For Release: Wednesday, May 2, 2012
DEC Announces Timbrook Award Winners
Two Teens Will Attend Rushford Environmental Education Camp This Summer for Free
Environmental camp scholarships created in memory of Emily Timbrook were awarded to two teens, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. Colton Salatka of Cheektowaga, NY, and Amanda Klubek of Orchard Park, NY, were selected from essays they wrote about their experiences at DEC's Camp Rushford in Caneadea, Allegany County, last summer.
Timbrook, a former Camp Rushford attendee and volunteer who resided in Alfred Station, Allegany County, died tragically in a car accident in April 2009. Barbara and Tim Timbrook, Emily's parents, worked with DEC and the National Heritage Trust (NHT) to create a summer camp scholarship fund in Emily's name to encourage other young people to get outdoors and appreciate nature as Emily did. The funds collected are used for "camperships" (camp scholarships) to send two returning campers to Camp Rushford for free. To date, $8,450 has been raised in Emily's memory.
DEC invited campers who excelled at Camp Rushford in 2011 to submit an essay about their camp experience and its impact on their lives. 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.
"All the campers' essays showed great enthusiasm towards their experience at Rushford, many detailing their individual achievements and friendships they made," DEC Public Affairs Director Laurel Remus said. "While selecting just two winners was challenging, Amanda and Colton's essays reflected Emily Timbrook's love for camp. I know that Amanda and Colton will enrich the camp experience for all the campers at Rushford this year."
Emily's parents, Barbara and Tim Timbrook, said, "We are pleased to honor Emily's memory by supporting two returning campers each summer at Camp Rushford. Our daughter's love of nature and commitment to environmental stewardship was nurtured at a DEC camp, and we are pleased that Amanda and Colton both demonstrated a similar excitement about protecting the environment and enjoying the benefits of being outdoors. We are pleased to be able to honor Emily's memory in this way."
Amanda Klubek's Rushford experience started when her older siblings, Scott and Casey went to camp, when she was too young to attend. Her brothers returned from camp and told her what they learned and about the fun they had. Amanda couldn't wait to go the next year. She was sponsored by her 4-H group, the Boston Valley Young Guns, and she excelled at Rushford. Amanda's enthusiasm and love for camp was recognized by camp staff who nominated her for the Timbrook Award. Following a review of letters of application from the nominees, Amanda was chosen for a campership for the 2012 season.
Colton also followed the camp footsteps of a sibling: his sister Autumn. She came home from camp with wonderful memories of her experiences and with a new friendship, which has lasted more than four years. When Colton was old enough to attend camp, he was sponsored by the Friends of Reinstein Nature Preserve. Going to Camp Rushford was his first time away from his family, as well as his first time at a camp. Colton loved his week at camp; when his father picked him up all he could talk about was the great time he had. At home after camp, Colton took what he learned at Camp Rushford and convinced his family to purchase a tent and go camping.
Colton taught his younger siblings about composting and he talked a lot about his Rushford experience and how his counselor helped him feel comfortable being away from home. His mother said, "I am thankful to the DEC for that. It also brought back some great memories for his dad and me."
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. Pack Forest and Camp Rushford also feature Teenage Ecology Week programs, an environmental studies program for 14 to 17-year-old campers, a popular program for which all available slots for the 2012 season are already filled.
Space is still available at Camp Rushford for children aged 11 to 13. Visit DEC's website for more information about all four DEC summer camps and to find out what weeks remain open.
Donations to support future camp scholarships in Emily's name can be made to NHT, a public benefit corporation that receives and manages gifts, grants and contributions to further public conservation programs. A description of NHT is available at www.nysparks.state.ny.us. To donate to the NHT fund, send a check made out to "NHT-Emily" to Camps Scholarship, c/o Director of Management and Budget Services, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-5010.