NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation Summer Environmental Education Camps | What’s happening in the Capital District

NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation Summer Environmental Education Camps

625 Broadway
Albany , NY , 12231
Phone: 5184028014
42° 39' 8.4924" N, 73° 44' 54.996" W
Contact name: 
Randall Caccia
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Residential Summer Environmental Education Camps located in New York State

At DEC environmental education camps, campers experience a balance of environmental education, sportsman education and outdoor fun. Games, lessons and hands-on activities teach kids about forests, water quality and other aspects of nature. Swimming, hiking and canoeing are on the agenda, too, as campers learn new outdoor skills. Campers come away with a life-long passion for nature and a dedication to stewardship of our natural resources.

Campers participate in discovery groups, completing six lessons including group dynamics, explorations of different habitats, and human impacts on the environment. Campers learn science, solve challenges, play games, keep a journal, catch salamanders, net butterflies and discover the interconnectedness of life on earth. All of the camps offer Sportsman Education. The Pack Forest Camp also offers shooting sports for the 15 to 17 year-olds.

DEC runs four camps located across New York State. The camps are for boys and girls ages 12 to 17.

Camp Colby, (ages 12 -14) is situated on the western shore of Lake Colby, near the village of Saranac (Franklin County) on 100 acres adjoining the Adirondack Forest Preserve.

Camp DeBruce,(ages 12 -14) is in the southern Catskills, near the village of Livingston Manor (Sullivan County). The camp is located on 300 acres of land adjoining the Catskill Forest Preserve.

Camp Rushford, (ages 12 -14)is situated on the 4,500-acre Hanging Bog Wildlife Management Area in the Genesee River Valley (Allegany County).

Pack Forest (ages 115 - 17 weeks 1 - 3 and ages 12 -14 weeks 4 - 7) is located north of Warrensburg in the southern Adirondacks. Almost 2,500 acres in size, it includes an 85-acre lake and many streams and wetlands. Week-long Ecology Workshops are offered for 15 to 17 year-olds during three of the seven sessions of camp.

Campers may attend multiple times during the seven, week-long sessions. Camp starts on July 3, 2011 and goes until August 21, 2011. The camp week runs Sunday through Saturday. 

DEC camp costs $350 per camper per week. Many campers are sponsored by local conservation and community groups, so talk with organizations in your area to find out if they offer sponsorships to the DEC environmental education camps and how to receive one.

How to Apply to Camp

2011 Updates

  • Camp will run for seven weeks, starting July 3, 2011
  • Pack Forest will be the only camp to hold the 15-17 year old Teen Ecology Week (Weeks 1-3)
  • There is no Returnee Week at any camp. Campers may attend any week that is age appropriate for them
  • Applications from sponsored campers may be postmarked starting on January 15, 2011
  • Applications for all other campers may be postmarked starting on January 29, 2011
  • The fee for 2011 is $350 a week
  • Campers may attend more than one session of camp however this is no overnight stays on Saturday. If a campers choose to attend two weeks back to back, they must get picked up Saturday morning and be dropped of the next Sunday afternoon for check in. Each week at camp cost $350; full payment for all weeks is expected at the time of registration.
  • A camper application can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/education/61769.html .
  • Session availability can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/education/2013.html  .