Maynard named executive director of Rock Springs Ranch. New leader aims to support 4-H camp experiences

K-State Research and Extension news service 

MANHATTAN, Kan. – There was a time, Steve Maynard admits, when he was a shy, introverted kid. Then came summer camp.

“By highlighting my talents and knowledge, the (camp) staff brought me out of my shell and built up my confidence and self-esteem,” said Maynard, who in January was named executive director of Rock Springs Ranch south of Junction City.

Among other activities, Rock Springs Ranch, the state 4-H center, hosts thousands of 4-H youth for summer camp programs. On assuming his new post, Maynard said: “I will always strive to create a camp culture where building confidence and self-esteem is the normal experience for each camper and staff team member.”

Maynard said one of the things that attracted him to Rock Springs Ranch was that it offers programming based on the foundations of the Kansas 4-H program — head, heart, hands and health.

“These core values continued to withstand the test of time and challenge,” he said. “They are the pillars of the 4-H program and can be used as a sounding board to test new programs, coach campers and staff and help lead Rock Springs Ranch into the future.”

As part of the executive director role, Maynard will be overseeing all aspects of the facilities and programming, working with camp directors Jared and Letha Causby, K-State Research and Extension agents and others on programming and staffing needs.

Maynard was most recently the facilities director at Asbury Hills Camp and Retreat Center/South Carolina Camps and Retreat Ministries in Greenville, South Carolina. He has more than 25 years of experience in the camping industry, serving as an executive leader at camps across the country.

“I am excited to have Steve join the Kansas 4-H team,” said Sarah Maass, the state leader for the Kansas 4-H program. “We look forward to his leadership at Rock Springs Ranch as we move Kansas 4-H forward together as a team in the field of positive youth development.”

Rock Springs Ranch, which has been in existence for nearly 80 years, is accredited by the American Camp Association.

“As the standards organization for camping, the American Camp Association accreditation ensures Rock Springs Ranch is operating with the highest standards in safety, training, program, facilities and food service,” Maynard said.

Studies by the American Camp Association have shown that this positive type of ‘risk taking’ carries over when guests leave camp.

Part of Maynard’s vision for Rock Springs Ranch is to provide a space where campers and adult retreat guests can explore new interests, gain independence, and master new skills in a safe non-judgemental setting. He said that the facilities at Rock Springs Ranch can meet the needs of a variety of groups.

“I am excited to be joining the Kansas 4-H and Rock Springs Ranch family,” he said. “I look forward to working with the team and helping them achieve their goals, providing exceptional experiences for our campers and adult guests and filling summer camp and retreat calendars. I am proud to be a part of the state’s largest positive youth development organization, serving more than 80,000 youth each year.”

For more information about summer camp and booking a reservation, call 785-257-3221.

Rock Springs Ranch is owned and operated by the Kansas 4-H Foundation. The Kansas 4-H Foundation is the 501(c)(3) fundraising arm for Kansas 4-H, the state’s largest positive youth development organization.

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