Summer camp registration is now open in New York Families encouraged to register early
Campers explore a stream during a lesson group (Photo provided)
Online registration for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 2019 Summer Camps program is now open at dec.ny.gov/education/29.html. Parents and guardians are encouraged to register early since some of the weeks fill up quickly. "For more than 70 years DEC's Summer Camps program has been introducing New York's youth to the outdoors to learn about the natural world and our place in it," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "DEC's camps provide opportunities for adventure and an education that is preparing the next generation to become active stewards for our natural resources. Children can hike, canoe and camp overnight as part of their weeklong experience." Now in its 72nd year, the Summer Camps program offers weeklong 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). Campers will participate in a wide variety of outdoor adventures and are encouraged to try new things. Activities may include fishing, bird watching, fly-tying, archery, canoeing, hiking, camping, orienteering, and hunter safety education. One hunter education program for either gun, bow, or trapping is offered at each camp each week. Class size is limited for hunter education programs and campers must sign up for it during registration and complete the homework in advance. DEC campers engage in fun, hands-on activities and outdoor exploration focused on field, forest, stream, and pond ecological principles. Campers might collect insects in a field, use nets in a stream, investigate soil composition, measure tree sizes, or practice taking field notes and writing in journals. Trips to nearby state lands might include kettle bogs, state parks, fish hatcheries, or nature museums. All four camps will operate for seven one-week sessions (Sunday to Friday) beginning June 30. Pack Forest 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. One week of camp remains $350 per child for the 2019 year, and includes meals, trips, and a camp T-shirt. For more information, visit DEC's website, call 518-402-8014, visit "NYS DEC Summer Camps" on Facebook or write to DEC Camps, 3rd Floor, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-5256.