Colby, DeBruce, Rushford, and Pack Forest
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The Camp Experience
At DEC environmental education camps, campers experience a balance of environmental education, sportsman education and outdoor fun. Games, lessons and hands-on activities teach kids about forests, water quality and other aspects of nature. Swimming, hiking and canoeing are on the agenda, too, as campers learn new outdoor skills. Campers come away with a life-long passion for nature and a dedication to stewardship of our natural resources.
About the Camps
DEC runs four camps located across New York State. The camps are for boys and girls ages 11 to 17. To view a PowerPoint about the camps visit the link on the right hand side of this page.
Sign up for camp updates!
Campers, parents and sponsors can sign up to receive periodic emails from camp staff.
To sign up for email updates, first use this link to, subscribe to GovDelivery by entering your e-mail address. Fill in and submit the requested information on the "New Subscriber" page. This will take you to the "Quick Subscription" page where you will see all the topics that you can receive email updates on from DEC. Go to the "Education and Outdoor Skills" category and check the box next to "Summer Camps." You will receive a welcome email from DEC confirming your subscription(s).
The Camp Curriculum
Campers participate in discovery groups, completing six lessons including group dynamics, explorations of different habitats, and human impacts on the environment. Campers learn science, solve challenges, play games, keep a journal, catch salamanders, net butterflies and discover the interconnectedness of life on earth. All of the camps offer Sportsman Education. The Pack Forest Camp also offers shooting sports for the 14 to 17 year-olds.
Campfire songs at Camp Colby
Camp Colby 11 to 13 year-olds*
Camp Colby, is situated on the western shore of Lake Colby, near the village of Saranac Lake (Franklin County) on 100 acres adjoining the Adirondack Forest Preserve.
Camp DeBruce 11 to 13 year-olds*
Camp DeBruce, is in the southern Catskills, near the village of Livingston Manor (Sullivan County). The camp is located on 300 acres of land adjoining the Catskill Forest Preserve.
Campers exploring in the woods
Camp Rushford 11 to 13 and 14 to 17 year-olds*
Camp Rushford, is situated on the 4,500-acre Hanging Bog Wildlife Management Area in the Genesee River Valley (Allegany County). The camp is located south of the town of Rushford. Weeks 4 and 5 at camp will be for the 14 to 17 year old program.
Camp Pack Forest 11 to 13 and 14 to 17 year-olds*
Pack Forest is located north of Warrensburg in the southern Adirondacks. Almost 2,500 acres in size, it includes an 85-acre lake and many streams and wetlands. Week-long Ecology Workshops are offered for 14 to 17 year-olds during five of the seven sessions of camp.
* Campers must be the minimum age by December 1st of 2013 to attend.
All environmental education camp counselors have at least two years of college in natural or biological sciences, natural resource conservation, environmental education or primary and secondary education. In addition, counselors are all certified in First Aid and CPR/AED. All staff at the four camps have had background checks performed on them.
Camp Schedules and Cost
Campers may attend multiple times during the seven, week-long sessions. Camp starts on June 30, 2013 and goes until August 17, 2013. The camp week runs Sunday through Saturday.
- See a typical week's schedule for Camps Colby, DeBruce and Rushford
- See the Pack Forest weekly schedule
Cost and Sponsorships
DEC camp costs $350 per camper per week. Many campers are sponsored by local conservation and community groups, so talk with organizations in your area to find out if they offer sponsorships to the DEC environmental education camps and how to receive one.
More about Summer Camps:
- Camp Weeks and Availability - A listing of open and closed weeks for the environmental education camps.
- How to Apply to Camp - A how-to for parents to send their child to camp, including applications and deadlines.
- Information for Camp Attendees - Forms, descriptions, and general information for youth attending Camp Colby, DeBruce, Rushford, and Pack Forest.
- FAQ's about DEC Camp - FAQ's for the DEC Environmental Education Summer Camps.
- Sportsman Education at Camp - A decription of the Sportsman Education Classes offered at the DEC summer camps
- Camp Colby - This camp is located on the western shore of Lake Colby, just outside the Village of Saranac Lake.
- Camp DeBruce - This camp is located in the Catskills, in Sullivan County about eight miles east of Livingston Manor, NY.
- Camp Rushford - This camp is located on the Hanging Bog Wildlife Management Area in Allegany County about two miles southwest of Rushford Lake.
- Pack Forest - Located in the southern Adirondacks, this camp is open to campers age 11 to 17 and is DEC's newest camp.
- Sponsoring Youth to Camp - Steps for an organization sponsoring youth to the environmental education camps.
- Employment at Education Camps - Staff positions available at the environmental education camps.
- Campfire Recipes - Tasty recipes used at the summer camps using a campfire to cook the desserts.