Farm Credit Services of Mid-America Helps 4-H Camp Ohio Build New Adventure Tower

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Construction on the new tower is scheduled to begin this spring and be completed in time for this summer and the 8,000 campers who visit the camp annually.

4-H Camp Ohio’s executive director Anthony Imbody is a big believer in the ability of his camp to impact the lives of young people. He should know—he was one of them.

“I credit a lot of who I am today to 4-H and Camp Ohio,” said Imbody, who had his first camping experience at the beautiful site in northern Licking County at age 9. “Camp offers kids many first-time experiences, and allows them to learn a lot about themselves, plus meet many wonderful people, some of whom become lifelong friends.”

As Imbody moved up the Camp Ohio ladder—from camper to counselor to adult staff to Adventure program instructor to executive director—a very big part of his experience, as well as most other campers, has been the camp’s Adventure Tower. Since it was constructed in 1976, it’s easily been the most popular attraction at the camp, with more than 125,000 young people having conquered challenges and learned teamwork on the structure. But times change, and when a burgeoning number of campers and an aging tower necessitated that a new tower be built, Imbody turned to Farm Credit Services of Mid-America for assistance.

“I’d heard how Farm Credit had given grants to a number of Ohio’s other 4-H camps, so I talked with one of their people, Roger Smith, who is one of our adult 4-H volunteers,” said Imbody. “Roger helped me with the application process, and we received a gift of $20,000, which allowed us to reach our goal. Now we’ll be able to continue to offer a lot of great opportunities to a lot of kids for the next 30 years.”

Construction on the new tower is scheduled to begin this spring and be completed in time for this summer and the 8,000 campers who visit the camp annually. The new facility will be taller and larger, and like its predecessor, will offer a climbing wall and a platform on top, from which campers can rappel down the 38-foot structure. It will also increase from one to two ziplines to offer twice as many campers the ever-popular zipping experiences.

Farm Credit’s Smith, a financial services officer with the ag lending cooperative’s Utica field office, is also a 4-H alum and has spent 30-plus years as a 4-H advisor. He credits 4-H with teaching him some valuable leadership skills and the value of hard work, and wanted to see another generation of kids enjoy some of those same benefits.

“This is a very busy camp, drawing from 18 to 20 surrounding counties, and we saw this as a great use of Farm Credit’s stewardship funds, to help provide this wonderful facility for them,” he said. “For many years, we’ve made it a practice to regularly invest in our communities. They’ve been good to us, and we want to do what we can to support the quality of life there.”

When the new Adventure Tower opens for business this summer, this year’s crop of campers will eagerly begin ascending and descending it in the various activities. But they won’t be the only eager ones.

“Whenever I get a chance, I still enjoy teaching it today, because I can relate to the kids—whether it’s their first time or their tenth. If I hear one of our staff say, ‘We need an instructor for the tower,’ I have this tendency to volunteer,” laughed Imbody.

About Farm Credit Services of Mid-America

Farm Credit Services of Mid-America is an $18 billion financial services cooperative serving more than 92,500 farmers, agribusinesses and rural residents in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee. The association provides loans for all farm and rural living purposes including real estate, operating equipment and housing and related services such as crop insurance, and vehicle, equipment and building leases. For more information about Farm Credit, call 1-800-444-FARM or visit them on the web at http://www.e-farmcredit.com.

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Randy Barbee

Kimberly Clark
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