Recreation 2017-09-20T22:30:42+00:00

Supervised Activities at the Skelton 4-H Conference Center


Low Ropes Course

The 4-H Center offers cooperation and teambuilding programs for youth, adolescents, and adults. The primary purpose of these programs is to challenge members of a group to overcome a series of obstacles by working together. As the group overcomes each obstacle in their course, teamwork will increase dramatically. All programs conducted on our challenge course are physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging. Every group that visits our Center is different; therefore, each group’s individual program can be structured for the needs of that organization. Ropes Course programs can run from 3-7 hours depending on the group’s size and needs. Participants are asked to wear comfortable clothing, closed-toe shoes with heel straps, and no jewelry.

Climbing Tower

In addition to a program on the Low Ropes Course (see description above), groups may also utilize the Climbing Tower, which challenges participants’ problem solving ability as they grapple with our 25-foot wall. Multiple levels of difficulty challenge new and experienced climbers. As the individuals overcome our wall, the group will learn communication and support for one another. Climbing Tower programs can run from 1-4 hours depending on the group’s size and needs. Participants are asked to wear comfortable clothing, closed-toe shoes with heel straps, and no jewelry. Also note that participants wearing hard hair bows or barrettes may be asked to remove them in order to wear a helmet safely.

Canoeing & Kayaking

Enjoy a peaceful paddle along the shores of Smith Mountain Lake in a canoe or recreational kayak. Participants are asked to wear closed-toe shoes with heel straps and all participants must wear a life jacket (provided by the 4-H Center).


Test your aiming skills on our Archery Range! Re-curve bows for all ages and abilities are utilized on our range with 8 shooting lanes. The range is located next to the Canoe/Kayak shed.


Ready, Aim, Fire! .22 caliber rifles in youth and adult sizes are the tool used to teach this class. Safe handling of a firearm, proper firing techniques, and more are part of the curriculum. The range is located behind JOCO Learning Center.


Take a break and relax in the pool! Your group will enjoy swimming in our L-shaped pool complete with a shallow end and a diving well. Lounge chairs, showers, and changing rooms are also located at the pool facility for your convenience. Lifeguards are required and provided by the 4-H Center.

Other Recreation at the Skelton 4-H Conference Center

Campfire Circle

Looking for a fun evening program? Reserve our campfire circle for an evening of stories, songs, and fun. Located near Willard Pavilion, the circle has several tiered rows of wooden benches so that everyone has a great view of the fire. The 4-H Center will provide all the wood necessary to enjoy a beautiful campfire!


Guests may enjoy fishing at the Waterfront and from the Advance Auto Parts Gazebo and Dock. Please inquire to see whether or not this area is available for your group. Also note that state fishing guidelines must be followed and anyone age 16 or older must have a Virginia State Fishing License in order to fish in Smith Mountain Lake.


Let your group enjoy an afternoon of fun at the Wiss Miniature Golf course. Featuring 18 holes of putt-putt, this was the area’s first wheelchair accessible miniature golf course.
The Center also boasts a short-fall, shaded driving range and series of putting greens in our P.T. “Patsy” Smith Memorial Golf Complex. This complex also has a nice patio with shaded benches and a picnic table where guests can enjoy a full afternoon of golf and refreshment.

Horsehoe Pits

Horseshoe Pits are located next to the pool.

Recreational Fields

In between structured activities, use our large recreational field for free time. The field features a back-stop fence for softball games, and movable soccer goals. The group will also have access to the recreation shed which contains a wide array of balls, bats, hula-hoops, jump ropes, Frisbees, tug-of-war ropes, and other items that can be used during your group’s recreational time.

Tennis and Basketball Courts

Outdoor courts are located next to the pool. There is no charge to use these facilities. A shaded basketball court is located in the Open Air Pavilion; please inquire to see whether or not this area is available for your group.


Freestanding volleyball nets are located in the Open Air Pavilion. Please inquire to see whether or not this area is available for your group.

John G. Rocovich, Jr. Regional Shooting Sports Complex

The W. E. Skelton 4-H Educational Conference Center is home to the state-of-the-art John G. Rocovich, Jr. Regional Shooting Sports Complex. This facility is unlike any other shooting sports facility in this part of the country, in fact it may be a one-of-a-kind! It is a “hybrid” shooting sports complex in that although it has many features of an “indoor” shooting range it is “open” on one end allowing for shooters to fire into an earthen berm outside of the range.
Amenities and features of the Rocovich Shooting Sports Complex include:

• Eight (8) firing lines (future plans include expansion to 12 lanes)
• Electronic/computerized target retrieval system
• Range Officers Command Booth featuring a command station with hundreds of programmable options to meet a variety of needs (law enforcement, etc.)
• Climate-controlled classroom space
• Administrative office (climate controlled)
• Armory (climate controlled)
• Dry fire room (climate controlled)
• Bathroom facilities (climate controlled)
• Covered outdoor teaching area

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Attractions Near the Skelton 4-H Conference Center

Let’s look at the area surrounding the Skelton 4-H Conference Center. The Skelton 4-H Conference Center is right in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, on a beautiful lake front property at Smith Mountain Lake. It’s simple a stunning, breath-taking setting, ideal for releasing work pressure and focusing on the topics at hand, but it’s certainly not isolated. The Skelton 4-H Conference Center is about 10 munutes away from the greater West Lake area, where there are shops, restaurants, golf, and even a movie theatre if you want to catch a flick. It’s only a short drive to several breweries and wineries. The Emerson Creek Pottery is nearby, Havester Performance center in nearby Rocky Mount offers regional and national live entertainment. And for the history buffs in your group there’s the Booker T. Washington National Monument, and the National D-Day Memorial. And to round that all off we are only about 45 minutes from the bigger cities of Roanoke and Lynchburg, both offering regional airports and the typical variety of metropolitan activities.