Camping, Horticulture, Shooting Sports

Go Outside! 

Discover and Learn about your environment! 

Make a Difference in your community!”

Journey through fields, forests, wetlands and urban areas to discover the wonders and mysteries of Maryland’s natural environment. Through their 4-H environmental and outdoor education projects young people will learn about the interconnection of people and nature. They’ll also develop respect and appreciation for and a sense of stewardship toward our natural resources. This 4-H programming area provides educational opportunities that help young people enjoy time outdoors and develop an understanding and appreciation of the environment through three core theme areas:

  • Basic science and ecology
  • Interrelationships and impacts
  • Health, wellness and positive outdoor experiences

Making a Difference!

Are you or your 4-H club using your environmental science knowledge and skills to make a difference in your community? If so, we would love to highlight your program. Please send a brief paragraph and supplemental photos that tell your story!

Alumni Spotlight!

Are you a 4-H alumnus currently working in an environmental science career? We want to hear your story!

Educational Materials

WHEP Habitat Concepts

Maryland Animal ID Photos

Environmental Science Projects

Horticulture Projects

Exploring Science using the 4-H Horticulture Project!

The 4-H Horticulture project can help engage youth in the exploration of science in exciting and meaningful ways, helping youth create a sense of wonder about the world around them. Horticulture provides youth with the opportunity to plan, create and care for their own environment. In the process, they ask questions about their environment, make observations, research topics, and can set up experiments in search of answers.

Many children do not realize the connection between their growth, the food they eat, and where this food comes from. They have a hard time understanding the intertwined relationship between themselves and all living things on earth. The 4-H horticulture curriculum provides topics on plant science and human nutrition that help to join these connections through simple concepts.

Youth can learn a lot in a garden, it encourages children to dream and use their imaginations and promotes environmental stewardship and provide opportunities to learn about science, nutrition and health. When youth work with plants, they have to make many important decisions. To make the best decision, youth have to know about plants and what they need. Some of the science skills and experiments that club members can learn in the Horticulture project are listed below.

  • Learn the parts of a seed
  • Learn the parts of a plant
  • Learn how to germinate seeds
  • Learn what plants need to grow
  • Learn about plant parts and how they help the plant grow
  • Learn about plant life cycles
  • Learn how to transplant and set seedling plants in the garden
  • Learn about soil and what it is made of
  • Learn about the human impact of gardening

Do a service project!  Make a meal for an elderly person(s) once a month; host a bicycle inspection day; volunteer at a local senior center; find a walking partner. Encourage members to participate in county contests like favorite foods, presentation contest, speech contest, tractor driving contest, clover challenge, meats judging, livestock judging, vegetable I.D. contest, or farm safety events.

Credit: Nebraska Extension

Shooting Sports

Like all of our 4-H programs, the purpose of shooting sports programs is a youth development and teaching of life skills to young people.

Our programs are valuable for helping young people develop self-confidence, personal discipline, responsibility, teamwork, self-esteem and sportsmanship. The discipline and self-control required for responsible firearms and archery use carry over many other aspects of life.

Maryland 4-H Shooting Sports includes:

  • Air Rifle & Smallbore Rifle
  • Archery
  • Air Pistol
  • Blackpowder
  • Shotgun
  • Hunting and Wildlife
  • Shooting Sports Coordinator
  • Any Many, Many, More

Each discipline teaches safety, concentration, self-discipline, self-confidence, goal-setting, decision-making, and build toward more advanced activities.

Programs allow for the development of individual cooperative and competitive skills. Participants are exposed to local policies, regulations, laws, and ethical behavior both by repeated demonstration and thorough personal practice.

4-H Shooting Sports Responsibilities

A 4-H Shooting Sports Leader is

  • Interested in youth and their development
  • Interested in some phase of shooting, hunting, or wildlife
  • Willing to learn how to teach shooting effectively
  • Willing to be helpful, open, and supportive
  • Interested in challenges with rewards
  • Enthusiastic, positive, and energetic
  • Honest, self-disciplined, and kind

Leader Responsibilities

  • Learn and practice the highest standards of safety
  • Learn and practice cooperative coaching techniques
  • Learn and practice 4-H teaching techniques
  • Invest your time, energy and spirit
  • Focus on helping youth develop and learn
  • Be a robust, positive role model.

Shooting ability is not essential, but a willingness to learn coaching skills is. Training is available for interested people. Program materials provided excellent support.

