns

What makes Clyde York 4-H Center a safe place for my child?

Our facility is ACA Accredited. ACA stands for the American Camping Association. Only about 25% of America’s 12,000 camps are ACA accredited. ACA accreditation is something we voluntarily participate in. It involves vigorous review of our operation, from staff qualifications and training to emergency management.

Clyde M. York 4-H Center is a gated camp with access to our facility strictly limited and monitored. Once campers arrive at camp, anyone requesting entrance to the facilities will be identified and escorted.

The health and safe​ty of each camper is of utmost importance to us. Every precaution is taken to protect campers from sickness or accident. A nurse or person trained in first aid is on duty at all times, and emergency care is available a short distance away. The first aid station is stocked with necessary over-the-counter medications and first aid supplies. The 4-H Center nurse organizes and dispenses all camper medications, including PRNs, over-the-counter remedies and vitamins. The 4-H Center staff are required to be first aid and CPR certified. They also undergo additional health care training during staff orientation weekend. ​

The most common injuries at camp are small scrapes, bruises and bug bites. You can help your camper stay healthy by encouraging them to wash their hands regularly, wear bug spray and sunscreen every day, and cough/sneeze into their elbow (not their hand). Also, encourage them to wear flip flops only in the shower. Camp has a lot of uneven terrain and shoes that stay on the feet are the best prevention against twisted ankles.

The 4-H Center Manager, Camp Nurse, or your camper’s county extension agent will contact you if your camper has the following: a temperature above 100 degrees, needs to be transported off camp for additional medical attention, or if discipline issues arise.
We encourage campers to drink plenty of water throughout the day. The Clyde York 4-H Center has thirteen water fountains centrally located throughout camp. Water coolers are provided to areas that are not close to a water fountain. We encourage parents to send a reusable water bottle with their child. We have a bottle filling station beside the canteen that campers can refill their water bottles at throughout the day. We have water bottles for sale at the canteen in case your camper would like a summer camp souvenir.

My camper requires medication. What do I need to do?

Contact your county agent about your camper’s needs.  There are forms that will need to be filled out. 

Non-expired medications are required to be brought to your departure destination in the original container. Each medication is required to have a F600M form on file for EACH medication your child takes. Please be sure to specify what time of day your child needs to take each medication. The more information you write about how your child’s medication is administered, the less you may be called to explain any information the nurse may need. 

What if my camper has special dietary needs?

Campers with dietary concerns are encouraged to bring their choice of staples.   Storage space, refrigeration, and cooking facilities will be provided at no additional cost.

Please inform your county of any allergy concerns, and food labels for all menu items will be made available to them.

Our menu items contain food allergens like dairy, egg, soy, wheat, or may have been manufactured in facilities that use those ingredients, including peanuts, and tree nuts.  While we use reasonable efforts to inform our guests of ingredients/allergens in our foods, due to cross-contact and other factors we cannot guarantee that any food items will be free of any specific allergen.

How can I contact my camper?

The Clyde York 4-H Center’s phone number is (931) 788-2288. 

To ensure your child’s safety, cell phones are not allowed at camp. 

When a camper leaves home, he or she needs to be allowed the space to develop his or her own personality. Therefore, we discourage phone and visitation interruptions from parents or relatives during the camp week.

The Clyde York 4-H Center will take emergency messages during regular business hours. If routed to voicemail, please dial extension #259. This extension is checked daily by county extension agents. Messages will be filtered to the appropriate county agent. When leaving a message please be sure to leave your name, county, camper’s name and telephone number for a return phone call. Children should not be called during the week except in the case of emergency.

But what if they’re homesick?

It’s really not a sickness. It should be called “missing home.” And, it is normal for some children to experience fleeting moments of homesickness, i.e. missing home. This is a part of growing up. We have found that homesickness can manifest itself in many ways: most children do not admit to being homesick, instead they will say they don’t feel good or have a tummy ache. Many times a homesick child will be homesick one minute and the next minute he/she is going off to activities and running and playing and apparently not homesick any more.

