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DEC Summer Camp Registration Opens January 25

Online registration for the 2017 summer camp program will open January 25, 2017 at 10 a.m., the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. Applications will be submitted through the online registration program available through DEC’s summer camp website.

“The Summer Camp Program gets kids outside, giving them an opportunity to form a life-long love of nature and inspiring the next generation to become stewards of New York’s magnificent natural resources,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “New York has a long history of environmental education and our summer camp program is a large part of that history.”

Now in its 70th year, the summer camp program offers week-long adventures in conservation education for children ages 11-17. DEC operates four residential camps for children: Camp Colby in Saranac Lake (Franklin County); Camp DeBruce in Livingston Manor (Sullivan County); Camp Rushford in Caneadea (Allegany County); and Pack Forest in Warrensburg (Warren County). All four camps offer programs for children aged 11-13, while Pack Forest hosts children aged 14-17 for six weeks and Camp Rushford offers two weeks of programs for children aged 14-17. The complete schedule of camp offerings is available on the summer camp’s website and the online registration program.

Campers participate in a wide variety of outdoor activities including fishing, bird watching, fly-tying, archery, canoeing, hiking, camping, orienteering, and hunter safety education. Campers also learn ecological principles about fields, forests, streams, and ponds through hands-on activities and outdoor exploration. DEC counselors teach youth conservation techniques used by natural resource professionals, such as measuring trees and estimating wildlife populations.

Each week features a different sportsman education program (hunter safety, bow education, or trapper education). Parents and guardians are encouraged to sign up their children. Space is limited. This year, Week 3 (July 9-14) at Camp Pack Forest will once again be the popular Outdoor Adventure Week, during which older campers have the opportunity to speak with professionals about career choices, participate and gain experience in more advanced activities, and take advantage of fishing in more habitats.

All four camps will operate for seven one-week sessions (Sunday to Friday) beginning June 25, 2017, with the exception of Pack Forest, which operates for eight weeks. Drop-off time is 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, and the closing ceremony and pick-up time is Friday at 4:30 p.m. Campers may attend camp for more than one week during the summer, but cannot stay at camp on Friday or Saturday nights. One week of camp is $350 per child for the 2017 year, and includes meals and trips.

In addition to inviting parents to register their children to participate in the DEC environmental education camp program, sporting clubs, civic groups, and environmental organizations are encouraged to sponsor one or more children for a week at camp. Groups who sponsor six paid campers will receive a scholarship to send a seventh child to camp for free. Information about Sponsoring Youth to Camp is available on DEC’s website.