Skills for Life...Activity for A Lifetime

Youth Development Through 4-H Shooting Sports

Why Does 4-H Have Shooting Sports?

  • Like all of our 4-H programs, the purpose of shooting sports programs is a youth development and teaching life skills to young people. Our programs are valuable for helping young people develop self-confidence, personal discipline, responsibility, teamwork, self-esteem and sportsmanship. The discipline and self-control required for responsible firearms use carry over into many other aspects of life.
  • Nearly two-thirds of the homes in the U.S. have firearms. Exposure to safety and responsible handling is vital to preventing accidents at home, at neighbors, or at a friend's home.
  • 4-H programs provide a positive experience for youth and promote the safe and ethical use of firearms and archery equipment. 4-H youth may learn to shoot, but we teach, first and foremost, the appropriate handling and use of firearms.
  • We believe that firearms education reduces gun accidents.
  • Hunting and shooting sports are rich American traditions. 4-H shooting sports programs help continue this tradition through the involvement of the total family: youth, teens, parents and even grandparents.
  • The Shooting Sports rank third in popularity among International & Olympic Sports behind track & field and swimming. The uniqueness of shooting sports as a lifetime sport makes it exceptional.
  • Each of the shooting sports disciplines teaches safety, concentration, self-discipline, self-confidence, goal setting, decision-making and build toward more advanced activities and opportunities.
  • As is the case with other sports and scholastic programs, college-bound youth have opportunities to vie for college scholarships.

 What Participants Gain

  • Lifetime Sports
  • Useful Knowledge and Skills
  • Leadership Skills
  • Safe Habits
  • Self-Discipline & Self-Esteem
  • Respect
  • Personal Responsibility
  • Confidence & Concentration
  • Poise
  • Opportunities to Set Goals
  • Opportunity to Achieve Goals
  • Sportsmanships
  • Reasoning Skills
  • Decision-Making Skills
  • Ethical Standards
  • Friendship
  • Exposure to Careers
  • Opportunities for Recognition

Shooting Sports Instructor Resources


Maryland 4-H Shooting Sports Instructors,

Thank you for another safe and productive year of Maryland 4-H Shooting Sports. Your Volunteer Efforts are extremely valuable and we do appreciate all that you do.

It is that time of year when we need to know more about your teaching in the shooting sports program, thus it is time to submit your Instructor Report for the period of Oct. 1, 2020-Sept. 30, 2021.  

Annual Instructor Report – MD 4-H Shooting Sports     

Instructions and an example on how this form should be completed.

  1. Please fill out the county from which you are instructing. 
  2. Report year of teaching. 
  3. If there was no teaching for the year, please place an “X” to show that there was no teaching to report. 
  4. Under youth participation, add all numbers of youth taught by the instructor(s).   
  5. List all instructors who will receive credit for teaching this program. Include all hours per discipline. Multiple disciplines can be included if you are certified for more than one discipline. 
  6. Please sign (by hand or electronically) before submitting. If filling the form out online, please “CC” the educator so that they receive a copy of the form too. 

It is our preference that each individual instructor submits their report of teaching to be sure that your information gets submitted.

Please submit your report before the end of January.  

Contact Amanda Wahle at


Shooting Sports Resources

Links are provided as an information service only. They do not constitute an endorsement of any non-affiliated organizations, businesses, products, or content of these pages by Cooperative Extension or the University of Maryland. We are not responsible for their content. Also, the 4-H Name and Emblem is a federally protected mark; 4-H programs are subject to federal regulations, including the 4-H Name and Emblem shall not be used in any way to imply endorsement of commercial firms products or services.

Shooting Sports Policy

Shooting Sports Program Position Statement


2021 Maryland 4-H Shooting Sports Smallbore Rifle Championship Match

Saturday, September 18, 2021
Marriottsville, MD

Registration in 4-H Online is due September 13, 2021

4-H Online

See the button below for more information regarding the 2019 Maryland 4-H Smallbore Rifle Championship Match held on Saturday, September 18, 2021, in Marriottsville, Maryland.  This event is for Maryland 4-H members actively enrolled in a 4-H Shooting Sports Rifle/Marksmanship project or club before July 1, 2021. 

