Weekly Feature

2015-02-26 / Education

DEC accepting summer camp applications for end of June

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting online applications for its 68th annual summer camp program.

The 2015 camp season begins June 28.

“DEC’s environmental education camps have a long tradition of inspiring the next generation of environmental stewards,” said Joe Martens, DEC commissioner. “Outdoor recreation and education experiences help campers develop an interest in science, learning and skills that will last a lifetime. I am always gratified when I speak with a student whose career choice was inspired at a DEC camp.”

The camps are for youths 11 to 17 years old. The weeklong sessions feature activities such as fishing, bird watching, fly-tying, archery, canoeing, hiking, camping, orienteering and optional hunter safety education.

Campers also learn about fields, forests, streams and ponds through hands-on activities and outdoor exploration. DEC counselors teach youth conservation techniques, such as measuring trees and estimating wildlife populations, used by natural resource professionals.

Camps will operate from Sunday through Friday. The closing ceremony and pickup date and time has changed to 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Pack Forest will host an Outdoor Adventure Week July 12-17 for 14- to 17-year-olds. This week will offer opportunities for campers to hone their outdoor skills in cast fishing, fly tying and fly fishing, target shooting, safe firearm handling, tracking, back country camping, archery, outdoor survival skills, plant identification, trapping, bird identification, outdoor photography, canoeing and kayaking.

Due to its popularity last year, trapper education courses will be taught by DEC-certified instructors at all four camps this season.

The course is for campers 11 to 13 years old. Courses will be offered during the third week, July 12-17, at Camp Colby; the seventh week, Aug. 9-14, at Camp DeBruce and Camp Rushford; and the eighth week, Aug. 16-21, at Pack Forest. The course is necessary to purchase a trapping license and will accommodate the first 25 campers who sign up.

Parents may register campers through DEC’s online registration system and pay by credit card, e-check or with a sponsor code. Fees for the 2015 camp season remain $350 per one-week session per camper.

Camp dates and a link to the online registration system are posted at www.dec.ny.gov/education/29.html. Families without Internet access should call the camp office at 518-402-8014 for information on how to register for camp.

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