Environmental Camp Environmental camp 2

4-H Environmental Day Camp

Breckinridge County 4-H offers 4-H Environmental Day Camps for school groups at West KY 4-H Camp. These day camps provide hands-on experiences related to natural resources and environmental sciences. This year, the theme for Environmental Camp was CSI and students rotated through stations solving crimes using evidence collected such as dirt, insects, flowers, finger prints, and lip prints. A special thanks to the Barnhart Fund for Excellence for supporting CSI Environmental Camps across the commonwealth!

4-H Environmental Camp 2016

On October 25th, 74 fourth graders from Ben Johnson and Custer Elementary traveled to the West KY 4-H Camp in Dawson Springs, KY for Environmental Camp. This year, the Environmental Camp, hosted by Breckinridge County 4-H and Webster County 4-H, had a CSI theme. This unique opportunity provided students with the chance to test their knowledge and skills related to natural resources and science, to solve crimes.

Local youth rotated between four (4) stations set up throughout camp. Each station was a new crime scene, where students experienced what it would be like as a Forensic Scientist, analyzing the soil, insects, flowers, and prints left behind.

At the soil station, students learned about the different types of soil and matched soil found at the crime scene with those collected on suspects’ shoes. At the forensic Entomology station, youth studied faux maggots at a crime scene and determined the time of death and location of a murder. At the “Flowers for Freddy” plant station, participants dissected and identified flowers found at the crime scene in order to narrow down a list of suspects. Finally, at the fingerprint and lip print analysis station, youth learned about unique properties of prints and identified the culprit after collecting prints at a mock crime scene.

Breckinridge County 4-H began hosting an Environmental Day Camp in 2013 and the program has continued each year. The program offers 4th graders a chance to learn about natural resources, put their scientific skills to the test, and have fun solving crimes and exploring 4-H Camp. This unique opportunity is possible thanks to the amazing teachers at Ben Johnson Elementary and Custer Elementary schools, as well as, the volunteers who share their expertise and talents with the young scientists. Volunteers have included 4-H club leaders, 4-H teen volunteers, and members of Soil Conservation, USDA-ARS, and much more!          

The CSI themed Environmental Camp program received the 2016 Barnhart Award with $1000 funding to promote similar programs throughout the state. This unique format, combining natural resource and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education, allows youth to make connections in the world around them and understand cross-cutting concepts in science. The program also develops problem solving and observation skills, while supporting core curriculum for 4th grade classes.

For more information about 4-H Environmental Camp, or to find out more about being a 4-H volunteer, contact the Breckinridge County Cooperative Extension Service.

Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

The Cooperative Extension Office is an equal opportunity of the University Of Kentucky College Of Agriculture. Disabilities accommodated with prior notification.


Photos: 4-H Teen Leaders, Ella Potts and Paige Dupin, teaching a flower dissection and identification station
at 4-H Environmental Camp.



Photo: 4-H Environmental Camp participants from Ben Johnson and Custer Elementary schools.