It's a place where 4-H'ers might tell spooky ghost stories at night, where a company could hold an organizational retreat, or where anyone can relax in a gorgeous mountain setting.
The University of Tennessee's Clyde Austin 4-H Center has opened a new 4-H Lodge at Greeneville. UT Institute of Agriculture Chancellor Larry Arrington and UT Extension Dean Tim Cross dedicated the facility and welcomed about 100 guests, including 4-H agents and 4-H'ers who have been past campers at the center.
The 4-H Lodge at Greeneville was built with a donation of more than $1 million from generous supporters who wish to remain anonymous. Construction was completed in the last few months, and visitors are already using the facility.
"Thanks to this amazing act of generosity, the new lodge will serve 4-H youth and adults throughout the state for many years to come. We are so very grateful for this gift and proud of this beautiful facility," Cross said.
The lodge is a 13,000 square foot, two-level facility that includes a large meeting room with a stone fireplace and large windows that look over the countryside. The building also includes a smaller conference room, 16 rooms to be used for housing, a large deck with rocking chairs that overlook the Unaka Mountains and smaller deck below that area. Other features include state-of-the-art electronics and WiFi access, as well as kitchen facilities. The lodge will be used by campers and camp counselors through the summer months, but it is also available any time of year for corporate retreats and organizational gatherings.
"Summer camp is a special experience for thousands of 4-H youth from across the state," said Cross. "The new lodge will help us to continue these opportunities for our campers, and it will also offer a unique meeting location for outside groups to conduct retreats, meetings and other events in a truly outstanding setting."
"The Clyde Austin 4-H Center is a far cry from what it was when I attended camp here in the mid-1960's when I stayed in World War II army barracks," said Steve Sutton, State Director of Tennessee 4-H. "There have been significant improvements over the past decades, and the new lodge is now a component of that timeline. This facility brings a premier event center to the Greeneville area, and offers added value to our 4-H camping program," he said.
Both Sutton and Cross praised the work of Austin 4-H Center Director Andy Seals and his staff for their work in assisting in the construction of the facility. There are also tentative plans for Greene County Master Gardeners, an organization coordinated through UT Extension, to provide landscaping and horticultural work to the grounds.
To schedule a corporate outing at the 4-H Lodge at Greeneville, call 423-639-3811 or email firstname.lastname@example.org