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For Release: Wednesday, January 22, 2014

DEC Accepting Applications for 2014 Summer Camp Program

Registration Begins January 22, Camp Begins June 29

Trapper Education Course Offered at Two Camps This Year

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will be accepting online applications for its 67th Annual Summer Camp Program starting January 22, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The 2014 camp season begins June 29.

"For more than six decades, DEC's environmental education summer camps have nurtured New York's youth to become stewards of our state's natural resources," said Commissioner Martens. "Campers explore the outdoors under the guidance of caring camp staff, learning about the natural world and their place in it. We're looking forward to another great summer of welcoming youth to our facilities and sharing a love and respect for the outdoors."

Parents may register campers beginning January 22 at 10 a.m. only through DEC's convenient, online registration system and pay by credit card, e-check or with a sponsor code. Fees for the 2014 camp season remain $350 per one-week session per camper. Summer Camp dates and a link to the online registration system are posted on DEC's website. Families without internet access should call the camp office at 518-402-8014 for information on how to register for camp alternatively.

Youth 11 through 17-years old enjoy week-long adventures in conservation education at DEC's residential summer camps. They participate in a wide variety of outdoor 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 fun, hands-on activities and outdoor exploration. DEC counselors teach youth conservation techniques used by natural resource professionals, such as measuring trees and estimating wildlife populations.

For the first time at DEC's summer camp program since the 1980s, youth 11 through 13-years old can take a trapper education course taught by DEC certified instructors at two of the four camps. Interested campers can register for Week 5 (July 27 to August 2) at Camp Colby and Week 7 (August 10-16) at Camp Rushford. The course is necessary to purchase a trapping license, should youth want to trap during trapping season. The trapping course at each camp will accommodate the first 25 campers who sign up for it. Visit DEC's website for more information on trapping licenses in New York State.

All four environmental education camps serve children ages 11 through 13-years old: 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 host week-long Teen Ecology Workshops, which are more in-depth environmental studies programs for ages 14 through 17-years old. This year, Pack Forest will host six Teen Ecology Workshops and Camp Rushford will host two.

All camps will operate for seven one-week sessions (Sunday to Saturday), beginning June 29. Campers may attend camp for more than one week during the summer, but will not be able to stay at camp on the Saturday night between sessions. Parents must make alternate arrangements for the intersession if two or more consecutive weeks are selected.

Sporting clubs, civic groups and environmental organizations are encouraged to sponsor one or more children for a week at camp. Groups who sponsor six paid campers will receive a scholarship to send a seventh child to camp for free. Information about becoming a sponsor is available on DEC's website.

For more information please visit DEC's website, call 518-402-8014, visit "NYS DEC Summer Camps" on Facebook or write to DEC Camps, 4th Floor, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-4500.

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