About Us

- About Us -

North Carolina’s Premier 4-H Center!

The Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Educational Center

is North Carolina 4-H’s premier camping institution in the state, serving over 7,000 young people every year. Nestled on nearly 200 acres of forests, lakes, streams, and fields in the North Carolina Piedmont, the Center is proud to provide research-based educational experiences that help develop and promote the life skills necessary for youth to become productive members of society.

Located in Reidsville, NC the outdoor retreat and education facility was given to the citizens of North Carolina by Betsy Penn, who constructed and then donated the facility to North Carolina 4-H in 1964 in honor of her late husband, Jefferson Penn. BJP is owned and operated through North Carolina State University. The Center is managed by a full-time Center Director, supported by Program Directors, facility maintenance staff, food service providers, and seasonal camp and education staff to provide safe and exceptional programs. The center is accredited by The American Camping Association, ensuring BJP adheres to the highest standards for safety, operations, and program quality.

The camp experience is so important for these children because it gives them a sense of identity, a sense of purpose, it adds to their self-efficacy ten times over. It changes you.
Coming here is going to be the best week of your life. Regardless of what week you come, regardless of who you are, you’re going to change.
We love 4-H camp. It builds relationships, leadership skills, self-discipline, self-motivation, and gives young people a safe environment for personal growth.
This place, I feel like I can be myself. I’ve waited a whole year for summer just to get back here.
First I was afraid to talk to people and I was shy. Now I can talk and be myself.
Everybody makes it so that every week is the best week of your life here and that’s really special.
Every year there is always the person on your side of the cabin who becomes a great friend.
Coming to BJP showed me there are people out here that want to help you, there are people who want to change your life every day, there are people who are going to pick you up.
I always said I can’t and now I say I can.
Betsy-Jeff Penn Center Director - Stacy Burns
Camper and Camp Counselor - Joey Garron
Shawn - Parent
Camper - Taqqee Richardson
Camper and Camp Counselor -Joey Garron

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Reasons to Come to BJP

Learn By Doing

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BJP’s mission is to provide youth with opportunities to develop critical life skills using the experiential learning model. Learning by doing means that all youth that visits our center gain knowledge through hands-on learning that prepares them for the challenges and opportunities of a modern, global society.

Summer Camp

campfire imageTens of thousands of young people have benefitted from the life-changing summer camp experience at BJP since the center opened in 1964. Our overnight camp offers programs for campers age 8-14, with Leader-in-Training (LIT) programs for older campers age 15-17.

Educational Field Trips

We run 1 to 3-day programs in the spring and fall for schools in North Carolina and Virginia that want to enhance their school’s curriculum with hands-on, experiential learning utilizing the center’s nearly 200 acres as an outdoor classroom. Classes are aligned with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. Check out our Soaring Thru Spaces, Environmental Education, and O.R.I.E.N.T. programs for more information.

Outdoor Conferences & Retreats

We provide a tranquil setting for conferences and retreats for a variety of user groups. Team building programs for adults and corporate groups use our team course and high ropes facilities. Lodging, meeting space, wifi access, AV support, and healthy meals are provided. Special pricing is available for groups associated with NC State University, Cooperative Extension, and NC 4-H.


- our staff -

Meet Our Leadership

Jeff Johnson
Jeff Johnson
Facilities Maintenance Manager
Kyle Shillinglaw
Kyle Shillinglaw
Education Director
Stacy Burns
Stacy Burns
Center Director
Candace Hairston
Candace Hairston
Food Service Director

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