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How to Register for Camp

The status of DEC Summer Camps' 2021 season is under review. DEC's primary motivation has and continues to be the health and safety of campers, families, and staff. In order to afford DEC an appropriate amount of time to determine if camps can open safely, plan for the safest possible camps season, and to avoid numerous modifications, we are delaying a decision for an in-person program. We will update this webpage when a determination has been made.

DEC will continue to work with the NYS Dept. of Health, Centers for Disease Control and others to evaluate the guidelines in place to protect the health and safety of campers and staff for the 2021 season, and to maintain the DEC Camp Program's exploration and learning opportunities going forward.

Please note that DEC Camps staff are working from home as per the Governor's directive and the easiest way to reach them is to send an email to They will return your email as soon as possible.

DEC camps uses an online registration program to register campers and communicate with families and sponsors during the year. Payment must be made online with either a credit card or e check. Before a camper can be registered, a family account must be set up. You may set up your family account and add campers at any time during the year.

While registration opens January 26, 2020, we highly recommend that families fill out all the required camper forms and waivers before registration opens. Completing all forms and waivers ahead of time will significantly speed up your registration process. All forms, documents and waivers that you need are available online in your document center (leaves DEC website).

Updates and News

  • The 2020 registration opening date is Sunday, January 26th at 1:00 PM. Register using our online registration system. Plan on registering early as camper spots fill quickly!
  • Camps will operate one-week sessions for five weeks at Colby; seven weeks at DeBruce and Rushford; Pack Forest will run for eight weeks
  • Camp Pack Forest's "Outdoor Adventure Week" is moving to week 6 (August 2-7), with some new changes planned. The Outdoor Adventure Week description:
    "Do you have a teen who loves being outdoors? Help them deepen their enjoyment and widen their horizons while exploring environmental careers at Camp Pack Forest. Campers this week will develop hands on outdoor skills that go above and beyond the traditional camp week. Alongside canoeing, fishing, and games campers will engage in forestry, citizen science, conservation science, and more! Guest DEC, higher education, and natural resource professionals will provide opportunities to consider career paths."
  • Due to construction commencing August 1st, Camp Colby will be open for weeks 1-5
  • NEW in 2020: Camp Colby and DeBruce will offer one week at each camp of the teen ecology program for ages 14-17 during Week 4 (July 19-24)
  • Pack Forest will continue to have six weeks of the 14-17 year old teen ecology program (Weeks 1-6) and two weeks of youth camp for ages 11-13 (Weeks 7 and 8)
  • Camp Rushford will continue to have two weeks of the 14-17 year old teen ecology program (Weeks 4 and 5) and six weeks of youth camp
  • Visit the Camp Weeks page to see what weeks camp runs and what Hunter Education classes are offered (gun, bow, or trapping) at each camp each week

Application Guidelines

Space is limited, so interested campers are urged to register early. If there is no space for your camper, you may sign up for the waiting list and you will be contacted if a spot becomes available.

All applications are done online through our online registration system (leaves DEC website). We highly recommend creating an account and completing the documents in the document center before registration opens.

If you've forgotten your password or email address for your account, please contact us at 518-402-8014 or please DO NOT make a new account.

All four camps will have programming for ages 11-13 and 14-17. Please check the camp schedule and news above to see what the ages are for attending camp each week. Campers must be the minimum age by December 1, 2020 in order to attend camp.

The cost of attending a one week session is $350 and includes all meals and trips.

Finding a Sponsor

Parents who would like their child to be sponsored should bring the program to the attention of an organization in their area. More than 70 percent of DEC campers are sponsored by organizations and groups; however if a sponsoring group is not available, parents may pay for the child's stay at DEC camp. Parents must find a sponsor, the DEC does not maintain a list of sponsoring organizations. Check for hunting and fishing clubs, gardening clubs, schools, fire associations, and other community organizations in your area to see if they sponsor children to camp. If they don't but would like to learn about it, they can visit the Sponsor page for more information on becoming a sponsor.

For more information

Visit our FAQ or contact us:

625 Broadway 3rd Floor
Albany, NY 12233-5256
(518) 402-8014