Our 4-H Hilltop Fund allows donors to make a direct and positive impact on the lives of children every summer by providing the opportunity to attend 4-H Camp.
We at 4-H Camp Bristol Hills work to keep camp as affordable as possible for everyone, and provide assistance for financially limited families. This has never been more true than during this pandemic year, with so many families out of work.
Each year we receive as many 200 requests for campership support, and we typically have the funds to support just over 50% of these requests.
These requests come from families, school nurses, guidance counselors, and others who understand that the summer camp experience is important for their children, but are simply unable to afford the full camp fees. The Hilltop Fund enables families who are unable to pay the full cost of a summer campership to receive financial aid. Corporations, individuals, and former campers and staff are invited to make tax exempt contributions to help provide underprivileged children with the opportunity to grow and benefit from the summer camp experience.
Families requesting campership come from all walks of life, and they share their stories with us in their Campership Requests. Whether there is a recent divorce, or a death in the family, or a serious injury resulting in unemployment and mounting medical bills, the stories are real. Without your support we will have to notify children deserving of financial aid that we are out of funds for this year. Will it be the child whose father has lost his job because his company is downsizing? Or will it be the little girl whose mom is battling brain cancer? Who would you choose?
Camp Casowasco... National Boy Scout Jamboree... Camp Babcock Hovey... Philmont Scout Ranch.
I was extremely fortunate to have attended all these camps by the time I was 15 years old. Some my parents paid for, some because family members were volunteers and I was able to attend, others because I had the means to pay for them myself. When I started working at 4-H Camp Bristol Hills in 1985, I was able to share my time and talents with the young people attending. Each summer, I was amazed at the stories of hardship, campers would share. I thought it was fantastic some of them were able to attend on camperships.
After spending 8 summers on staff, I ventured out to the coveted “real world”. The success that I have had, I owe a lot to attending camp and working at 4-H Camp Bristol Hills. When I got to the point in my adult life, I could share my treasures, I knew exactly how I wanted to do it.
I donate to 4-H Camp Bristol Hills so young people can attend and have the wonderful experiences I had. It was easy, just send a check to the camp office and they would make sure a young person could attend on my behalf. At the end of the summer, I got a thank you from the camper that attended sharing how appreciative they were to attend. That did it, I was hooked. I would do everything in my power to continue to share my treasures so young people could experience 4-H Camp Bristol Hills.
I am amazed at how many families could use a campership for their loved ones to attend such a special place. Please consider making a gift to the Hilltop Fund so a young person can truly be a kid and attend camp.
Each year, we receive 200 requests for campership support through our Hilltop Fund. They each have their own story, and each one needs your help to make their Camp dreams come true. This years Campership applications are due March 31. Here are the stories of the campers we have supported in recent years. (Names changed for anonymity)
Lauren, Age 14
One of 7 children in the house, her father has been battling non-hodgkins lymphoma. While his cancer is currently in remission, his disability benefits are locked in a disability trust through Medicaid. With a household income of less than $13,000, camp is simply out of reach for Lauren.
Jonathon, Age 11
The family home was destroyed by fire last year, and while they are rebuilding, the experience has been stressful for each of the four children. Jonathon was nominated by his school nurse.
Sean, Age 12
Sean’s father recently closed his business, and has lost his healthcare. Sean himself is beginning to be closed off. He does well in school, involved in afterschool clubs, and is getting good grades, but during the summer he lacks the social interaction that would help him grow into a well-rounded man.
Lydiah, Age 12
On medication for anxiety, Lydiah has never been away from home to come to camp before, but has been asking mom about it recently. To want to take this step is a major sign of progress, and Camp would benefit her emotionally and mentally.
Jillian, Age 8
Jillian and her sister live with their mom and a regular stream of foster children. Jillian is a wonderful foster-sister for new arrivals. Mom was a school teacher for a long time, but recently went on disability and is no longer able to work, leaving the family with no taxable income. Jillian has had her heart set on going to camp for years, but this is the first year she is old enough for Resident Camp.
Tyler, Age 8
Tyler is one of three boys whose parents are navigating a difficult divorce across state lines. His brother starting having seizures, and endured over 100 seizures and a long hospital stay before being diagnosed with epilepsy. Mom works a full time job, as well as going to school full time, so the boys don’t have many opportunities to hang out with other children outside of school.
Last updated March 17, 2023