For Release: Wednesday, February 15, 2017
DEC Announces 2017 Timbrook Award Winner
Blasdell, NY, teen wins scholarship to attend Rushford Environmental Education Camp free of charge
One teen has been chosen to receive a full scholarship to attend Rushford Environmental Education Camp this summer, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. The scholarship was created in memory of Emily Timbrook. Jaden Jeswald of Blasdell, NY, was selected from an essay she wrote about her experience at DEC's Camp Rushford in Caneadea, Allegany County, last summer.
"Each and every camper who submitted an essay in this year's scholarship contest was enthusiastic about what they learned and achieved at Rushford environmental education camp-and the friendships they made," said Commissioner Seggos. "While choosing just one winner is difficult, Jaden's essay truly reflects Emily Timbrook's love for camp, and I know that Jaden will enrich the camp experience for all of the campers at Rushford this year."
Timbrook, a former Rushford camper and volunteer from Alfred Station, Allegany County, died tragically in a car accident in April 2009. Her parents, Barbara and Tim Timbrook, worked with DEC and the National Heritage Trust (NHT) to create the summer camp scholarship fund in Emily's name and encourage other young people to get outdoors and appreciate nature as Emily did. The funds collected are used for "camperships" (camp scholarships) and send one returning camper to Camp Rushford for free.
Campers who excelled at Camp Rushford in 2016 received the Timbrook Award and were invited to submit an essay about their own camp experiences. The award-winning campers were chosen for their demonstrated interest in building upon their outdoor recreation experiences and sharing their knowledge of the state's natural resources with other campers.
Emily's parents, Barbara and Tim Timbrook, said, "We are delighted to honor Emily's memory by supporting a returning camper each summer at Camp Rushford. Our daughter's love of nature and commitment to environmental stewardship were nurtured at a DEC camp, and we are pleased that Jaden shows a similar excitement about protecting the environment and enjoying the outdoors. We are so happy to remember Emily in this way."
Jaden first attended Camp Rushford after winning a scholarship at school. Jaden told her sixth-grade teacher how much she wanted to go, though the only thing she knew about Camp Rushford was that it is a camp for environmental enthusiasts. Jaden, who enjoys science, wrote an essay expressing that love and won. After attending camp for the first time in 2011, she raved about it to anyone who would listen. Jaden's enthusiasm and love for camp were recognized by camp staff who nominated her for the Timbrook Award, and after reviewing essay applications from all of the nominees, Jaden was chosen for a campership for the 2017 season.
DEC's unique residential camp program offers week-long adventures in conservation education and environmental stewardship for children ages 11 to 17. There are four residential camps for youth ages 11 to 13: 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. Camp Rushford and Pack Forest also feature Teenage Ecology Week programs, an environmental studies program for 14 to 17-year-old campers.
Space is still available at Camp Rushford for children aged 11 to 13 and 14 to 17. Visit the DEC Summer Camps web page for more information about all four DEC summer camps.
Donations to support future camp scholarships can be made by visiting the DEC Summer Camps web page at and looking for the "Donate to Summer Camps" button. Funds are managed by the National Heritage Trust, a public benefit corporation that receives and manages gifts, grants and contributions to further public conservation programs. A description of NHT is available at the Natural Heritage Trust (link leaves DEC's website) web page at the NYS Parks website. To donate to the Emily Timbrook fund, send a check made out to NHT-DEC Camps, with Emily in the memo section to Camps Scholarship, c/o Director of Management and Budget Services, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-5010.