Holiday Lake 4-H camp needs upgrades

The cabins were first built by the Work Project Administration group in the 1930s and have remained largely unchanged. They are not air-conditioned.

Every year, around 100 children, teen leaders and adult volunteers from Greene County attend a five-day summer camp at Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center. The cabins, originally built in the 1930s as a Work Progress Administration project, have remained mostly unchanged for almost 90 years.

Senior 4-H Agent Kathy Alstat presented to the Board of Supervisors on Dec. 10.

“We are asking Greene County to approve a resolution supporting legislative funding for capital improvements to be made to Holiday Lake 4-H Center,” Alstat said. “I don’t think camp has changed in the 21 years I’ve been there, so there are updates that need to be made.”

Together with Fluvanna County, the planning and implementation of this summer camp is a year-long process involving multiple meetings, fundraisers and training sessions for the teen and adult volunteers. Eight different classes were taught last year by volunteers in addition to the many classes taught by Holiday Lake Center staff. These classes included archery, rifle safety, swimming, canoeing and kayaking, nature and forestry, leathercraft and theatrical arts.

“It’s a beautiful place. It’s in the Appomattox and Buckingham state forests and it offers a great deal to our campers that they can’t really get anywhere else,” Alstat said to the board. “The lodging is the same stuff from the 1930s. It has been upgraded and updated a little bit, but you’re looking at the cabins that the WVA built … so the kids still have that very rural atmosphere at camp and no air conditioning.”

Holiday Lake is seeking funding from the state legislature to improve the existing facilities and to develop new classroom and educational spaces in order to expand and improve programming for the coming year. At the Board of Supervisors meeting Dec. 10, Alstat asked Greene County to approve a resolution supporting the request for funding for capital improvements to the site.

“We need to support Holiday Lake’s future,” Alstat said. “Even the other 4-H centers I don’t think can compare with what Holiday Lake has to offer. But it’s an old facility and it does need money not only to maintain and improve the infrastructure that’s already there, but they are planning to build a new family center that would enhance everyone’s camping experience and allow classroom space. And it’s a pretty impressive facility that they had in mind. So I’m really hoping that everyone will support it.”

Alstat also told the board that Greene County 4-H is going to be about $2,000 short of what they can usually offer by way of financial aid for the camps.

“In the past 46% of the kids who go to camp get financial aid,” she said.

Donations to help offset the loss of that grant can be brought to the Greene County Cooperative Extension Office or made online at https://app.mobilecause.com/f/22xs/n?vid=3m3s9.

“I went to camp many years ago, and it sure hasn’t changed a whole lot,” said Midway Supervisor Marie Durrer.

The board voted unanimously to approve the resolution asking the state to support the requests for improvements at Holiday Lake

4-H Educational Center.

The 4-H facility has served the youth of central and southern Virginia since 1940, and has been designated a Virginia Historic Landmark since 2011. It is estimated that more than one hundred thousand lives have been enriched through programs at the 4-H center in the past 80 years, and the original character of the buildings will be preserved as improvements are made to continue to expand these offerings to a new generation of campers.

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