4-H Features

 

 

NEW HIGH ROPES COURSE OPENS AT ROCK SPRINGS RANCH 

MANHATTAN, Kan. June 8, 2021—  Rock Springs Ranch debuted a new Leadership Adventure Course during a ribbon cutting celebration surrounded by youth leaders and donors, Thursday, June 3. The Leadership Adventure Course is a team-obstacle course with two levels of high ropes, low elements and a dueling zip line. The course is a leadership and teamwork tool for campers and adult retreat guests. 

The total fundraising goal for the course was $285,000. The goal was achieved through both philanthropic gifts and a youth-led fundraising effort, Endorse the Course, for Kansas 4-H clubs.  

Kansas 4-H donors Lee and Jackie Borck, from Manhattan, contributed the lead gift of $150,000 for the construction of the course.

From left (Jake Worcester, President/CEO Kansas 4-H Foundation; Madeline Drake, Youth Philanthropy Ambassador; Lexi Straub, Youth Philanthropy Ambassador, Jackie Hartman Borck, donor; Lee Borck, donor)

Jackie and I look first to youth opportunities like 4-H for our philanthropic giving,” Lee Borck said. “Seeing young people at Rock Springs Ranch and the enthusiasm they have for programs and projects made this decision a no-brainer for us.”

The Borcks were inspired by the resiliency of Kansas 4-H youth over the last year, and $25,000 of their gift was designated as  matching funds to double the impact of the youth-led Endorse the Course challenge. The Kansas 4-H Youth Leadership Council led the youth fundraising effort and encouraged all Kansas 4-H clubs to make a gift to reach their collective goal of $25,000 toward the construction of the course.  

Kansas 4-H clubs exceeded their goal and contributed $28,475 for a total of more than $53,000 with the matching funds from the Borcks. Kansas 4-H youth will enjoy the new Leadership Adventure Course this summer, 75 years after Rock Springs Ranch was founded. In 1945, Kansas 4-H Clubs purchased the land that is now Rock Springs Ranch to be the state 4-H center for Kansas youth. 

“It is so cool that we got to be a part of the tradition of youth philanthropy in Kansas 4-H,” Korben Clawson, Kansas 4-H Youth Leadership Council Member, said. “Kansas 4-H Clubs around the state pledged their hands to larger service and contributed to the next 75 years of Rock Springs Ranch. This is our legacy for the next generation of Kansas 4-H members.”

The Kansas 4-H Foundation works with businesses, organizations, individuals and families who share a common desire to support a statewide effort of growing our future leaders. The Foundation is the 501(c)(3) fundraising arm for Kansas 4-H and Rock Springs Ranch.


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$625K GIVEN TO SUPPORT KANSAS 4-H   

Philanthropists believe in positive youth development


MANHATTAN, Kan. April 20, 2021—  4-H is the state’s largest positive youth development program with over a century of presence in Kansas. Kansas 4-H donors Bill and Cindy Keller, from Pratt, have committed $625,000 to advance positive youth development in Kansas. Their gift will be utilized in two ways: $500,000 for capital improvements at Rock Springs Ranch and $125,000 in annual support for the essential needs of Kansas youth. 

I believe that 4-H provides the best youth leadership program in the United States,” Keller said. “4-H is a tradition in my family. My parents were both involved in 4-H. They talked to their five children about how much influence it had in their lives and how important it was to get involved in a variety of projects.” 

Kansas 4-H shapes youth to be dynamic leaders and community members through experiential learning opportunities. These opportunities range from project participation to leadership training to 4-H camp at Rock Springs Ranch. 

This year Rock Springs Ranch is celebrating its 75th camping season, serving more than 1 million Kansas youth since it began in 1946. Four years ago, in preparation for celebrating 75 years of camp, the Kansas 4-H Foundation Board initiated a master planning exercise to conceptualize the vision for the future of Rock Springs Ranch and 4-H camp. Currently, the board is focused on activating the results of the master plan focused on camper care and safety and enhanced programming.

“We have over 100 years of 4-H and 75 years of camp on which to build,” Jake Worcester, President/CEO Kansas 4-H Foundation said. “In order to honor the history of Kansas 4-H, we are evolving camp to have even greater impact for the next 75 years. The generosity of the Kellers will be transformational for the future of Kansas 4-H and Rock Springs Ranch.” 

Capstone 4-H experiences such as the county fair and 4-H camp, youth engage in rich educational opportunities where they learn mastery, independence, belonging and generosity. Many of these experiences happen at Rock Springs Ranch, the state’s 4-H center for immersive 4-H experiences. 

Education and youth development are critically important for the future of our country and the world,” Keller said. “These entities are high priority for our philanthropic giving.”

The Kansas 4-H Foundation works with businesses, organizations, individuals and families who share a common desire to support a statewide effort of growing our future leaders. The Foundation is the 501(c)(3) fundraising arm for Kansas 4-H and Rock Springs Ranch.