Our Mission

Empowerment Through Education

4-H CampWORKS – Camp Counselor Work-Based Learning

4-H camp counselors have challenging, meaningful roles and carry out real responsibilities as part of their experience. They plan and lead a four- or five-day camp for younger campers from their county. They attend training, lead and serve on committees, and spend time gathering supplies and preparing to go to camp. Once at camp, they lead groups of campers in activities, live with them in cabins, and teach them everything from crafts to canoeing, all while taking the initiative to get the job done along with their fellow counselors. They work hard and they have fun doing it!

The skills camp counselors develop are those that will transfer to a variety of work settings because they have to do with one’s approach to work, interactions with others, and the application of skills to a variety of work tasks and roles (see Figure 1 of 2010 Summary).  These are the skills we want in our 21st century workforce and our communities!

When 4-H professionals use an approach that emphasizes job skills as well as skills specific to being a camp counselor (see Figure 2), camp counselors  thought of being a counselor as a job (even though they don’t get paid) and they develop a better understanding of the world of work. They also gain insights about future career decisions.

Camp counselors significantly improve their job skills such as leadership, teamwork, problem solving, time management, and work habits through this approach (Table 1). They tend to excel in the areas of teamwork and professionalism.


CampWORKS Resources

Each of the documents below provides supporting information or tools for conducting the CampWORKS program.

CampWorks Executive Summary

Campworks Implementation Article Journal of Youth Development 2011

CampWORKS Performance Appraisal Tool



All of these sections together serve as the overview document to support the CampWORKS program.

CampWORKS – Youth Workforce Preparation

CampWORKS – Workforce Preparation Components


CampWORKS – Creating Quality Work-Based Learning Programs

CampWORKS – Work-Based Learning Goes to Camp

CampWORKS – Applications and Interviews


CampWORKS Activities DRAFT

The activities are arranged in four sections with an overview and multiple activities in each.

Work Readiness Overview

Work Readiness Activity 1

Work Readiness Activity 2

Work Readiness Activity 3

Work Readiness Activity 4

Work Readiness Activity 5

Communication Overview

Communication Activity 1

Communication Activity 2

Communication Activity 3

Communication Activity 4

Communication Activity 5

Teamwork Overview

Teamwork Activity 1

Teamwork Activity 2

Teamwork Activity 3

Teamwork Activity 4

Teamwork Activity 5

Professionalism Overview

Professionalism Activity 1

Professionalism Activity 2

Professionalism Activity 3

Professionalism Activity 4


For More Information on CampWORKS, Contact:

Nate Arnett, Extension Educator         arnett.67@osu.edu

Dr. Theresa Ferrari, State Specialist     ferrari.8@osu.edu