Former 4-H'ers who bunked at Rock Eagle 4-H Center for camp may find themselves feeling a little jealous of the newest generation of 4-H campers.
The center has four new cabins, five under construction and will soon build seven more thanks to $2.5 million dollars appropriated for the project in the Georgia 2013 state budget.
The new cabins can accommodate 22 people in six bedrooms, each with a private bath. One of the bedrooms has two single beds and is designed as the adult chaperone room. The new design also includes a large common area, wireless Internet access and four vanity areas in each bedroom.
Moving forward and preserving history
The original cabins had two dormitory-style bedrooms that slept eight people on four bunk beds. In order to preserve history, three of the original cabins at Rock Eagle will be maintained: one in the 1950s style, one in the 1980s style and one as a cabin museum.
Rock Eagle’s first prototype cabin was completed in 2006. The second, the Georgia Development Authority Cabin, honors longtime Georgia Agricultural Commissioner Tommy Irvin. The third is the Kroger Customers Cabin and the fourth is the Georgia Electric Membership Corporation Cabin.
"Replacing the cabins at Rock Eagle is not an easy task," said Georgia State 4-H Leader Arch Smith. "We have 30 percent of the funding we need for 52 new cabins and we have five more new cabins under construction. Thanks to the 2013 budget, we now have enough funds to begin building seven more in November.”
Private funding, too
Additional funding was donated by the Andrews Family Foundation, Georgia 4-H Camp Counselor Alumni and many other individuals. Legislative appropriations will fund seven new cabins in 2012 which will be completed in 2013.
The replacement cost for cabins at Rock Eagle is $500,000, which includes the cost of demolishing the existing cabin, furnishings, site work, landscaping and utility relocation.
Each summer more than 5,400 4-H’ers spend a week camping at Rock Eagle 4-H Center. The center houses an additional 55,000 youths and adults throughout the year for environmental education field studies, workshops, conferences and other meetings.
To contribute to the Rock Eagle 4-H Center Cabin Campaign, contact the Georgia 4-H Foundation Office at (706) 542-8914. Naming opportunities are available.
(Sharon Dowdy is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)