Fun is job one at 54-year-old 4-H camp


OREGON CITY - Looking for a summer camp for your child that will teach French in two weeks? Advanced calculus? Computer science?

Plenty of them out there.

But if you want to give your child the same kind of lazy-summer-day, canoeing, swimming, hiking, singing, S'mores-eating, mosquito bite-scratchin' good time that you had as a kid, Clackamas County may offer the last great basic summer camp experience - at bygone days prices.

Since the summer of 1944, the youth of Oregon have been able to spend the last week in July and first week in August at a retreat where success means swimming with the trout at the old swimming hole and competition is who can win the race to lunch.

"It's not computer camp," said Gregg Mitchell, the Oregon State University Extension agent in charge of 4-H Youth Development in Clackamas County. "It is (one of) the last of the generalized summer camps around."

The wooded setting of Camp Adams near Colton offers youngsters in grades 4-8 a chance to simply be kids in a setting of lakes, trees and trails. Activities are planned so that the kids don't realize they are honing their leadership training and peer-interaction skill. They figure they are just having fun.

The six-day, five-night camp costs $180, including everything down to the hand-sewn wallets and braided plastic key chains and bracelets. Oh, new-fangled activities such as tie-dying T-shirts also are included.

But participation has dropped off steadily for Camp Adams. Although it can accommodate up to 100 youngsters, only about half that many take advantage of the offerings.

Those interested in signing up for the trip or learning more about it may call OSU's Clackamas County Extension office at 503-650-3125, send a fax to 503-655-8638, or log onto the Internet at Note to Editors: This story originally contained a World Wide Web address. The characters used in Web addresses will not telecommunicate in our system. Please call us at 541-737-0801 for the address.