Arts Camp

4-H Arts Camp
November 18-19, 2023
Camp Upham Woods
Wisconsin Dells, WI

4-H Arts Camp provides youth in grades 6-8 an opportunity to explore different types of art including theater, music, visual arts, dance, and photography while making new friends, developing skills, and enjoying new experiences.

The purpose of Arts Camp:

  • Encouraging expression and participation in the arts with middle school age youth
  • Supporting youth teaching opportunities where they learn to incorporate education, creativity, and reflection into the creative process
  • Increasing awareness of the arts and participation in the arts at the club level

More Information

Are you a middle schooler looking for an opportunity to explore the arts through 4-H? If so, you don’t want to miss Wisconsin 4-H Arts Camp! This state-level experience offers one place for youth grades 6-8 to learn about topics like music, drama, visual arts, photography, communications, and more!

You’ll rotate through the different arts tracks each day, participate in various group activities throughout, and close with a ceremony for parents and families, celebrating the results of your Arts Camp experiences. You’ll also meet new friends, participate in camp games, and enjoy the great natural setting of Upham Woods, a 300-acre environmental education center on the Wisconsin River near Wisconsin Dells.

4-H Arts Camp is sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Division of Extension, and is funded through registrations and a grant from the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation. The program is planned and led by a talented group of 4-H high school youth, assisted by Extension specialists, 4-H staff, and key adult volunteers. You’ll learn lots of creative ideas to take home to share with your family, friends, and community.  

If you haven’t been a part of the Arts Camp experience, come and see what you’ve been missing! Space is limited. Call your county 4-H PYD Staff for more information about camper, counselor, and/or chaperone opportunities now!

2023 Cost for Campers:  $110      2022 Cost for Chaperones: $60
Please note: Transportation to the camp is NOT provided by the State 4-H Office.  Please contact your county extension office 4-H staff for assistance with carpooling.

Registration dates for Campers and Adult Advisors (will be done in 4HOnline): September 2023

Registration Process:

  • Re-enroll as a 4-H member in 4HOnline for 2023-24 and complete or update your Health and Authorization Forms in 4HOnline.
  • Complete 4HOnline registration at 
  • Send order confirmation along with payment (make check payable to UW-Madison Extension,  do NOT send cash) to: 4-H Art Camp , 432 N. Lake St., Madison, WI 53706
  • Your registration is NOT complete until we receive your payment and you have completed all of the steps.

You can find step-by-step instructions for registering in 4HOnline here:

Some of the tracks we have offered in past years:


Communication is an important part of everyday life. In this track, you will learn different ways of communicating. For example, the most common forms of communication are non-verbal, facial expressions, and hand gestures. Campers will play different games like the adverb game and gibberish game, which help with body gestures and facial expressions.


The drama track is a “high-energy, super-duper, fabulous, intense, accepting, trusting, and FUN” group of counselors. They teach the campers to be comfortable with their expressions. “For a lot, it’s like finding a family,” said their director, Rita.

Campers in this track play various games: learning improv, self-control and composure. They learn to trust a partner, when they are mirroring each other. The campers have to anticipate their partner’s moves. As a group, they create a human sculpture, and then fill the negative shape in with others in the group.

“Basically, it’s pass or fail for the whole group. We rely on each other,” said Isaac, from Waushara County.


Music has been a part of my life since before I was born,” said Amanda from Sheboygan County.

The counselors for this track love it, because music has such an impact on their own lives. Here, campers learn four basic parts of music: dance, rhythms, singing and instruments. The campers are taught a song and learn to sing it. Then they are taught either a line dance or an Irish jig. They get to see and hear some examples of various instruments from around the world. They also learn how to pick out the beats in rhythms.

“It’s a lot of fun. We get to jump around,” said Seth from Adams County.


Photography gives participants the opportunity to “Take the Arts Apart” by trying different aspects of what goes into a photo. The campers are divided into three sections. In one section groups look at color negatives and draw the photos, as they would see them in print. The second section works on composition and leading lines of a photo. The last section works on trick photograph with a Polaroid camera. The purpose of this activity is to test the limits of the illusions possible in photography.

Visual Arts

Visual Arts track can be compared to photography but this creative track is more hands-on. The campers create clay sculptures and collages. Campers also participate in an expression activity drawing out their feelings in a portrait of themselves. As a final project the campers will construct a 3-D creature consisting of cardboard boxes. Once the creature is constructed the group as a whole will decide what kind of facial expression to give their creature.


4-H Arts Camp Leadership Team Info

Do you have a passion for the arts?  Are you interested in further developing your leadership skills?  If you answered yes to either of those questions…we WANT you!  Apply today to be a part of our 2023 WI 4-H Arts Camp Staff!

WI 4-H is looking for youth leaders, 9th through 12th graders (in the fall of 2023) to be part of our 2023 WI 4-H Arts Camp Staff.  WI 4-H Arts Camp is for youth in 6-8th grades.  It is designed to provide middle school youth the opportunity to explore and develop skills in several different types of art.  It is also an opportunity for youth and adults to work together to share their interests and skills in the arts and to support leadership development for youth and adult leaders.

Youth staff are required to be available for planning with other Arts Camp Staff Members by mail, by phone and in on-site sessions, September 30th – October 1st at Upham Woods. Camp Dates are November 17-19, 2023.

Application Deadline: September 5, 2023.

Applicants will be notified of staff selection by September 11th.

Arts Camp Leadership Team Application Instructions

Arts Camp Leadership Team applications can be found below:

What we Expect out of our Arts Camp Youth Staff

  • Affirm, encourage and interact with campers with a welcoming, kindhearted and friendly. personality; Realize high priority of engaging and interacting with campers.
  • Take initiative to solve problems.
  • Campers come first; sustain a mentality of selflessness and servant leadership throughout weekend.
  • Minimal use of cell phone.
  • Be a role model; take appropriate action in each situation knowing eyes are on you.
  • Be an outstanding representative of Wisconsin and 4-H.
  • Plan with other arts camp staff members by e-mail, by phone, and to participate in on-site sessions.

Adult Advisors

Applications are available now. More information and the application can be found on the Adult Advisor Page.

A complete application must be submitted to WI State 4-H by 4:30pm January 30. A reference is required, you can find a copy of the reference form here. A phone interview may also be conducted. All applicants will be notified of their status in early February (except for National Congress, notified in July). Application can be submitted to or mailed to 4-H Educational Programs, 432 N Lake St, Room 105, Madison, WI 53706.

Each program has a different focus with different desired attributes for leaders. If someone doesn’t fit into one position, they might be great elsewhere. If you are not selected this year, please don’t be discouraged! Apply again next year.

State Scholarships

Needs-based scholarships are available for youth who participate in Statewide Educational Experiences. Scholarships require an application that is submitted to the state office. For more information on these scholarships and to apply, please visit the Scholarship page on our website.

Support Extension