Contest participants will make a registration for this event via their 4-H Online member profiles. All registrations must be verified and approved by the county/city 4-H Educator before being accepted by the State 4-H Event Manager.  Adult volunteer coaches must also register via 4-H Online. Registration will close in 4-H Online at 11:59 pm on Monday, September 13, 2021.

There is no limit to the number of youth or three-person teams entering this contest in each age group. The 4-H Educator will designate teams when they review and verify the registrations. Coaches should work with their local 4-H office to determine team membership.

There is a $15.00 entry fee for each 4-H youth participant in this state contest.  There is no registration fee for adult volunteer coaches. Families may pay the entry fee by credit card at the time of registration, or county/city 4-H programs may sponsor the fee for their youth participants. Local 4-H programs should instruct youth participants/families on how to pay the registration fee.

Reminder: Each county must supply one target frame per shooter. The frame must meet AGC range specifications as described in the attached contest information. Contact Amanda Wahle for more information regarding target frames.

The match will be sponsored again this year by Maryland 4-H, the Civilian Marksmanship Program, and Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore.

Direct questions about the Match to Amanda Wahle at or contact Rebecca Bittner at (301)-314-9070 or

Event information


2021 Maryland 4-H Shooting Sports Archery Contest

Contest Details

  • Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021
  • Start Time: 8:00 am
  • Location:  Carroll County Agriculture Center, 706 Agricultural Drive, Westminster, Maryland
  • Registration dates: September 3-20, 2021 via 4-H Online


  • 4-H youth members must be enrolled in a 4-H Shooting Sports project (any discipline).  Additionally, a certified 4-H Shooting Sports Instructor must verify that the 4-H youth is proficient enough at archery to participate in the contest safely.
  • Adult Coaches must be UME 4-H Volunteers who are currently certified as 4-H Shooting Sports Instructor.

Complete contest information and rules are in the Event Information Button.

How to Register

Registration for this event is through the 4-H Online State 4-H Archery Contest event. First, log in to your 4-H Online family profile and click on the “Events” tab to access the registration. Then, use the attached “How to Register” guide to help you complete and submit your event registration.

All event registrations must be submitted by 11:59 pm on Monday, September 20, 2021. Registrations will be verified and approved by local 4-H Educators.

4-H Online

Event Information 




4-H Camping

4-H Camp

The Maryland 4-H Camping program provides educational, fun, recreational, and social opportunities for boys and girls. These camps are all accredited by the American Camp Association and follow the national safety standards of the industry. Youth do not have to be a 4-H member to attend 4-H camps. In order to attend any of the following residential or day camping programs, please call or email the contact included for specific details on registration, costs, and deadlines.

  • Mission
  • Benefits
  • Frequently asked Questions
  • Youth Page
  • Parent Resources

Camp Brochure/Camp Schedule - Please Click Here for Detailed Camp Information:

Forms to fill out

  • Maryland 4-H Camp Health Form
  • Medical Clearance Form
  • Camp Sunscreen Authorization Form

Camp Director/Educator Resources

  • Camp Evaluation Resources
  • Camp Management Resources



  • 2018 Camp Information Sheet 
  • Sample Budget Template
  • 2018 Camping Calendar
  • Top 5 Areas of Focus for 2018 Programming
  • 2018 Camp Director Report

ACA Resources

  • ACA Documentation Chart        
  • ACA Code of Ethics             
  • ACA Statement of Compliance
  • ACA Camp information sheet-attached
  • ACA Self Assessment form: Due April 15th - form attached  

Camping Handbooks/Manuals

  • Army Child, Youth & School Services  (A Camp Management Manual)

Camp Operational Management

  • 4-H Camp Timeline

Camp Staff Training Resources

  • Maryland 4-H Camp Staff Training Hours Chart
  • Training Checklist for Staff
  • Outline for Self Directed Training Modules
  • Outline for Staff Training Lesson Plans
  • Registration State Camp Staff Training
  • Training Hour Log Sheet

Environmental Education Resources

  • 4-H Nature Programming Quick Guide

Risk Management Resources

  • Camp Crisis Communication Card
  • Camp Marketing Materials
  • Camp Program Planning Resources
  • Camp Staff Training Resources
    • Maryland 4-H Camp Staff Training Hours Chart
    • Training Checklist for Staff
    • Outline for Self Directed Training Modules
    • Outline for Staff Training Lesson Plans
    • Registration State Camp Staff Training
    • Training Hour Log Sheet
  • Camp Action Team

Camp Facilities