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Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Center celebrates 50 years, looks ahead to the next 50

Media Contact: David J. Herpy, North Carolina 4-H camping specialist, 919-515-8483 

Fifty years to the day after the Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Educational Center was dedicated, the center is throwing a party, and all are invited to attend. The celebration and open house will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 17 at the center, which is located in Reidsville, N.C.

“We are excited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Educational Center and honor the legacy that Betsy Penn left to North Carolina State University, North Carolina 4-H and our youth,” said David Herpy, North Carolina 4-H camping specialist. “We are even more excited as we look ahead to the future of our center and the many more thousands of youth from across North Carolina who will enjoy all that it has to offer.”

The 50th anniversary festivities kick off at the center at 10 a.m. with the “Walk for BJP” along the historic Chinqua Penn Trail. Each walker is requested to raise or donate $25, and proceeds will benefit the center’s operations. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., visitors will be able to enjoy canoeing, rock wall climbing, nature hikes and games. The commemoration ceremony takes place at 5 p.m., and the closing campfire will be at 7 p.m.

Food and drink will be available for purchase throughout the day, as well as souvenirs from the camp store. Cabin rentals will available for overnight guests. The event is free and open to the public, and admission donations are appreciated.

For more information about the celebration and to register for the “Walk for BJP,” please visit

“The support we have received from our citizens, stakeholders and volunteers, especially over the past six months, has been overwhelming and has demonstrated how much this center means to the city of Reidsville, Rockingham County, and the state of North Carolina,” Herpy said. “We are truly grateful for all of our support and thankful to have this wonderful treasure!”

The Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Educational Center was dedicated in 1964 as a gift from Betsy Penn to North Carolina 4-H in honor of her late husband Jefferson Penn. The outdoor retreat and education facility, located in Rockingham County, is operated through the NC State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. It boasts nearly 200 acres of fields, forests, lakes and streams. The center’s mission, which is carried out through summer camp programs, educational field trips and an outdoor retreat center, is to provide youth with opportunities to develop life skills through experiential learning.

S. Stanard