Now one of the largest non-academic youth education and conference facilities in America, the National 4-H Youth Conference Center has a colorful history that dates back more than a century.
In 1893, Francis G. Newlands built the Chevy Chase Inn on a large plot of farmland. In 1903, the property was converted into a college for women, an identity it maintained for nearly half a century.
In 1951, the National 4-H Foundation, established two years earlier, bought the school to house its national training center. However, due to the growing conflict in Korea, the U.S. Defense Department immediately requested the use of the property for an Operations Research Office.
The property was returned to the 4-H movement in 1957, and promptly underwent renovations with the aid of the Ford and Danforth Foundations, among other funding sources.
On June 16, 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower presided over the opening ceremonies for the National 4-H Center, which quickly became the national home for 4 H, hosting annual 4-H conferences and year-round training programs for youth, volunteer leaders and professional staff.
During the late 1970s, the National 4-H Foundation merged with the National 4-H Service Committee in Chicago to become the National 4-H Council - the non-profit entity which now owns and operates this exceptional facility.
Today, the National 4-H Youth Conference Center continues this rich tradition by hosting a variety of youth groups in a safe, enriching environment during visits to our nation's capital, Washington, DC.
Learn more about the history of 4-H.