MADRID, Iowa — The Iowa 4-H Foundation just announced they’ll be selling Clover Woods Camp in Madrid after a decline in use and costly upkeep.
The Foundation’s Executive Director Emily Saveraid said over the past 10 years the average yearly attendance was just more than 500 campers.
She added, over the past five years they spent nearly $1 million on camp operation, maintenance and other projects to try and keep it going.
Saveraid said the decision to sell the camp was not made lightly as they’ve owned the camp since the 1940’s.
“The number of 4-H’ers that were coming out here was not high enough to justify the continued expenditures that aging infrastructure and just general maintenance and operations cost were just getting higher and higher and we were serving less than one percent of the 4-H’ers in Iowa,” Saveraid said.
She said this is not a sign that 4-H is struggling, but it’s an indicator that the way 4-H’ers are camping is changing.
“It’s thriving so much that young people have spread out amongst lots of different programs and lots of different areas,” Saveraid said.
The thousand acre camp is split up into 12 parcels of land; one of those is 200 acres, considered the main part of the camp, which leaders hope will remain that way.
“We are going to be very considerate of who people are that purchase it with respect to the history of this place and knowing how much it means to people. We are going to be very considerate of that,” Saveraid said.
Saveraid said the legacy of the camp and 4-H as a whole will continue on.
“Our plan is to take any of the proceeds from this sale which we hope are significant to be able to permanently endow those and provide earnings back to the 4-H program so really that legacy does stay in tact the funds will remain in perpetuity and be there to support the 4-H program,” Saveraid said.
Individuals or companies are eligible to bid on one or all of the parcels until Oct. 23.