The Council Circle is both the main meeting place and symbolic center of spirit for the West Virginia 4-H camping program, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this summer. During camp, 4-H’ers gather to sing songs, perform skits, enjoy a campfire and participate in enthusiastic competition.
“The Council Circle is truly at the heart of state 4-H camp and the circle at WVU Jackson’s Mill has remained in the same place since its debut in 1922,” said Brent Clark, WVU Extension Service director of development. “Generations of 4-H campers have gathered around the Council Circle at the end of each day in camp to forge life-long friendships and memories — it’s a great source of pride for the 4-H program and individual campers alike.”
Renovations include a new concrete foundation and risers, benches, ceremonial items, lights, pathways, steps and drainage. In addition, handicap accessible pathways have been built to ensure that all campers, staff and grounds visitors can enjoy the Council Circle and the events that take place there.
A project over a year in the making, the renovations were funded by a year-long development campaign called the Council Circle Challenge. The initiative encouraged the community to engage in a friendly social media fundraising competition to raise $100,000 — a fundraising goal set to match a gift from a family of 4-H and WVU Jackson’s Mill alumni.
“Thanks to the generosity of donors, 4-H alumni and the community at large, we have something really special here,” said Clark. “We’re able to pay homage to our history while giving the future of 4-H the capacity to make their own memories — it’s an important mission to remember where we’ve been as we challenge ourselves to push forward and be leaders in 4-H camping programs.”
For 100 years, WVU Extension Service has helped make the lives of young people better through 4-H youth development programs. WVU Extension Service, as part of WVU and its land-grant mission, continues to provide educational, life-skill building opportunities that allow for the growth and development of youths in all 55 counties of West Virginia.
CONTACT: Cassie Thomas, WVU Extension Service
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