Camping professionals and volunteers from throughout West Virginia and surrounding states will beTaking Camp to New Heightsafter they complete the Mountaineer Camping Institute (MCI) March 13-15 at West Virginia Universitys Jacksons Mill State 4-H Camp, Weston.

MCI is organized by WVU Extension Service in cooperation with the American Camp Association (ACA).

Drawing on more than 85 years of practical experience and research, MCI leaders say they design sessions to help new and veteran camp directors and counselors improve their skills for creating safe, healthful, educational and fun youth camps.

Participation is not limited to WVU Extension agents and volunteers. MCI attracts camp directors, program directors, camp managers, program staff and volunteers from public and private camping programs.

The workshops reflect WVU Extension educatorsassertion that youth camps should be summer fun packaged with summer learning. MCI participants will experience programs they can offer their youths. Among the sessions will be Reading Partners: A Service Project for 4-H Camps; Hiking for Health; CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) Camp; and Hot, Hot, HotOff the Grill.

MCI also provides managerial skill-building sessions for camp professionals and volunteers. Workshops include Insurance 101; Volunteer Supervision; Easy and Inexpensive Team Building for Staff and Campers; Positive Youth Development; Creating Effective Camping Objectives; Leadership Boot Camp; The Proof Is in the Pudding�€Exploring the Results of the American Camp Associations Youth Development Research andI Know a Quality Camping Program�€Or Do I?

Camp directors are still planning this summers activities. But camp dates are on most organizationsevent calendars. To learn about WVU s county 4-H summer camps, contact a WVU Extension Service county office.

This summers WVU 4 -H state camp dates are June 17-23, Older MembersConference; July 8-13, Alpha I; and July 15-20, Alpha II.

For more information about building youthsskills through camp experiences, contact WVU Extension Service camping specialist Bill Beckley, 304-293-2796, ext 3438 or Bill.Beckley@mail.wvu.edu

Additional details about MCI are available on the Web:www.ext.wvu.edu/mountaineer_camping/index.htm