University of Illinois Extension
University of Illinois Extension
4-H Ceremonies

Burial of a Camp Challenge

Another special ceremony that can be held at camp is the burial of a camp challenge. The challenge buried is one that the present camp develops and writes for next year's camp.

The challenge may be buried at vesper hill or any other location selected by the committee. To simplify matters, the challenge should be developed and written by a committee. Each camper should have an opportunity for input into the camp challenge. This may be done through suggestions to committee members by cabin groups, tribes, etc. Some counties have each camper sign the challenge as they file into the burial site. Several sheets of paper and signing lines may be used to speed up the signing process. These signature pages are then stapled to the challenge before burial.

The challenge needs to be buried in a metal can, plastic can, or wooden box since a glass container may break and broken glass could be dangerous.

An extra copy of the challenge should be filed in the Camp Office since it is sometimes impossible to find the challenge buried the previous year.

One county uses the following procedure. They bury the challenge for next year during the ceremony. After the campers leave, the challenge is dug up and kept until next year's camp. The challenge is then reburied before the campers arrive for the digging up ceremony. This way they know the challenge will be there and where it is located.

This ceremony actually has two parts to it—the burying of the camp challenge near the end of this year's camping program, and the excavating or digging up of the camp change early in the camping program of next year's camp.

Following are examples of a burying and excavating ceremony. It is hoped that you will adapt these and share any you develop as you work with campers.

Burying Ceremony

Campers file onto the burial site and may sign the challenge if desired at this time.


We are here on this site to bury a camp challenge which we have developed and written. This Challenge is one that hopefully will challenge next year's campers to have a more meaningful camping experience than we have had, if indeed that is possible. Before burying it, let us once more review what has been written here based upon our experiences, knowledge and faith:

Read challenge. (Sample challenge from 1997 Greene County, Ohio Camp.)

We, the campers at the 1997 Greene County 4-H Junior Camp, challenge you, the campers of the 1998 Greene County 4-H Junior Camp:

To enrich your minds by using the natural surroundings and the activities offered at camp to your best advantage. To think before you act and in this way form long lasting friendships.

We challenge you to let loyalty to counselors, your cabin, and above all your friends grow and improve your relationships throughout the week.

We challenge you to use your hands in helping other campers and also your counselors and staff through your active participation in all functions of your Junior Camp.

We challenge you to work with each other so that accidents can be kept at a minimum, and if possible be prevented.

We challenge you to keep this camp clean and beautiful so that others in your community can use the facilities of the camp. The most important of all these challenges is the following; That by attending this camp you meet many new people and that you are able to recognize these people at other county functions and through these meetings you form long lasting friendships.

Have a Great Week!

-- Campers of 1997

(After challenge is buried)

I now declare this special ceremony closed and dismiss you to the next item on our program.


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