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How to Register for Camp

DEC regrets to announce that its in-person summer camps program will not operate in 2021.

The health and safety of our campers and staff have always been the top priority for DEC summer youth camps. Camp staff worked diligently to review guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, American Camp Association, and other residential camps to develop a plan to be able to welcome campers this summer.

After careful consideration we determined there are too many uncertainties beyond our control to ensure our camps could open and operate safely.

While we are sad to make this announcement, we are making plans to create fun virtual opportunities for the summer of 2021 so campers and their families can stay connected to the DEC camp program.

Check out the DEC camps webpage to find out what we're planning and contact us at EducationCamps@dec.ny.gov if you have any topics you'd like to see in our line-up. And mark your calendars-2022 is the 75th anniversary of the camp program and we want you to help us celebrate!

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.

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

  • 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 educationcamps@dec.ny.gov 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, 2022 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:

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

E-mail: educationcamps@dec.ny.gov