The Grant Walker 4-H Educational Center has been providing educational and recreational opportunities for the youth of Louisiana for over 100 years. Camping has been a fixture of the 4-H Youth Development Program since its earliest beginnings. In 1915, the very first 4-H Camp was organized in Virginia. Within three short years, more than 1,700 camps had emerged across the U.S., with total attendance surpassing 100,000 youth. Camping has been shown to improve decision-making skills, develop problem-solving, respect for others, confidence and self-esteem, and interpersonal communication skills.
In 1922, the first group of youth camped under the majestic pines of the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana on land owned by local businessman, Rufus Walker. Since then, thousands of youth campers from all 64 Louisiana Parishes have taken part in the transformational experience offered through the 4-H Summer Camp Program.
In 1936, Mr. Walker would then officially donate the land to the state of Louisiana, which paved the way for permanent improvements to be made on the camp grounds. Therefore, in 1938, the Works Progress Administration of Louisiana, arising from President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, began construction of bunkhouses, cafeteria, open air pavilions, Greek theatre, and several other permanent structures. Many of these improvements still stand today, including our Arts & Crafts Building, Educational Building, Greek Theatre, Main Office, and Dance Pavilion.
By the late 1970s, the Louisiana 4-H Youth Development Program began a series of capital improvements at Camp Grant Walker, constructing all new bunkhouses, our large multi-purpose building, a large pool, and another open-air pavilion in order to expand our programming in light of the increasing interest in the Louisiana 4-H Summer Camp Program and the rising popularity of the Louisiana 4-H Shooting Sports Program. Eventually, a permanent on-site staff was hired to continue programming efforts throughout the year, and seasonal summer staff including qualified instructors, were retained throughout the summer months in order to improve program quality and consistency. Today, Camp Grant Walker serves over 3,500 youth each and every summer, offers Spring and Fall programming, and is available for outside user groups for events ranging from professional development workshops, reunions and weddings, and corporate retreats.