Here are several tips we can give parents and campers to help minimize the impact of homesickness:

  1. Before camp discuss this with campers and explain that they may experience an occasional feeling of homesickness. Tell them that the best thing to do if they feel homesick is to find an activity or friend to get involved with.
  2. Let campers know that camp is a big step in their growing-up process and that you are proud of them for being able to take this first step towards independence by going to camp.
  3. Explain that they will not be allowed to call home even if they are homesick.
  4. Make your fare​well on check-in day brief; do not linger at the drop off area for longer than necessary.
  5. Avoid sending letters that contain statements that could aggravate homesick feelings. Avoid statements like “we miss you so much here at home”, or “your dog or cat or pet really misses you” etc.
  6. Parent (and other family member) visits are discouraged: while visits may seem like a good idea, we have found that they disrupt the camp program and can actually cause unnecessary homesickness.

In many cases, the parents are actually more anxious than the campers (kind of a reverse homesickness). As parents ourselves, we understand your concern for your child’s well-being especially when sending them to camp for the first time. We occasionally get calls from anxious parents who need reassurance; we will gladly speak to you about your child’s progress.  Just remember the ole saying, “No call is a good call!”

How can I send my child mail?

Letters and postcards are the primary method of communication with your camper. Campers love getting mail and may feel “left out” if they don’t receive any and their cabin mates do. Send letters with positive news from home assuring all is well with you and the rest of the family.

Note: The mail often takes one to two extra days for delivery. Please send mail a few days early in order for it to reach your child in time.

Pack pre-addressed and stamped envelopes for your campers to send letters home. Discuss possible topics and encourage them to write to you. Make a realistic commitment to write to them as well.

Please limit packages to the basic necessities for camp and reading books. Food in our cabins may attract critters including rodents and bugs.

Please do not send campers items that must be signed for. The 4-H center staff is not allowed to sign for camper’s item.​

​How can my child send mail home?

A mailbox will be located at the Canteen for campers to mail letters home during their time at camp. 

Please make sure that campers have paper, pens, addressed envelopes and stamps.  A very easy way for campers to send mail home is to bring postcards. You can purchase postcards with the postage already on them from your local post office.

 Please make sure that your camper knows how to address an envelope or postcard; otherwise send them with envelopes or postcards with the address already on them.

Will snacks and souvenirs be available for my camper to purchase?

Campers can purchase beverages, chips, and other snacks in the canteen.  Souvenir shirts, hats, many other items are available in the gift shop.  

The Canteen and Gift Shop accept cash only. 

Which activities require extra money to participate in at camp?

Supplies are available to purchase for campers who want to make their own souvenirs in the craft classrooms, such as tie-dye shirts, wood crafts, and leatherwork.​ The Clyde York 4-H Center’s Craft House, Wood Shop and purchasing t-shirts for tie-dye/airbrush DO NOT accept cash, only tokens. Each token is valued at $1.00. A token machine is located in the Recreation Hall for campers to purchase tokens. 

What do we need to pack for camp?

A list of what to bring and not to bring to camp can be found on the What to Pack page.

Please let your child help you pack for camp.  This will give your child a sense of ownership over the camping experience.  It will also help your child to know everything they’re bringing to camp and how it fits in their suitcase when they have to repack it by himself or herself. 

What if my camper loses something at camp?

The Clyde York 4-H Center cannot assume responsibility for lost or stolen possessions. We suggest that all items of clothing are clearly labeled with your camper’s name and county.  Lost and found items are displayed the last night of camp and again the following morning during closing ceremony. Please discuss with your camper the importance of keeping up with their belongings. The 4-H Center holds on to lost and found items for two weeks.  All items will be donated to a local shelter after that time. 

A Special Note About Cell Phones and other Electronics: 
Campers are not allowed to have cell phones at camp. This is a strict policy for us because we have found that campers who bring cell phones diminish their experience of camp life and often have more difficulty with homesickness. A large part of camp is learning to be independent and you can help your camper succeed by making sure they do not bring a cell phone.  Campers are not allowed to have electronic screens at camp. We ask that campers do not pack tablets (e.g., iPads), e-readers (e.g., Kindles or Nooks), or iPods with touch screens (iPod Touch or iPod Nano). Beyond the practical rationale for not packing these electronic items— there are no electrical outlets in our cabins available for recharging —we strive to make camp a place for slowing down, “unplugging” from our devices, and for being more fully engaged with those around us.