For Jessica Middleton, 4-H Camp is a family tradition.

CANANDAIGUA — Jessica Middleton got her first taste of 4-H Camp Bristol Hills at age 3, hanging out with her parents David and Priscilla Krueger as they worked music camp — where they had met years before.

The family tradition of Camp Bristol Hills, which goes back to Middleton’s grandmother who worked there in the 1960s, is alive and well. This year Middleton springs up to camp director after seven of the past 10 summers as assistant chief.

Owned and operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County, the camp on Kear Road offers a variety of recreation, adventure and environmental programs for day or resident campers — think ropes courses, crafts, horseback riding, swimming and leadership training, to name a few.

Middleton, who last summer introduced her 2-year-old and 5-month-old to camp, has education and training beyond her years spent at Camp Bristol Hills. She has a bachelor’s degree in recreation from the State University of New York at Cortland and a master’s in special and childhood education from St. John Fisher College. She was a field Instructor for a wilderness therapy program in Utah and as a special education teacher for high-needs students in Vermont.

Employment skills development is an area of focus for the camp’s new director. She worked to develop a Workforce Development Competency Model, based on the model used by the Department of Labor. This model earned accolades from other 4-H Camps in the state as well as the Cornell Cooperative Extension administration, according to a release.

The tool is designed to identify and develop skills valuable to employees and to help camp staffers in their role at camp as well as after they leave to begin a career. Middleton developed the Leader-in-Training program and redesigned the Counselor-in-Training programs for campers.

“The competency model is important for staff because it can help them articulate all the important skills they gain at camp along with an idea of the skills we look for as staff grow at camp,” Middleton said in a release. “As an employer, it provides a blueprint for skills and responsibilities that we are working to cultivate in the staff over their tenure working with us.”

To learn more

For more information on 4-H Camp Bristol Hills, contact the camp office, 480 N. Main St. Canandaigua, call 585-394-3977, extension 435, or visit