Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center

Year Founded
Local Leader/Exec. Director
Preston R. Willson, President/CEO
Main Address

1267 4-H Camp Road
Appomattox, VA 24522
United States

What We Do
Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center strives to improve the quality of life through educating youth and adults in a natural setting. The Center has been providing unforgettable memories for 80 years! The history of Holiday Lake begins in the mid 1930’s in Appomattox County, Virginia. During the depression years of the 1930’s, much of this land was infertile and unproductive. Decades of repetitive farming of the same crops had stripped the land of its nutrients and it had become exhausted and badly eroded. The Roosevelt Administrations Resettlement Act provided for the purchase of this land and for the resettlement of the landowners. The Works Projects Administration (WPA) was authorized to construct a lake. Cabins and other facilities for the WPA workers were built in order for them to have housing close to the lake’s construction. The reason for the project was that the US Navy wanted a body of water about 150 miles from Washington D.C. to land seaplanes on, should the Capitol be attacked. Soon after construction started, a cemetery was discovered that prevented the lake from being large enough for the Navy’s needs. The original plan was aborted; however, a 150-acre lake was completed. The lake is located in the midst of the present 20,000-acre Appomattox/Buckingham state forest, the largest state forest in Virginia. This land was restored and today the forest and waters are healthy and productive in a revitalized ecosystem. Today, campers reside in the original cabins. All the original buildings have been placed on the Virginia Historic Landmarks Register and The National Register of Historic Places. Each year over 10,000 participants benefit from a variety of programs and activities on an annual basis at the 4-H Center. In addition to 4-H camping from 17 counties and two cities, there are other specialty 4-H programs-shooting education, natural resource education and supporting programs where participants come from Virginia and many other states from across the United States. A major part of today’s marketing effort is directed toward Natural Resource Education programs which include both day and overnight trips for schools and groups for learning hands-on in the outdoors. These classes help students learn concepts and ideas that can be taught in the classroom while also allowing them to experience natural resources in the outdoors. Overnight trips offer the maximum learning experience. All programs are correlated with Virginia’s Standards of Learning (SOLs) and focus on natural science, life sciences, life-skill development and leadership development. Challenge course programs for eligible groups are also offered. Low ropes, high ropes and a climbing tower are designed to bring participants together in a new environment where they share a common experience while learning to work together. The Center also offers workshops and events for all ages offered year-round and marketed throughout VA and beyond. For your next business meeting, seminar, team building program, low-high ropes, climbing wall, church retreat or civic club meeting, choose Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center. Our #GivingTuesdayGreaterLYH greatest need is Tyvek Wristbands (which are listed on our donation page). We need these for our 2,000 youth that attend 4H Summer Camp. These bands are essential for keeping our campers safe.
Interesting Info
  • Our Natural Resource Education (NRE) classes correlate to Virginia SOLs and our post-class testing shows an average increase in knowledge of 67%.
  • Over 2,000 youth attend our 4-H Summer Camp every year from 19 localities in Central Virginia.
  • The 4-H Center is located in the 20,000-acre Appomattox/Buckingham State Forest.